Your company’s website not only needs to appeal to your ideal customer – those customers also need to be able to find you online.
You’ve spent money creating the perfect website – one that is optimized for viewing on all mobile devices and created especially for your brand and designed to be eye-appealing to your target market and speaks to their language. Don’t make the mistake of being the biggest secret out there.
Your website isn’t a Field Of Dreams. If you build it, your ideal customer (or any customer) might not necessarily come.
Help yourself out. Take the extra step and optimize your website for success. After all, an optimized website acts like a 24 hour beacon – attracting and educating your prospects and customers. Add meta tags that describe the contents on each of your web pages. This is part of a technique known as Search Engine Optimization – commonly referred to as SEO. Optimizing your website sets your website up for success when marketing online.
After your website has been fully optimized, the next step is to market it. Search Engine Marketing – commonly referred to as SEM – is the extra step to register your company’s website with search engines. These search engines include national listings with Google, Bing and Yahoo along with their local search engine counterparts. When it comes to marketing your website, there are several free and pay options that are available to you. The key is choosing the one that best fits your needs, timing and budget.
To help you unlock your success online…
Make A List.
List the key phrases that you would like your company to be found under. An example of this would be “Seattle Website Design”. When making your list, be sure to not repeat the same word in a key phrase fore than 7 times. Repetition of words is looked at as SPAM in search engines and ultimately will not bring your search result ranking higher on the list (and may result in not being listed at all).
Where Is Your Target Audience?
Is your target audience local, regional, national or global … or a combination of these? By knowing where your customer (potential customers) are located, this will determine the best plan to market to them. If they are strictly local, you will want to primarily invest in marketing your company locally, whereas if it is national or global, you will want a larger search engine outreach.
Set Your Goal.
What is your goal for your search engine optimization and marketing? It is important to describe the goals and objectives for your search marketing. If you want a quick insurgence of targeted visitors, a pay-per-click approach may be the best option to achieve your goals, as they can get you found in search results within a week. This does however come at a price as it will cost you a bit of money (a few cents to several dollars) depending on the search terms you wish to be found under. If you are willing to pay enough, you can also obtain the number one ranking for a keyword or phrase. If a long term increase in targeted visitor traffic is what you are after, organic search marketing, which involves making sure that your website is well optimized and submitting your site to the various search engine’s Add URL links or Webmaster Tools may be the best way to go, as this will cost you less money and is more of a investment of time, as this is like planting a seed and watching it grow.
The advantage of having a good organic search marketing strategy is it is an investment and not an ad expense. Thus, your company’s search visibility will grow over time and will not go away because you stop paying.
Below are 12 tips that you can use to help achieve your search engine strategy goals…
Create a unique page for each of your products, services and locations.
2. Less Is More.
Do not try to put everything about your company in detail on one web page, as the content lower on the page will not carry as much weight as the content towards the top of the page. Instead, break information into multiple pages as needed.
3. Weight Your Content.
The most important information you are trying to convey on each web page should be placed toward the top of each web page.
4. Mark It Up.
Use Semantic markup on your web pages. Semantic markup is the use of headline tags (H1, H2, H3) to describe the important portions of your content on your web page. Only use the H1 tag once on each page.
5. Use Meta Tags.
Use Meta Tags with your web page’s title and description. Make sure that the content on your web page supports your Meta Tags.
6. Give It A Title.
Add Title Tags to each of your web pages. Your page titles should match your Title Meta Tag and be relevant to what is on each page.
7. Map It.
Create an XML Site Map and submit it to Bing, Google, and Yahoo. A XML Site Map is a structured set of information that Google, Bing and Yahoo can use to determine what is on your website and how important it is. It will also include a description about that page’s content.
8. Become A Google Webmaster.
Open a Google Webmaster Account and use Google Analytics to analyze your search terms and search results.
If you have multiple brands and domains you will want to have unique Google Webmaster Accounts and a Unique YouTube Account for each if you want to be able to include links in your videos.
9. Become a Bing Webmaster.
Open a Bing Webmaster Tools Account. Bing will send you daily notifications with suggestions on how to improve your website search performance in Bing.
10. Add Video.
Think about adding video to your website. Videos can add significant improvement to your search rankings. When adding video to your website, it is important that is has the quality that equals your brand.
11. Add Plug Ins.
If your website is created using WordPress, make sure to install an SEO Plug In.
12. Lock It Up.
If possible, lock-up your domain name for 5 or more years. This shows business stability to Google, Bing and Yahoo!.
It may seem daunting, but you CAN win the SEO race.
Keep each of the steps that we listed in mind when optimizing your site and submitting it to search engines. If this turns into being overwhelming, feel free to contact us. We would be happy to help.