You know about it, you kind of understand it, but it just isn’t happening for you. IT Geek and marketing whizz, Mary Henderson, unravels the essential SEO concepts that your website needs to be successful in the increasingly competitive battle of the ranks.
Know Thy SEO. It may sound like an intergalactic encounter or a weird take on Sun Tzu’s Art of War, and in many ways it is.
The reality is you can’t succeed online without it. Putting it in the ‘too-hard’ basket or as a “sometime” option just won’t work. Sure, there may not be a SEO holy grail, but there are certainly some proven concepts that once imbedded in your strategy will boost your website findability.
Assemble a high-quality SEO site
Your website might have all the bells and whistles, but if the search spiders can’t see you, you’ll rank low (if at all). Low ranking means fewer customers. Ensuring your web pages can be seen and are not blocking the spiders is a vital component for successful SEO.
Understanding that most of us use the web on a superbly basic level is really important.
Take off your business hat, put on your customer hat and find search words and terms that your customers will use. And here is a fresh idea – ask some customers! You will be amazed at some of the seemingly obscure terms they use to locate your product or service.
Bring in the Link Parade
Armed with a user-friendly set of keywords, the next step is to apply them. Using them in the page content will only get you so far. Obtaining keyword rich inbound links from relevant, high-ranking websites is considered by some experts to be the ultimate connection between SEO and high rankings.
The search engines see the keywords in the inbound links; know firstly what your site is about, and secondly that you are important. Equipped with this finding, they escalate your ranking, and effectively help customers find you.
So now you’ve launched and no one is coming to play, and your pesky competitors are still ranking higher than you. “Why, why, why?” you ask. “My competitors rank so well, and not me?”
Quite simply, it takes time and effort.
They have probably been on the playing field longer than you, while maintaining an enviable SEO regime. For a search engine like Google, the quality of the incoming links and the age of your site are the two vital factors when it comes to rankings. It can take up to a year to win a good ranking for a top keyword on Google.
High rankings are a great long-term challenge, and in the meantime, for more snappy results you might need to consider Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising. Bidding on keywords and targeting the less-competitive words is one way to achieve quick search engine placement.
And finally, a word on domain names.
Recently I heard about a well-ranked site that changed its domain name, for “marketing purposes”, and experienced SEO carnage in the search engine rankings. It can take up to a year to regain that ground. Hence, never change the domain name on an established site without careful consideration of the pros and cons.
For those just launching a site, the web is your oyster; embrace the options for choosing a domain name.
Keeping in mind your long-term strategy for your online presence, choose either a marketing based name, such as a business name or a short catchy one that is easy to remember. Or, if you simply want to select based on SEO, then pick a domain name that uses your primary keywords.
Write these simple concepts up on a white board and never rub them out. Constant nurturing is required for SEO to gain ground; all the while remembering- your competitors might be reading this too!
Tips for SEO from The Geek in High Heels
Create a website that is easily visible to search engines.
Learn the keywords that customers use and implement them into your strategy.
Focus on high-quality inbound links from relevant and important websites.
Maintain your SEO regime. Age is a virtue when it comes to search engine rankings.
Choose the right domain name upfront, and don’t’ mess with it later.