Making your website, blogs, press releases and online content more visible to search engines and potential clients is what your SEO strategy be all about. Here are some of the tools of the trade
s to help you ignite your online performance!
a the founder and CEO of a social media marketing company, Kendell Lang knows what it takes to shuffle a business to the forefront of search engines’ attention. Google, Yahoo, MSN, Chrome… whatever search engine you use to get from A to B on the internet, as a business owner, you want your website to land in the top 10 search results yielded by all of them. A fantastic way to do this is to put out content that makes search engines happy. And content that is meaningful, interesting and relevant makes search engines – and your quarterly statement – very happy indeed!
The Modern Internet and Search Landscape
The Internet is a veritable bottomless pit of information, 90% of which is utter garbage. Clearly too many people have too much time on their hands because for every page of relevant, useful and interesting information there is, there are a thousand pages of useless rubbish. You could search for “advice on how to manage asthma” and come across the mental meanderings of some uneducated and un-researched blog. Even worse, a search for “exotic hardwood species” would land you with results that would make even the most stoic of individuals blush bright crimson!
Thankfully, the most recent algorithms governing how search engines match online content according to your search instructions – the keywords you type into the “find” bar – have changed. While today’s searches still require a LOT of sifting, the algorithm changes made to Google have put more emphasis on factors such as relevance and whether the content is actually popular with those who read it. Does a website retain its audience? Is a page being shared a lot on Facebook and other social media sites? Are people commenting positively on its content? These are all important factors nowadays, which means that the results you are delivered when you search for something on the Internet are likely to be relevant!
Then there’s the flipside to the coin… If you want your business’ website, blog or page to rank highly on search engines, your content is going to have to meet these algorithms requirements. It’s going to have to be useful, relevant and engaging. How do you do this? Two very important ways, according to the CEO of Worldclass Brand Management, Kendell Lang…
1. Writing for People, Not for Search Engines
Prior to Google’s algorithm changes, there was an emphasis on quantity rather than quality. The more keyphrases you crammed into an article or webpage and the more articles and webpages you submitted, the higher your rankings on search result pages. Not anymore. Today, there is a very distinct emphasis on the quality of the content you associate with your business, whether it’s an informative article, a blog, a webpage or a press release.
To produce quality content, apply the following very simple rules:
· Write something you yourself would be interested in reading and be objective about it. Some subjects are naturally more engaging than others, so be selective about the content you produce. Focus on giving advice and addressing common questions and concerns.
· If you’re not great at writing or don’t have much experience in crafting articles, blogs and web pages, hire someone who is and who does. Great writing is a talent; it’s not something everyone can do.
· Make your content useful and helpful. Provide advice, guidance and direction. The people who land on your blog or website are searching for something, so make sure you cater to that need.
The over-arching theme here is to write for PEOPLE and not search engines. When you first go about crafting a blog, webpage or online article, write it as though you will be submitting it for assessment (take your mind back to being in school!) Include pictures if you can and keep it relevant and engaging. If it’s boring and poorly written, you’ll lose your audience, who also happen to be your potential clients. Once you have written a piece of compelling content, you can optimize it for search engines.
2. Research and Use Keywords
Although keyword density is no longer a primary concern of search engines, the keywords themselves are still an important way Google, for example, matches content relevancy to web users’ search requests. Keywords also comprise the bridge between content that is produced for people and content that is produced for search engines! By using the keywords and phrases that people most frequently search for, you will be helping Google to direct web users to your website, blog or article.
For example, if you own a bakery in Scottsdale, Arizona, including keywords such as “bakery in Scottsdale”, cakes in Scottsdale”, “wedding cake bakery in Scottsdale” and “freshly baked bread in Scottsdale” etc. is going to help people looking for all of the above in their particular location find you. The challenge you will encounter is stitching them into the fabric of your article without making them sound unnatural.
Your keywords should appear in your content in a natural and effortless way. You don’t want people to be aware that you’re including them for SEO purposes. Again, this is something that an experienced SEO copywriter will be able to do for you, so it might be worth your while to hire one or at least get their advice on the trade.
Research Keywords and Phrases for Your Business
To research keywords and phrases, you can use the Google Keyword Tool. Also be sure to include keyphrases that are similar in nature to your main keyphrase. Returning to that bakery example, you could use terms such as “ cakes”, “fresh bread”, “baked goods to order”, etc. The greater variety you use, the more relevant Google will find your content.
What about keyword density?
The rule of thumb for keyword density is once every 100 words. So, if your article is 1,000 words long, your keyphrase should appear approximately 10 times. In addition to the main body of the article, blog or webpage, your keyphrase should appear in the…
· Heading or title
· Photo names and descriptions
· Meta description
· Introductory and concluding paragraph
Content is King! Never compromise the integrity of your content for the purpose of keyword density. If it just doesn’t fit well, leave it out.
A Final Note from Kendell Lang
Creating content that is relevant and useful is really not as difficult as it may sound – after all, you’re already an expert in your field of expertise, whatever it is. You know most of what there is to know about your industry. You should also have an idea of the kinds of questions and concerns potential customers have. All you need to do is use your content to focus on addressing these questions and concerns, while also providing useful advice. Combining your expertise with SEO savvy practices will not only attract and retain more readers, it’ll give you fantastic authority with search engines. This feeds back into more readers = more customers = better online business = higher profits = you smiling.