Filtering by Tag: Search

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Transform and Roll Out!

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!

Image Credit: Wikipedia

New Content Consulting – Part 1

So what’s this “New Content” approach all about?  Why is everyone buzzing about needing a “Content  Strategy” and should you have one too?  We  will break these questions down over the next few posts, but for now, let’s  have a look at why content is becoming more and more important. Content is Zarg

Yes we’re all aware of the expression “Content is King,” but  it seems that content is turning into Emperor and Galactic overlord as well....  If you’ve been reading Kilted Chaos over the years  and have kept even a tiny bit of an eye on SEO trends, you will know that the  number one way to move up through the search engines is to add new content to  your website.   And we’re not talking  about hiring an off-shore firm to produce ten 300 word articles a week; that  worked for a while a few years back, but now the content has to be real,  relevant and compelling.

Fool Me once…

One of the major reasons we think that the focus is turning  back to content is that people are getting used to how the Internet, and in  particular search works.  They may not  have a clue about the underlying algorithms but they have built up a huge personal  store of information based on their own experiences.

We have been marketed to for years, decades, centuries; no  matter how cool Jon Hamm makes advertising seem, most people would much rather  not be sold to.  Years of clicking on  paid links that lead to horribly designed sites that don’t actually offer the  best price, have taught people that the left hand side of Google is far more  likely to yield a better result than the right.

Customers as  Publishers

With the left hand side of Google being driven by community  derived importance (and yes I know that’s loose but I’m not going to sum up Google’s  search algorithm in a sentence) i.e. – how many links are coming into a page,  it’s interesting to consider just how large the “community” has grown in the  last few years.

In the old days you used to run around, submitting your  website to search engines, hoping to get into the Dmoz registry and  establishing link exchanges.  The thing  was – you were dealing with people just like you – other businesses who had  something to sell.  Most “normal” people  didn’t have a website, most links didn’t come from the actual customer and hell  – over half the population wasn’t even online.   Check out this graphic:

http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

While you’re sitting there gob smacked by the figures, let’s  throw a few more at you:

- Number of US Facebook users in July 2008 – 27.8 million - Number of US Facebook users in July 2010 – 125.9 million - Estimated # of Blogs at start of 2009 – 200 million - Estimated # of blogs now – 400 million

Here’s the thing; it isn’t just that there are a lot more  people online; it is that these people have their own pages, their own websites  – they are their own publishers and they can publish your link.

Write For Yourself

With so much content being published from so many different  sources, it makes sense that only the good quality content is going to rise to  the top.  It is no longer automated bots  and other businesses that are sharing links and driving traffic – it is your  customers.  Customers don’t speak SEO –  they don’t like to read paragraphs stuffed with keywords – they’re just like  you and me – they want to read well thought out articles that add something of  value – that gives them knowledge and insight that they didn‘t have  before.  And if the content is really  compelling, they may well forward it, tweet it, share it and even write about  it – and that is where the SEO juice really starts to kick in.

Yes you should absolutely write with SEO and targeted  keywords in mind – of course they should be featured and highlighted within  your text but, write for yourself first.   Write as if you were talking to a colleague in a bar, write as if you  were telling your mother about how your business works – start there and then  tweak it until you have your target words in the text.

Bottom line – someone may find you because they stumbled  upon a keyword heavy article, however, unless it reads well, they aren’t going  to forward it.

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