Apr 012014
 

SEO Explained

Optimize your Site and get more Targeted Traffic

Many business websites I come across have one thing in common. They are not optimized to drive targeted traffic to their site. Many lack even basic search engine optimization, in short called SEO.

Without optimizing your site for good search engine ranking, our web business is like a mall built in the middle of the rain forest. Nobody can find you! If you built your website in the middle of the jungle (and that’s what the world wide web basically is), you will need some good traffic signs to get people to come visit. You can have the most beautiful website there is, but if nobody can find you? How much business will you get?

But what exactly is SEO? Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. Natural listings are the ones that appear in search results without any pay per click cost to you.

Basic steps that lead to a better performing website.

The steps are the same for a new and existing websites.

Competitor Analysis

Regardless of what business you’re in, you need to know what your competition is doing to stay ahead of the game.  If you ever want to be listed among you competition, you need to take a close look at what they’re doing. There is a lot to learn by analyzing their site. The first step to competitor analysis is to find out what keywords they’re targeting. By looking at your competitors meta tags, titles and content you will get valuable information on what they focus on the most. Find out the keyword density on the pages too. Now you will have some keywords and key phrases to start with in step 2.

Keyword Research

Keyword research will show you what and how often people are searching for. Don’t make the mistake and try to optimize your website for the most searched for single keywords. This might proof to be a waist of time and effort. Rather come up with smart 2 to 3 keyword phrases that still get good targed traffic but are less exposed to competition. Lets make an example; “candles” might get a huge amout of searches per day but it is not targeted enough. Be more specific, maybe you are in the business of selling “beeswax candles” or even “taper beeswax candles”.  More specific phrases are usually the key to bring you targeted traffic and are more likely to help you show up on the first page in Google and co.

Content Optimization

Content is king. Content first of all has to be digestible by your human readers. Don’t stuff your pages with keywords that render unusable text to your potential visitors. Look at your pages with keyword density tool and don’t go beyond the density your top 10 ranked competitors are using. Content is the single most important factor to the search engines as text is the best thing they can analyze and rank.Search engine spiders can not rank you for your graphics and pictures. Your keywords and key phrases need to be carefully placed into the titles and paragraphs or your pages. Content is properly written and optimized when your readers don’t even notice the keyword placement throughout the article.

SEO Friendly Design

Nothing will work if your current site was not built to be SEO friendly in the first place. Your website needs to be designed so that it’s easy for the search spiders to crawl through it. Although the search engine’s ability to crawl flash websites has improved and there are some tricks to put text behind a flash site, it’s still far more effective to have real text on the pages and use CSS for styling your website. If you need to use graphics to get your message across, still consider putting a text section further below on the page.

Conversion Driven Layout

Is there anything worse than visiting a website that’s impossible to navigate and that does not get it’s basic message across? Nothing is worse than if you get lost on a site. How about getting in touch with you? Don’t hide, make it easy for the customer to contact you. If your website isn’t conversion driven, it doesn’t matter how high you rank in the search engines because you’ll never get any sales. Attention span of an average visitor is only a few seconds. If they don’t immediately like what they see, they are gone. Give your website visitors a simple to follow web layout, and they’ll be likelier to stay on your page longer. Make your call to action easy to see. It should never take more than one or 2 clicks for a website visitor to get to the desired information and become a customer.

Internal links or Interlinking

Internal links are important for both SEO and navigational purposes. In addition to your main menu, you should also put links to other pages on your website throughout the body of your content. These links shouldn’ be in there just for the sake of adding links. Any time you include a link, it should make sense and help the reader move through your site finding what they are looking for.  Additionally, you should make your anchor text keyword rich. This helps both the readers and the search engines to get a better understanding of what the target page is about.

 Posted by at 6:08 pm