|For many organizations, a website is one of its largest investments—in both time and money. However, such an investment is only worthwhile if it can be found online. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in to play. When a website is optimized correctly for search engines (i.e. Google, Yahoo!), it is more easily and frequently found in user searches. Read on to learn about tweaks you can make to your website now to achieve better search engine marketing results.Understanding the formula|
Search engines calculate a website’s results ranking based on two components: context and authority. “Context” depends on how much the page’s content matches what the user is searching for. This directly relates to the site’s text and keywords. “Authority” refers to how much the search engine trusts your website in terms of quality. Highly visited websites with numerous other sites linking to them will have higher authority over their less-trafficked counterparts.Jump-starting your site’s context quotient
Revamping your website’s content with the addition of relevant, search-worthy keywords is one of the easiest steps toward achieving a higher search engine results ranking. When selecting words and phrases to enrich your site’s content, think of the top search terms that your target audiences would use to find your organization, its products or services. Hold a brainstorming session with employees from various departments to generate a well-rounded list. Give each teammate a Vinyl Notepad or All-in-one Mini Notebook to easily write down their thoughts.A word to the wise when selecting keywords: Be sure to pick your battles wisely! Just because the words or phrases chosen relate to your business, you need to be sure they’re not overly searched terms. Conversely, be sure your keywords aren’t too specific—they may never be searched by anyone. A great way to check on the search volume of your keywords is to use a tool like Google Insights (accessible here).
Once your team has selected the most potentially effective keywords, begin to insert them into the page content. Don’t go overboard though—it should still be written for human readers, not search engine robots!
Page titles are important
One of the easiest ways to see search engine marketing results quickly is by enhancing your web pages’ titles—especially your home page. Your home page’s “title” is the descriptive text that appears in the very top bar of the browser window when you’ve navigated to the website’s home page. Most home page titles use the organization’s name, or even the word “home” itself. Rather than falling into one of these traps, treat the home page title as more keyword real estate. Before your organization’s name, insert a few keywords that directly relate to the number-one search term used to find it online. The addition of keywords to the page’s title will add to its context ranking, as title keywords are weighted more importantly than descriptive in-page text.
Build a higher authority ranking
Building authority for your website is slightly more difficult and time-consuming than increasing its context ranking, but it’s well worth the work! One of the most common ways to boost authority is to increase the number of other sites that link to yours. These links are referred to as “inbound links,” as they point users to your site from an outside source online.
Increasing the amount of inbound links to your site can be done in a variety of ways:
- Organically—Organic inbound linking happens when other websites, blogs and social sites link to your website, unbeknownst to you. The higher authority these sites have themselves, the greater weight their inbound link has.
- Pitched—Another way to garner inbound links is by pitching bloggers and news sites to include your organization’s latest content in their posts or articles. In pitching, be respectful, offer value, be relevant and always follow up with plenty of thanks. If appropriate in your thanks, include promotional items relevant to your pitch or that are clever like Round Mirrors that say “Thanks for taking a look at our news!”
- Created—By having an online presence in numerous places, you’ll have many opportunities to link to your website. Start with the usual suspects like YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and then move on to more industry-specific online account building. Encourage your team to have a presence on multiple online venues to boost your inbound linking even more. Send out an SEO debriefing to employees to ensure everyone’s on the same page in regard to its importance, combined with a reminder gift. Try Jumbo Paper Clips or Note Nest Clips to keep the idea of “linking” top-of-mind.
Increasing your site’s SEO can be done, but the results will take time to fully develop. After incorporating some of these tips, move on to researching more advanced strategies, tweaking your search engine marketing tactics along the way. Before you know it, you’ll be on the first-page search results—prime real estate to reel in customers.