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I get asked about search engine optimization all the time.
People get really crazy about bringing new eyes to their website. I’ve had many conversations about it with other Interactive people, business owners and marketers. The really important question here that hardly anybody ever asks is “Are we ready for new site traffic?”
I can send a million people to your site, but who cares if they leave right away or don’t convert because the experience is bad. Make sure you are ready for those eyes before you spend oodles of money on getting them there.
OK, so let’s just say you have the best user experience in the world on your site and you are ready for business… now what? You can’t pull together a budget for paid search or display ads right now, but you want to get some new organic viewers to come by and see the magic you have created. You know once they get there they will absolutely fall madly in love with your fabulous false eyelash trimmers if they just knew that you had them.
What do you do?
First of all stick with the timeless things to start. The things that don’t have an expiration date by the name of “When Google finds out this will all end”.
Let’s talk about content!
- Content, content, content: I’m not talking about re-posting somebody else’s articles or keyword stuffed pages of nothing of value. Spend a few minutes thinking about the person you are trying to have a conversation with – your audience. Now talk to them. Help them. Fill whatever void or need they have with that content.
What questions do they normally ask? What are they looking for? How can you solve their problem? And don’t keyword stuff! It doesn’t work anymore, people!
Write for your audience first, Google after!
- Keywords: Now we get a little technical in the sense that yes, you do need to use keywords in your content to really optimize your pages. Use terms, not just keywords. What does your audience need and what do you do to help? If you are selling “fabulous false eyelash trimmers” chances are not that many people will be searching for those words, so don’t get crazy with them.
Think of the typical words people use, not the ones you WANT them to use. If you are selling those awesome lash trimmers, you are never going to rank well for “cosmetic surgery”, so stop trying! I’ve seen clients (and agencies) come up with terms that are so far-fetched they make no sense at all, but somebody at the C level thought they were the ones to go for or some tool spit out the term as being important. Just say no!
Think about the need your customer has and how they would search for a solution. Sure, you can use one of the myriad keyword suggestion tools out there, but use your common sense as well. You know your customer, so use the real language terms they would use when searching. Don’t get crazy putting them in your page, but use them appropriately. Remember, you are writing for a person, not just a spider. Keep is simple and keep on topic!
A little technical now – trust me, it’s not that bad and you can use this as a checklist:
- Best keywords and terms should go in the title of the page
- H1 tags are awesome to surround the titles with, but make sure you only have one set of H1s per page! Sometimes you get a bad WordPress template or a developer who doesn’t know anything about SEO and next thing you know there are 3 or 4 H1 tags floating around a single page. Not good.
- The higher on the page, the better for the keywords SEO.
- Use links to important pages on your site (and don’t be afraid to link out to other sites if it seems right) and when you do, don’t use URLs as your links. Use actionable text with keywords in them such as “Be sure you don’t knock over the person you are dancing with the next time you are at Liv by trimming your false eyelashes before you go out!” Link to a how-to or your product page or something else that fits.
- Only use one link to the same URL per page. Google will only notice the first link, so make it a good keyword term.
- The higher on the page, the better for the links.
- Don’t put an image as a link above a text link. Again, Google pays attention to the first link to a specific URL and if it isn’t text, the keyword term won’t get the credit for your SEO.
- Don’t use the same keyword terms over and over. It’s faking it – you’re trying to write for the bots and not the people. Keyword density is an outdated convention and irrelevant.
- Keep writing. Update your content as needed if you don’t blog (and don’t feel like you HAVE to blog, if it doesn’t fit your business). Write new information if it is relevant to your user. Freshness is important.
Now you have a bit of homework to take back to your own website today and you can give yourself a little SEO boost along the way. I hope it helps!
And, if I missed anything, don’t hesitate to let me know!