THE FIRST PHASE OF A WINNING SEO STRATEGY:
Every online marketing strategy begins with search engine optimization (SEO). There is no getting around it. If you are reading this article and your website hasn’t been updated in four or five years, you have already suffered in the search results and there were no memos sent. Google changes its algorithms and an edict is named and published and unless you are a web developer, you probably will not know that it has occurred.
If your website was showing up in Google search for years and then it disappeared, you are most likely suffering because your website is not optimized for mobile viewing. Now that over 50% of searches are done on smart phones, Google looks with favor on websites that are mobile optimized and looks unfavorable on those that are not. Websites that are not mobile optimized fell to the bottom of the search results awhile ago and many business owners are now left scratching their heads.
You absolutely need a mobile optimized website.
RESPONSIVE WEBSITE DESIGN:
In the same way that Google is giving deference to websites optimized for mobile viewing, it also looks with favor on websites that are optimized for any view port, including desktops, tablets and iPads. By having your website built with responsive html and css, the website can “shrink” to any view port. By having a website that is built with responsive design, this will help you begin your climb back up the search engines.
If your website comes up with a left-to-right scroll bar on your mobile phone or a tablet, this means your website is not built using responsive design. It is probably time for a redesign.
KEYWORDS AND LONG-TAIL KEYWORD PHRASES:
Your website should be using keywords, key phrases and long-tail keyphrases in all of its page titles, meta tags, and headlines. However, at the same time, you should not be “keyword stuffing” your pages. It is a delicate balance. The Google search engines are programmed to detect what a web page “is about” by looking for keywords and key phrases.
SEO experts know how to write for the web readers and google searchers while at the same time setting things up to be read by the search robots too. Either hire a SEO expert, or do your homework and find out what Google search engines are looking for.
By writing for the search engines, you will get the most “free traffic”, which is called “organic traffic” in the business. This is a strategy that takes time and commitment because uploading to the website “often” helps this approach. If you do not have the time to continually upload content to your website, and if you are not going to hire your own SEO blogger or writer, find a local SEO expert who can set up a SEO strategy and campaign to achieve your organic traffic goals.
META TAGS AND META DESCRIPTIONS:
The meta tags are a list of keywords. Because of all of the abuse over the years from “black hat” seo professionals, the meta tags are no longer given much weight in coming up in the search engines. However, meta descriptions and one focus keyword are still given proper weight.
After a person types in a search word or phrase into the search box at google, the search engines pull up the top search websites. The first 4 or 5, as well as those in the right-hand sidebar, are Adwords pay-per-click ads. Underneath these paid ads are the organic search results. The website name comes up and then you see a small section in normal font stating a little bit about the page. This section needs to be written like ad copy; you want it to be compelling enough for people to want to click on it.
Meta descriptions should contain a 140-character summary of what the page is about and why someone should click on it. Remember, coming up on the first page of google search is the first step, but capturing the searcher’s attention and making them want to click is the second part of the process. This is done by making sure your meta descriptions are concise and compelling.
PHOTO NAMES AND ALT TAGS:
If a human views your website and sees beautiful pictures of residential landscaping, they can see that you are in the landscaping business. They can also see that you do beautiful work. How do you let google search engines know the same thing? Answer: By the names, titles, descriptions and alt tags of your photos.
If you photos are all named img1, img2, img3 and so on, the search engines know nothing about what the picture portrays or anything additional about your website. The keywords associated with your pictures will be “img1”, “img2”, “img3” etc. However, if your pictures are named “beautiful-landscape-residential-1”, “beautiful-landscape-residential-2”, “beautiful-landscape-commercial-1”, “beautiful-landscape-rockscape-1”, all of these keywords will be associated with your website. You will have a much better chance of being associated with “beautiful landscape”, “residential landscape”, “commercial landscape” and “rockscape”. Do you see the difference?
The alt tags were originally used for people who have images shut off while surfing the internet. The alt tags have become another way to add keywords to your website. I have never met anyone who searches the internet with their images shut off, but the search engines can “learn” so much from image alt tags. As referenced above, you can use “residential-landscape-in-florida” as an alt tag, and “residential-landscape-in-boca-raton-florida” in another alt tag. By doing this, you are associating local search terms with your pictures and your website will more than likely be selected to be shown organically when someone types “residential landscaping in boca raton florida” in the search box at google.
CONTENT IS STILL KING:
Creating and frequently uploading “good content” is still the best way to compete for search results. By posting great content, your website will be noticed by the search engines as “an authority” in a niche of keywords and you will be rewarded by crawling up the search results.
By doing “competition research” in Google search, you can even “cash in” on your competition’s paid ppc campaigns. Look for key phrases used by your competition in their search results and write content that uses these same key phrases.
By posting great content on a consistent basis, you are more likely to have your rss feed selected to appear on other websites who want to post your type of content. An rss feed is a way that a website can automatically pull in your content to be read on their website.
If you begin to follow complimentary blogs and online magazines, you can post their content on your website and hopefully, they will give you backlinks as a way of thanking you. All website managers are in the market to get backlinks. If you are posting their content and linking back to their websites (creating backlinks for them), they will be pretty open to returning the favor. Just email and ask them.
Link to all “official authorities” in your industry. By associating your website with the absolute authorities in any industry, you give your website an air of legitimacy by this association.
There are now full-time SEO and content writers in most large companies. They are combing the internet all day looking for content to post and link to. Post a request on your website for like-minded bloggers and other websites to contact you for a content link exchange.