SEO is a term that is tossed around on a daily basis yet there are many people who still do not understand what it is. Firstly, there are 2 components to SEO and generating traffic online: Organic SEO and PPC. The term ‘Organic Search Engine Optimization’ refers to ranking well on Search Engines for specific keywords without paying on a per-click basis. Then there is PPC, which stands for, you guessed it Pay-Per-Click! There are a slew of local and national organizations offering SEO, but it is important to do your homework before hiring any of these companies. There are some basics that everyone should understand, so we are going to educate you here on just a few of the main points.
Defining your keywords and keyword combinations is a vital first step in the process. For instance, Web Design San Diego is a different keyword combination than San Diego Web Design, so selecting the appropriate keyword combinations is tricky. Getting thousands of ‘hits’ is not nearly as important as attracting relevant traffic. A great way to start your research is to sign up with a Google ‘Ad Words’ Account. You do not have pay anything to start the set up, but once your account is activated, you will have access to a tool called: Search-based Keyword Tool and the Keyword Tool. It is good to understand which keywords generate the most traffic, but also to make sure the ones you choose will help drive sales. For instance, a term such as ‘Brand’ will generate over 1,000,000 searches on Google monthly, but the term is too generic to sell ‘Branding’ or a specific brand for that matter, besides, you will be drown out by the 617,000,000 results, try getting to page 1-3, it will take A LOT of work!!
If you have a product or service that people will search for locally vs nationally, you are in luck! Whenever you add a city name to a search it narrows down the results tremendously. Take the Web Design example, a search for ‘Web Design’ generates 375,000,000 results, where as a search for ‘Web Design San Diego’ generates 11,600,000 results, you just eliminated 363,400,000 competitors from the running…not a bad place to start! If you have local seekers, you also have the benefit of Map listings which show up above the organic listings when a city name is added to a search. Google offers a free map listing, you can even add coupons and many other business details through their Local Business Center. Yahoo has a similar product as well, I would recommend setting up a listing with both Search Engines. A couple of factors will help you get to the top of that list, number one is location, but you can also submit your listing to specific categories + sub-categories and fill in keywords that way. It also helps to have customers go on and rate your business, if they like you! When visitors find a business with multiple testimonials and a five star rating up front, they will automatically feel a stronger sense of trust vs. your traditional Organic Search Results.
Ok, now to the on-site details.
Now that you understand the importance of keywords, you should know that your top (2-5) keywords should be all over your website. Developing a site entirely in Flash is fine if you don’t care about search engines, but if you want your site to be found, you should limit flash to a certain location on the page, keeping the navigation, title tags and body text in HTML/CSS. There is also a rule to be aware of called: Keyword Stuffing. If Google catches you trying to ‘trick’ the system, they can potentially blacklist your domain, which is definitely no good! Ok, so how do you repeat keywords without keyword stuffing, let me count the ways: title tags, url strings, meta keywords + description, h1 tags (proper definition of header text), body text and links (internal, inbound and outbound). If you have more questions about how these elements can be implemented on your site, please email us email@example.com I have attached a graphic below visually illustrating the elements I have mentioned above. The live site used as a reference model can be seen here: www.drgram.com
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