Search engine optimization is not rocket science. With the way some people talk, you'd think that SEO was the same as going to Mars. True, there are some components that make it a little more complicated to understand... after all, that is why SEOs (search engine optimizers) charge a pretty penny to help websites get ranked in the search engines.
SEO (search engine optimization) is something that needs to be continually addressed. Not only does a site need to have new content added all the time, but the existing, static content, needs to be adjusted, changed and modified.
If your site isn't evolving, then why in the world would someone ever come back?
If your customers have already seen your brochure, do they go back to it very often to try and glean new information? Then why do we seem to think that people will do that with our static and never changing sites?
So, if search engine optimization isn't rocket science, then what is it?
It is time consuming and requires effort. It requires patience and practice. And while we offer search engine optimization as one of our many services, it's not magic or mystical and there is no reason you can't implement the basics on your own if you choose. Given the right knowledge, you could give yourself a solid start.
Write core site (static) content. Content is critical. Compelling content is even better. Don't make it too long, but don't skimp. Create content that people will want to read when they are looking for more information. Format it properly; make it pretty and easy to read. Spell things right. Make it interesting. Write it often.
While search engines will index your content and present your content based on the search of users, it will be read by people. People don't care what's important to search engines. They only care about what they want to read. So, make sure your content is written in a way that compels them to want to read more.
Write page meta descriptions. Each page has the ability to have a page description. This can be the same as content in your page or it can be different. Just make sure that the keywords you want the search engine to pick up are in the description. Be careful that if you make it different that it talks about the same things. Be careful to not be too wordy here. Keep your description to about 150 characters or less. This is the snippet that shows up as a summary in search engines and on social postings so it should help drive your potential visitors to read more.
Just as the titles and headlines in traditional media help drive people to tune in or read more, it's critical your titles tell a story in just a few words. You'll want to keep this title to around 50 characters or less (less is more). If you have too many characters then your title won't appear in full in search engine listings. Your titles should include keywords that invite people to click while never specifically telling them to click.
When you write something that relates to services you offer (and you should) then you should cross link that to your services page. It indicates to the search engines that your content is related. Don't link too much or your content will feel too much like a sales pitch. Remember, you are inviting people to read more- You are not trying to trick them into reading more. Don't be afraid to link key services but be a little sparing.
If you are an old school marketer or you have gotten caught up listening to someone who thinks they know what they are talking about, you may have noticed that one of the items here is not meta tags (also known as meta keywords).
Recently we received a request for quote and one important part requested was ability to input meta tags. It's been a few years, but the major search engines do not use meta tags in indexing your webpages any longer. There is even indication that some search engines might ding your rankings if you use too many. Generally, we recommend you simply ignore meta tags.
The theme here should be content writing is important. It's very important.
I get the question all the time, "Content is hard to come up with. How do I get more content?"
My response: "Yup. It's hard."
The two best options for you are to write news articles and blog entries. Write press releases on your services or repost releases from vendors if they are applicable. When you write opinion or blog pieces, make them compelling. Write them so that people will want to read them. Write them so that people will come back for more. If there is no change to your site, people won't want to come back.
Write for people and not just for search engines. So many people try to find ways to trick the engines. They come up with all sorts of tactics designed to fool the Googlebots. Don't be one of those people. In the long run, this can greatly harm you. If you try to fool Google and people come to your website on false pretenses, they won't stay or care what they see.
Your website is built for people, so write for people. Google, Yahoo and other search engines work hard to present results that matter to their clients. So, if you write for people, your results in the search engines will be improve.
Sure, it is a lot of work, but creating your brand is not easy. Online brand development takes time. If you can't do it for your company, hire someone (like us – yeah I know, shameless plug) to do it for you. If you aren't going to do it right, you might as well not do it at all so that your customers can find your competition more easily.