These five things are not the only things that Google uses to consider you for their search results, but they are the biggies. And the good news is that you can do them yourself, or direct your webmaster to do them for you. The five we are discussing here are SEO, Blogging, Social Media, Lead Generation, and Mobile.
In a later article we will explore just how long it would actually take to do some of these things so you are not being over charged by outside web marketing companies!
I hear some of you. “What is SEO and why do I need it?”
It stands for Search Engine Optimization. It used to be a big buzz word, causing a lot of dishonest web marketers to charge outrageous amounts for “Website Optimization.” This is also known as “On-Site SEO,” the optimization of your website pages. There is also “Off-Site SEO,” which refers to other online channels such as social media. We are only focusing on the first.
If you manage your own website, such as on WordPress or other template systems, you will be able to do these things yourself. In WordPress, do a search for SEO in the plugins and select the best one for you. On other systems, such as GoDaddy or Intuit websites, there should be a section for adding SEO to your pages.
Here are the key things to remember:
- Use a different keyword phrase on each page. Each needs to be unique. Make your list first.
- Your content is the most important. If you are writing blog articles (and you really should be) make sure they are of high quality and useful for your audience.
- Your Title Tag should be unique for each page and include a keyword phrase at the beginning. The title tag is what shows up in the tabs at the top of your website browser.
In the code, they look like this,
<title>Website Design | Inbound Train</title>
The first part are my keywords, the second part is my business name. You may want to add location also if you are ranking locally.
- Make sure your images have Alt Tags. Each image on a page can have a keyword as the name. This is another opportunity to be found in a search. Make sure it is related to the content. Here is what it looks like in the code.
<img src=”http://www.example.com/example.png” alt=”Keyword”>
- After the title tag is the description. This is what humans see when they do a search. It is the text under your link. It is meant to grab the attention of the reader, not the search engines.
2. Blog your way to new customers
When you create a blog article, like this one, you are creating another page on your website. Each page has a unique set of keywords that your audience might be searching for. You are here to provide answers! If not you, then who will? Your competitors?
Did I just hear a groan?
This is one of the five most important things your business can do, yet it is the most dreaded and often over-looked. Not even over-looked, more like ignored because a lot of people don’t like to write, or they just don’t have time.
But what is a new customer or client worth to you? What if they were searching online for answers to questions that your product or service offers? Your website might get lost in the crowd, but your great content can show up – forever! Write it once and watch it work.
A goal for you might be to create a blogging strategy, after you do some research (some people have written their blog articles about writing blogs). This might be one per week, or one per month. And if it is not for you, find someone who can write it for you. It can cost as little as $10 on iWriter for example. (I am not affiliated with them, but use them from time to time.)
3. Promote through social media
Your social media connections are also a big part of the Google recipe. Remember, Google is in business to offer the best possible search result. And the competition is fierce! To stand out, they keep adding requirements. It used to be an optimized website was good enough. Now they want to see that you are active and responsive to your audience.
Writer your content that will be of interest to your target audience and then post to as many social sites as you can handle! Statistically, you will not be seen on all channels by all people. Social Media is not reliable. So get your message out there in as many spots as possible.
4. 1,000 visitors to the website – so what?
Remember when you used to hear people brag about how many hits their website gets? I say, “so what!” Did you talk to all of them? Do you even know who they were? If not, you missed a very big opportunity.
If they made it to your website it was because you had an answer to their question. But maybe they wanted more? Give it to them! You may be asking, How?
Here’s how. Add a “Call to Action.” I do not mean a contact us form. Those belong on your contact page, not your home page. We all want to solve, or try to solve, our own problems first. The call to action might be a form to fill out so they can download a free ebook, that is written around the topic that brought them to the website in the first place. Or it might be a webinar you are announcing. Some bit of content that they are willing to exchange their name and email for.
Here is a scenario: Tom is searching for ways to save his deck from rotting. His search brings up a blog article you wrote titled, “Best ways to keep your deck from rotting.” A YouTube video is embedded on the page. He clicks on the video and it brings up your YouTube channel where you have more videos about decks. Back on your blog page he remembers a call to action for an ebook he can download about “How do you tell if your deck is repairable or if it needs replaced.” He fills out the form. Now you have his contact information, and you know he has a problem. Since you are an expert, he will read some follow up emails you send with more information. One of those emails leads him back to your website’s blog that has a special on the side bar. He decides to call you because he just can’t find the time to do it himself, and he considers you the expert.
This is known as Lead Generation. Would it be nice to generate more leads from your online channels?
5. What does your website look like on mobile devices?
This is a biggy too. As of 2014, Mobile devices access the internet more than desktops and laptops. So can your target audience see you clearly? It is not cool to just have a smaller version of your website show up on my phone. I do not want to scroll around and stretch the screen just so I can see your phone number.
Pull up your website on your phone right now. Is it “responsive?” Here is an example of a responsive website as shown on an Android phone. If yours is just a tiny version of your desktop, call someone now to get it updated.
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