It was while responding to a client’s email that I unintentionally wrote today’s blog. So many of my customers want to know what this “SEO” thing is all about. What does it mean? What does it do? How do I use it?
All great questions, because SEO can have a tremendous impact on the success of your business!
“SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimization. It has everything to do with making your website easier to find. When you visit Google or Bing or any other search site and… well… search something, there’s a hierarchy of sorts; the most optimized sites appear first on the list. The further down the list you go, the less likely those sites will be found. It’s like real estate… location is key. Few people have the time or inclination to surf much beyond the first few pages.
SEO is the process of calling the most amount of attention to your site. But in addition to targeting us, SEO “markets” to search engine “bots” (aka “spiders” or “crawlers”). Search bots are actually just software designed to perform repetitive tasks… like using complicated algorithms to determine which websites get listed in what order when someone pulls up a search. Wild, right?
There are a million and one things these search bots “look for” – hence, a million and one ways to optimize your website’s searchability. Several do require a cash outlay, but my focus today is on some of the most powerful SEO available… and happily they’re all free AND things you can feasibly do yourself:
1) UPDATE FREQUENTLY. A stagnant website goes nowhere fast. Search bots target fresh content, so the more often you update, the better. That is precisely why blogs and RSS feeds are such a great addition to a web site – it’s a continual source of fresh content!
2) MAXIMIZE KEYWORDS. While adding content to your website and blog, incorporate terms people might use to search for your kind of business. If it makes sense, incorporate them often. Search bots can’t locate what isn’t on your website. However, do NOT go the tacky route – packing your site with nonsensical paragraphs of keywords. You’re better than that, and there are other alternatives.
3) SOCIAL NETWORK LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW. Have you noticed that, in many cases, when you search a person or business, the first thing that pops up is their Facebook page, Twitter feed or LinkedIn account? There’s a reason for that: Social networking sites are the most frequently updated sites online. People/businesses post new content multiple times a day. A Facebook business page may not be your actual website, but guess what… it’s the perfect place to post frequent link-backs to your website! Exposure is exposure, and it all funnels back into boosting your SEO.
4) LINK! This one involves some networking. The more sites that legitimately link back to your website, the better your SEO will be. Be sure to put your website on ALL of your social networking pages. Ask your friends and family to link to your site from their own pages and websites. Ask your vendors, sponsors, business partners, chambers and community listing services to do the same. Just remember that association is important – make sure that the sites on which you list YOUR website are ones that you are proud to be associated with!
5) INCREASE TRAFFIC. Give people a reason to visit your website as often as possible. The more heavily trafficked your site is, the higher you get bumped in search rankings.
DMT Challenge of the Week
Pick a search engine and run some searches for your business using terms you think your customers would use. Where does your business fall on the list? Take a look at the top listings. How are they using blogs, key words, social networking and/or links to their advantage? Choose 3 things that you will do this month to improve your own website’s SEO.
“It is not the job of search engine optimization to make a pig fly. It is the job of the SEO to genetically reengineer the Web site so that it becomes an eagle.” – Bruce Clay
Dawn M. Tomczyk | DMT Artistry LLC | 810.923.4582 | email@example.com
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