SEO Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

In past you would simply put up a web page loaded with a few choice keywords and site back and wait for that little sales guy to bring in the leads. NO MORE. Today, "who" wrote the article and "how often" your website posts new content is just as important.

Search Engine Optimization changed in 2013. Google now affords less weight to SEO based coding techniques in favor of what they call "recency" and "freshness" of the content – taking into account the "authorship ranking" they assigned the creator. Please see our Social Media Marketing page for a more in depth explanation about authorship ranking. However, make no mistake Keyword Phrases are still an important component of an effort to increase your online visibility and must be included in your content.

Yet, with all this emphasis on content marketing, SEO is still an important part of your online strategy. Here is a breakdown of contemporary SEO techniques:

Keyword Phrases

Before we discuss search engine optimization (SEO) we must start at the beginning with an understanding of the concept of targeting keyword phrases. So we begin appropriately with a discussion about keyword phrases and how to discover them through research.

When a person’s brain takes a raw thought and applies the process of making meaning out of it, their mind uses its verbal mechanism to assign a few appropriate words to the thought. In web marketing terms, these few words are known as a keyword phrase. Go to Google type something travel related into the search box and see what the search engine results page (SERP) returns. Those sites listed on that first page are not there by accident. Notice that the keyword phrase you typed into Google is probably included in many of the options in the returned results. You now begin to see the impact of targeting the right keyword phrases. Critical point: The basis for all online marketing is rooted in targeting high traffic, high converting keyword phrases.

Keyword Research

Consider for a moment if you had a web page that appeared as the number one listing in Google when you typed in a specific set of words. However, what if that page had only a couple views per day? How could that be? The answer to why this Google #1 listing would have such low page views would probably be found in knowing how many people search for information using that specific set of words!

Fortunately we can avoid the situation above by using some online tools to research the popularity of keyword phrases. You must do the research to find the best keyword phrase to use for a specific page or post. Keyword research allows you to discover which phrases people search with when they consider a topic. If you make the mistake of targeting the wrong phrase, your page views will suffer and the number of people who leave your site after viewing only one page (bounce rate) can increase to as high as 90%! You may think something or place is popular only to find out it has very few people searching for it. This is critical market knowledge you need to be a successful marketer.

SEO Friendly Web Pages

You will hear the term “Tag” used when discussing SEO coding techniques. Tag is a jargon term used for html code that carries meaning as opposed to code that determines how a page renders. Placing your keyword phrases in certain html Tags allow you the opportunity to craft how the search engines catalog your page.

Title Tag ‐ The title tag is the most important piece of code on your page with regards to SEO. It is the first thing the search engine spiders find when they visit your site. On a website page you put should your main targeted keyword phrase in the Title Tag. In Blogs, your post title becomes the Title Tag. When creating blog posts, make sure you include a keyword phrase in your blog post titles. Preferably the first words of your title. Heading Tags – Heading tags can be H1 through H6 and are ideal places to put your keyword phrases. The search engines assign the most importance to the H1 tag with the least importance to the H6 tag. In blogs you can use header tags within your post’s body copy to reinforce the main keyword phrase. For those who know a bit about web programming header tags can be stylized in your CSS file to render in any font and style you choose.

Image Alt Tag - The search engines cannot see images. Alt tags allow you to let the search engines know what an image is about with words. Alt tags are used within the code to display an image. Each of the pictures you post on your blog should have an Alt tag with a keyword phrase.

Inbound Links

If you consistently post great content, a few in your loyal audience may post a link on their website or blog pointed back to your site. The search engines use the number of incoming links to a website as a major ranking factor. They figure if your site has a lot of other sites linking to it, your site must provide valuable content and is worthy of higher ranking in their search results. Thus, the number of incoming links to your site helps it gain higher search ranking.

However, caution must be taken not to have your website listed on "link-farm" sites. These link-farm sites have little of no content and just hundreds of links. Their sole purpose is to "game" the search engine listings. If Google finds your site listed on a link-farm site they will eliminate it from their search results.

The combination of the frequency at which you post new articles and the number of links pointing to your website from other high ranking sites are the two most important factors to impact your online success.

So how do we know if we made a difference from all this effort?

by George Oberle