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SEO 101

SEO 101 – A Quick and Easy Guide to Website Search Engine Optimization

Here is a quick and easy guide to maximizing your website for Search Engines. The truth is that there is no magic bullet that will drive your results to he top. A lot of search agencies will try to sell you on that concept, but it’s simply not true. Google intentionally changes the formula to keep people from gaming the system. Like anything, search companies promise something for nothing. They tell you that they can make your page the most popular on every search. In actuality, like anything worth having, good search results come from diligent effort to research your audience and to create good content (Google confirmed this). If you have a small business and you want to boost your searches, you don’t need a lot of money, but you do need time and patience. Here is a presentation I made that provides the basics of SEO. Please check it out and let me know if you have any questions.

Find Keywords

find keywords
“Wedding cakes” may be a highly competitive term. Perhaps it would be easier to rank for a term like “unique wedding cakes” or “elegant wedding cakes”.

Google Analytics is a free and awesome source of keyword data. If you haven’t set it up on your website, you’ll need to do so and then wait a month or so to get a good set of data to start working with. Now, take a look at your keywords. What words are people searching for when they come to your site? Guess what, those are the words you should be thinking about when creating content. Not just the words themselves, but the topics they address. If your cake shop is often getting searches for “wedding”, consider making a section of your site that showcases all of the wedding cakes you have made. “Wedding cakes” may be a highly competitive term. Perhaps it would be easier to rank for a term like “unique wedding cakes” or “elegant wedding cakes” (see an example of Google’s Keyword Planner results on the right). In addition, you can use a free tool like Google Keyword planner to find good quality keywords. All you need to do is to create a free Google AdWords account. It is important to find keywords (or phrases) with high searches and low competition. Look to the video for more details.

Optimize Your Content Around Your Keywords

Once you have your focus keywords, build as much of your site around them as you can. Use them in your navigation. Build blog posts around them. Use them in your content. Also, make sure to use a unique meta title and meta description on every page of your website and use the keywords in your optimized headings and subheadings (again, see the presentation for more details).

Provide Good Content 

Take a look at your site with a critical eye. Pretend you have never heard of your product, and then ask yourself a few questions: 1) Would this website appeal to me? 2)Would I know what to do when I got here? 3) Is there a reason for me to come back or to share this website with others? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then it may be time to think about your website’s content strategy. If people don’t like your site, your rankings will not rise. Adding a blog or a news page may help you generate some honey to attract customers to your site and to get them sharing. Also, consider turning your site into an information hub. What topics could your site host information on? Recently, I was working with a custom furniture builder who wanted some help with his website. My suggestion: use your blog as a place to write about tips for furniture care. If someone buys custom furniture, they are definitely going to want to take care of their one-of-a-kind piece. The info you get on your site will help draw in all of those people searching for “How to care for oak furniture.” All you need to do is take the time to think about content that fills a need for customers, write it and post it.

Share Your Content

Don't forget to share!
Don’t forget to share!

You have to build links back to your content. Backlinks are Google’s number one measure of how trusted your website is and have a heavy effect on your keyword rankings. Jonah Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed, notes that the Mormons can be a good example for online marketing. Each member has to go on a mission to share the faith, and it has become the world’s fastest growing religion. He recommends taking as much time to plan how to share each idea as you spend on the idea itself. Don’t just write stuff an expect people to find it. Share it on your social media channels. Send it out to industry blogs. Make sure your content has social share options. Also, be patient. People may not find your site overnight, but with a good content and sharing strategy, things will pick up. It doesn’t take money, but it does take patience.

Start SEO Optimizing Your Website Today

With the information in the embedded presentation, you should be able to get your website SEO optimized and ready for battle. Please contact me with any questions or comments. I’m glad to help.

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