While writing this post I couldn’t get the image of Megan Fox...err – scratch that – Optimus Prime out of my head. The key word here is Optimize – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t about adding stuff that you don’t already have – it’s about making what you do have better.
In the same way that a gaudily colored truck can transform into a mobile battle station complete with Ion cannon – you too can transform your website into a highly ranking, customer catching cash funnel – all by following a few simple rules:
Take Care of the Tech
You’re not a website developer – you’re an attorney, a baker, a life coach, a marketer – whatever – it’s not your job to know how to set up your website correctly. All you need to know is that there is a right way and a wrong way: HTML code should be structured correctly, page URLS should use real words and create hierarchies, H1 tags should be used, pages should have easily modified titles, descriptions, keywords and tags and content should be quickly distributed across different platforms and networks.
We recently ran across an agency that was going to charge a client $9,000 to ‘SEO” the very website that they themselves had built. If I could have fallen off my chair I would – but I was already on the ground laughing over their definition of wireframes and site plans. If you are having a new website built – all of this should be taken care of – if you’ve got questions – ask us – we’re always happy to give you an opinion.
Use the Right Words
You might refer to your business as an “Artisanal Horticultural Hideaway” – your customers however are typing the words “Flower Shop” into the search engines. If you’re not already familiar with it – you must spend a little bit of time with Google’s Keyword Finder tool – it’s free, it’s easy and actually quite fascinating.
Write down all the words you think that describe your business – then go to the online tool and see how many people are searching for these terms. Because the tool displays words that are used in similar searches you will often find that people use a different word for your business. Find the most popular words that describe what it is you do and incorporate those words into your writing.
Use the Right Combination of Words
This is the whole “write like your customers speak” concept – often difficult for professions that use a lot of Jargon. When you’re in the keyword finder you’ll see that Google shows not just single words but a series of phrases – these phrases are what people are typing into the search engine.
Studies have shown that people who arrive on your site from longer keyword phrases (3 to 5 with 4 being the optimum) convert better. The thinking goes that the more detailed their search (i.e. the more words they use) the more serious they are about finding a solution – and if you can match their phrase then they will be more serious about you.
Get People to Link to Your Site
The more people that link to your site the better; get some heavyweight well established site to link to your content and your search rankings will increase dramatically. But there’s only one way to ensure that people will link to you.
People don’t recommend crap to their friends – they recommend stuff that adds to their knowledge, that makes them laugh, that makes them feel good about passing it on. There is absolutely no point in having some 3rd party firm writing generic content about your business – in the old days before everybody was a publisher this might have had merit - nowadays if you publish the same boring crap that everybody else is producing then people will learn to ignore you.
Transform and Roll Out
A new content strategy absolutely works if you are passionate about your business and can put that passion into words. Read your content before you post – does it resonate, do you believe yourself, would you stand by the article in front of Megatron and fight for its authenticity?
As we’ve written before – times are changing and you need to change, adapt and transform to keep your business on top. Fortunately this brave new world only wants to hear about why you love what it is you do and how you do it. Forget the marketing speak, start writing, write from the heart, write with your customers words and phrasing, transform yourself and roll out!