Putting SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to work on your Web Site. Part 1Posted on March 13th, 2009 1 comment
Recently, I gave a presentation on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for a local Business Networking International chapter. My time limit was set at 10 minutes to give a presentation on SEO. What! Wait! Ten minutes? I could go on and on about SEO and how to apply various techniques to your current web site and design to improve your visibility on the web. How was I going to cram all of what I know, as well as cover some of the tools available, in such a short amount of time? Well, truthfully, I wasn’t able to. I did design a Keynote presentation to cover most of the basics in 17 slides, but that left me to present a little over 30 seconds per slide. I am very excited about my profession and love talking about it, so I still went for it. What I am giving you here is just an excerpt, but if you want your web site to be found in search engines and increase your user traffic, you should find some of this information beneficial. You can also download my slides on “Search Engine Optimization – What it is and what you can do to help your page rank in search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and MSN Live Search” I will put up a section on the main site related to SEO as well as record my presentation to go along with the slides.
What is SEO? According to Wikipedia – “SEO is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines” Ok, simple enough. But what the heck do they mean by “process”? I could quote another Wikipedia quote on the word process, but in this instance it means time, effort and more than likely, lots of it. I’ll break up this so called process into 6 elements but keep in mind that SEO is not an exact science. If would be if you had the secrets to Googles search engine algorithm, but they are pretty tight lipped about exactly how they rank and rate sites. Besides that, the major search engines are always refining their techniques in order to provide the most valuable search returns possible. SEO is not a sure fire way to get your site at the top of search pages. However, in this and in subsequent posts I’ll briefly layout 5 areas that you should concentrate your efforts on and could very well increase your odds.
Keywords. Keywords are the foundation of your search engine strategy. After all, keywords are what someone places into a search box to get back results related to…you guessed it…their keywords. In essence, if your site has references to their typed in keyword(s), you move into their returned search results. (Provided that your site is in their directory of searches to begin with. I’ll cover this in another post) Picking your web site keywords are very critical. Also, think of keyword phrases. For example, keywords for a web designer might be…uh….web and design. However, to help in search results local to the web designer, the keyword phrase would be something like “Web Design in St. Louis”. Jot down on a sheet of paper (you could use an application such as Excel, Numbers, Word or Pages as well) all the keywords and phrases that you think others would use to find your site. Is it the products that you sell? How about the services that you provide? Then think about variations on those keywords. Next, talk to your friends, co-workers and others to get an idea on what keywords they would use to search for your web site. I might think everyone uses the search phrase “Web Design” but it could be that others use the phrase “Web Site Creation”. In the end, you will choose your keywords carefully. However, if this is your first time going through this exercise, just give some thought to them as the next step may change your keyword thinking.
Ok. You are all finished with your keyword selection. Your next step is to use some online tools to more or less validate your keyword selection and possibly eliminate some of your choices. One such tool is the Google keyword tool. It helps to have a Google Adword account (I’ll post something on that down the road) but you can access it for free at www.google.com/sktool. With this keyword tool, you can type in your keyword or phrase and get a number of the monthly searches for that keyword. You will also see variations or the keyword phrase as well as the search number. As a test, I type in the word jewelry which had 350,000 searches per month. Jewelry Stores has 100,000 per month. Jewelry Television has 18,000 with a mix of others in between. This whole process gives you a good indicator on how well your keyword is used. I’m not saying that you have to use the top searched keyword. In the above example for jewelry, I see that handmade jewelry has about 23,000 searches per month and if I did indeed sell handmade jewelry, I might concentrate on this particular keyword phrase and go after those 23,000 searches. You may even find some other ideas for keywords along with their searches/month. The keyword tool from Goolge is just one of many keyword tools out there. Probably one of the best tools is at www.wordtracker.com. However there is a fee (ie: $$$) to use it. In part 2 of SEO, I will discuss what you should do with these keyword phrases that will help your page rank. I will give you a hint though….Content.
One response to “Putting SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to work on your Web Site. Part 1”
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