Search engine optimization is a phrase that has been thrown around quite a bit over the years. The ability to rank a website at the top of the search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo is considered by many to be the ultimate form of SEO. At the end of the day, how many phrases and terms have you been able to rank on the front pages of the search engines. After all, if your website is not on the front page, you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than you do of potential customers finding your website.
There are many different ways for you to “SEO” a website. Traditionally, many have relied on creating content on their home page and using as many of the keywords, phrases, and terms as possible to “get noticed” by Google. If you were targeting a phrase like Myrtle Beach Golf Package, you needed to mention that phrase between 1 and 3% on the page. If you wrote about it, then Google would have to find it relevant and important right? In the past, yes! Going forward, maybe not as much as we once thought. Google is much more interested in how well your web page, article, or blog post relates with the keyword or phrase someone enters into the search box. Just because you mention a phrase over and over again will not make it more important to Google on its own. There are a number of additional factors that weigh into the value of a web page.
In an effort to keep this blog post somewhat brief and readable, we will not go into extreme detail on every form of SEO, SEM, on-page, off-page, etc. We will simply give a few ideas on things you can be doing to help increase your rankings locally to capture top placement.
Links And What They Mean To Your Website
A link is simply your website url, or a page of your website, that is being pointed to by another website. If you log into your favorite website, and start reading about a topic that is of interest to you, there may be a well placed “link” or “anchor text” in the content. This is done to provide the reader with options on what they are reading, and what they would like to do next. In this article, I had put a link above to a landing page for Myrtle Beach Golf. If I wanted to provide another relevant and important link to the site, I could mention something like golf packages in Myrtle Beach, and link to it. Do you see how the words golf packages in Myrtle Beach above is highlighted? If you were to click on it, you would be taken to a website that is targeting golf vacations in Myrtle Beach. This is a link, and would be considered a good one by Google because it is the only website being referenced in this blog post. I also made this link different than the one above by linking to different words, but then I also opened the link in another tab. I don’t want you leaving my content for good, I just want you to get a little taste of what you were interested in, then you can come back and finish up this blog post. This is referred to as linking.
Social Media. Will My Customers Really Search For Me On Facebook?
I could write about this subject for 6 hours prior to running out of energy. I will make it easy to digest and understand. Social media are websites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and a zillion others you have never heard of. These cites allow businesses to post information about their business, so others can find it. How many people actually search for businesses on Facebook? Probably a lot less than the social media gurus would like to say. However, and this is important. It is a social signal that Google sees, and those signals can help elevate your rankings. When Google sees that your website is listed on many different websites online, it starts to see you as a bit of an authority. The more authority you build, the better your reputation to the search engines. Again, I am trying to keep this brief, but that is a good reason for you to be building a social profile.
Blogging Is A Must For 2013
Ugh! Are you kidding me? I have to write how many words on what subject and post it by when? Yep, blogging is one of the greatest ways for you to build your online rankings, and the more information you can post, the better. When it comes to blogging, don’t sell your services with every post. Give people information that they can use and they are more likely to come back and read what you have to say next time. At the end of the day, you should be writing to your blog post a couple of times a week.
Pay Per Click Is Going To Continue To Make Big $$$
How do I say this nicely??? Google makes so much freakin’ money off of pay-per-click it would make your head spin if you actually sat down and crunched the numbers. Billions of dollars are spent every year by businesses trying to get to the top of the search engines. It is an effective strategy and can get your phone ringing quickly. But it can be costly as well if you don’t know what you are doing!
Video Optimization and YouTube
This is one of our favorites at the moment. Ranking a video at the top of YouTube, then ultimately on Google is a great way for you to capture potential clients. When you look at a Google results page like the one listed here, you can obviously see that one of these listings stands out compared to all the rest. Do you know which one it is?
Pictures and images get more attention on a Google search page than plain text. In my opinion, this 3rd listing likely gets more searches than the #1 or #2 listing. Again, strictly my opinion. But think about where your eyes would be drawn to.
We have a number of clients that have a ton of front page placements for their videos on YouTube and Google. The general rule of thumb is that if you have captured the #1 spot on YouTube, then you likely have captured front page placement on Google as well.
Reputation Management – The Big A-HA!
I referenced reputation management in a previous blog post, but it is by far the biggest and most important factor when it comes to you selling your products and services online. If you spend thousands of dollars to rank at the top of the search engines, and right below is a listing about what a terrible company you are, and how your company cheated the last client out of money, then I can guarantee you that the new potential customer will not be picking up the phone to call you. Your reputation matters, and you need to control what is being said about you online before it is too late.
72% of people online trust online reviews as much as a referral from a friend. WHAT? Yeah, the reason that you read 14 reviews before you purchase the 99 cent app for your Iphone is because you don’t want to be ripped off. This holds true for your online reputation as well. Think about this the next time you are about to purchase anything of value online. Think of me the next time you read that review:-)
Tim Marose is the owner of Hit Me SEO and has a million great ideas. He just fails to put them all on paper before he forgets most of it. If you would like to learn more about your current SEO strategy, and determine what activities will bring your businesses the most benefit, contact Tim at Hit Me SEO, LLC.