Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts range from intelligent navigation design to optimization of site images and evaluating the varied SEO methods will lead you down a rabbit hole. Understanding basic SEO, however, can greatly benefit your site.
SEO is a process of making your site easily understandable to your customers, most importantly, as well as search engines. Part of being easily understandable is using keywords that customers will actually use when looking for your site. So using a term like “cell phone earpiece” won’t get you as much traffic as “Bluetooth headset”. Your site must reflect the keywords used by your customers.
Once you combine basic SEO practices with a well-designed landing page, you have given yourself the best chance to not only find customers but convert customers.
Methods to the SEO Madness
Know Your Keywords
Using the best keywords is all fine and dandy, but how in the world are you supposed to find the best keywords? Well, I could give you an answer that requires excel spreadsheets, tiered rankings, algorithms, and a copy of your birth certificate, but I want to keep it simple.
It doesn’t get any simpler than Google Insights for Search. This free tool lets you input your keywords to get an understanding of which keywords are most popular.
So, borrowing from my example above, here is the keyword report I ran comparing “cell phone earpiece” with “Bluetooth headset”. I will let you peruse the report, but the main takeaway is that the “Bluetooth headset” term will give you the best chance at attracting traffic to your site (this is indicated by the bar graph showing the Bluetooth term’s popularity against the earpiece”.
Run a few reports for your keywords and you begin to form a base of terms and keywords to utilize on your site and landing pages.
Now that you have a few keywords to use, it’s time to put them on your site. Now don’t go crazy with the keywords because that is frowned upon by search engines, but use the keywords smartly.
- Create your landing page headlines using the keywords
- Use keywords when linking to other pages on your site
- Use the words in your copy where it makes sense
Don’t You Know I’m Local
One of the simplest tasks you can perform is to use the free tools top search engines and directories offer for listing your business. A great resource for covering all your local listing bases is http://getlisted.org/. Go there…now…and fill in your company info and Get Listed will provide a report of the sites in which your business is listed. If you are not listed in any of the sites, submit your business info ASAP.
As you are filling out your local listings, don’t skimp on the details…or the keywords. Much of the information you can enter will be pre-defined by the directory or search engine, but you still have many opportunities to use your keywords. In Google, for example, you can enter additional details. If your business sells Sony, Bose, and Jawbone Bluetooth headsets, why not say so. Put those brands in your details. Get creative and you can come up with a few methods for infusing keywords into your listing
Don’t be a Social Butterfly
Now that your site and landing pages have the right keywords and your business is listed in the local search engines, it’s time to extend your efforts. Take all of that great work and share it with the world. There are simple steps you can take to drive people to your landing page.
There are many social bookmarking services out there that provide you, or your web developer, code that is pasted into your site. This code allows customers and visitors to bookmark your landing page on any number of sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Two of the more popular bookmarking services are ShareThis and AddThis. Add one of these services to your landing page to make it painless for visitors to bookmark your site.
Sharing your page on Facebook and Twitter is a no brainer. But now you need to extend those bookmarking opportunities.
- Do you have a favorite bookmarking site such as Delicious? Bookmark your landing page and share it with your network.
- Have you promoted your landing page on your LinkedIn profile? Why not? LinkedIn allows you to add a few sites to your profile. Add your main site as well as your landing page with some promo copy.
- What about social shopping sites? If we continue the headset theme from earlier in the post, you could bookmark your landing page in social shopping sites such as thefind and Kaboodle while mentioning any coupons or promotions you may offer.
- Speaking of coupons, does your landing page promote a coupon or discount code? If so, there are more coupon sites out there than you can shake a stick at. Why not submit your coupon information to promote your deal? Remember to use your keywords in the submission!
All of that bookmarking and linking may seem like a lot of work, but if you have created an optimized landing page, as we have outlined, then your customers may do a lot of the bookmarking for you. But, if you still want to handle some bookmarking on your own, a great tool is Ping.fm. Ping.fm lets you sign into the sites and directories you already use and share your links or bookmarks with all of those sites. The benefit is that you enter the information once and it is sent to multiple sites. A great time saver.
That wraps up part one of my blog post. Next time around I will cover why blogging is important, how to integrate email, and how to measure all of these efforts.
Dan Tushinski Productions (http://www.tushinski.com) serves as the nuts/bolts technology specialist translating your business and technology concepts into successful projects and solutions. By specializing in the multiple facets of your online business such as SEO, email marketing, analytics, SEM, social media, blogging, and web development, we provide comprehensive experience to integrate your online marketing efforts.