…is Like a Billboard in the Desert
by Steve Buck, December 2012
You’ve done it! After what felt like an eternity of going through every detail to create the perfect billboard design, it is now complete. The sign will portray instantaneously who your company is, and why the consumer needs you. It has a bold, attention-grabbing design, and your company’s name and contact information are impossible to miss – and even harder to forget. It is awesome!
Only after all of this effort, planning and incredible artistic brilliance, your billboard is placed next to a lonely highway, far from traffic of any kind. It is now in the middle of a desert, and no one is ever going to see it. That is what a perfectly designed website without an SEO or paid search strategy is like.
Search Engine Optimization or “SEO” refers to the strategies used to help make websites easier to find for people browsing the Internet on search sites like Google and Bing without paying that search site for it. These technical, nearly scientific, and often artistic processes help increase the ranking position naturally or “organically.” The effects of a strong SEO strategy can be very rewarding and long lasting for any business.
Choose Your Keywords
Identifying what keywords or search terms customers use in order to find the products or services you sell is the first step, and it couldn’t be more important. First, you will need to identify words that people are actually using for the stuff you sell, while making sure they aren’t so vague that you are competing with the entire universe. Many search terms can be extremely competitive and require greater effort for achieving higher rankings. Keywords are usually phrases or multiple words – two to five words is a good guideline for how many words to use. It should also include a geographic location, like “Melbourne Florida car repair.”
Put Your Keywords in All the Right Places
Now that you’ve identified the keywords, what’s next? In order to get the attention of search engines, you need to use the keywords frequently, naturally (i.e. not “forced”) and throughout your published online content, beginning with the content on your website. Keywords should also be placed in the address of specific pages, for example yourwebsite.com/melbournefloridacarrepair, as well as within your site’s H1, H2, or H3 headers and as names of images, called “alt text.”
Content, Content, Content
The only way that Google or any other search engine knows why a site is relevant is from the content that is on it. This means that if someone is selling sewing needles, the website can’t simply have pictures about sewing needles and related products; it needs content with keywords about sewing needles! Search engines LOVE content, therefore you should too.
Blogging is an exceptional way to have a conversation with your customers. Blogs provide your company with a human voice that your costumers can connect with and is a wonderful way to showcase your personality. More importantly, blogging is a great tool for consistently adding keyword-rich content. Websites that post blogs regularly receive 55 percent more traffic than those that do not, which ultimately results in more leads and increased sales.
Another benefit of blogging is that it increases the size of your site. When a search engine has multiple sites that are relevant for the same search term, it uses a large set of algorithms or math equations to determine the ranking position of each site. One of the many factors taken into consideration is the size of a site. If website A has twice as many pages as website B, which one is probably more relevant and therefore deserving of a higher position?
The third benefit of blogging for SEO is adding current, up-to-date information. Keep in mind the search engine algorithms – if website A had last been updated three years ago and website B was updated within the last week and has been updated every week over the previous three years, which is the most relevant information today? You guessed it. This is why companies that blog consistently and regularly receive more business from their web presence than those that don’t.
Don’t allow your website to be a billboard in the desert. By identifying a strategy and sticking with it consistently, you can significantly increase the traffic to your site and generate more sales.
Steve Buck is the president and co-founder of Black Tie Digital Marketing, a Viera-based firm that works with companies to create and enhance their Internet marketing strategies to help them make money online. Learn more at www.blacktiedigital.com