A quick look at search engine optimization

Many online businesses are stuck in that field of dreams syndrome. “If you build it they will come”. That just isn’t true. The website you’ve just created is just one of 1.7 billion websites estimated to be on the internet as of January 2020.

So, how do you get spectators to your field of dreams?

There are several ways to get potential customers to your website. The most common is word of mouth. This is where you tell your family and friends about your website. Maybe you attend some trade shows and spread the word. Send emails out that you may have accumulated. Unless you have a lot of family and friends that want what you’re offering this probably isn’t going to get you the results you want.

The next option is buying advertising from various sources such as Google Ads, Facebook ads, and several other sources. This is generally one of the fastest and best ways to get traffic to your website. But, if you are like many other business owners just getting your website up and going you may be on a limited budget. Or maybe you are a seasoned veteran and just want to make the best use of your online presence.

Well then the final option I’ll mention is Search Engine Optimization otherwise known as SEO. This simply means optimizing your website in a way that the search engines show you some love and list you in their search engine listings.

A Few Search Enginge Placement TIps

  • 1 Know your customers - You MUST know the words or phrases your customers will use to find your website. These are called keywords. Think of keywords as buzzwords potential website visitors will use to put into Google or wherever to find sites like yours and hopefully yours.
  • 2 Implement your keywords - you must integrate these keywords throughout your website so that the search engine believes that your site is a relevant site for these terms. We’ll keep back to how to best achieve this.
  • 3 Create a sitemap - A sitemap is similar to a book index, it references what pages are where on your site. This step can be automated with a plugin or manually created if needed.
  • 4 Tell the search engines where your sitemap is. Using the webmaster tools for each of the search engines you are wanting to get listed in, you can provide the link to the above mentioned sitemap. This will suggest they come visit your site which they will index into their listings allowing you to get more traffic.

Let’s dig a little deeper

Keywords is one area that I see many business owners stumble with. Generally they guess at what they “think” their visitors will use to find their website. Or they just don’t really know. One way I hear people talk about is to spy on your competitors. While that is not a bad start it is not always the best method. Maybe they’re just guessing too. 

That’s kind of like a flash back to school where you “may” have peaked at your fellow students paper for the answer to a difficult question. To make it a bit easier, here are a few resources that I would recommend.

google-keyword-planner

Google Keyword Tool

The first is Google’s Keyword suggestion tool. You enter a few words you know are related and Google will give you more results they feel is similar to those words.

Neil Patel's UberSuggest Tool

Another resource I like to use is UberSuggest by Neil Patel. Just Google “Ubersuggest” and I’m certain you will find it. Neil’s tool is super easy to use and gives you some alternative suggestions.

Using Your Keywords

Once you’ve found your keywords, start weaving them into the text (also known as copy) of your website. What I mean by “weaving” them in is that they should make sense with your existing copy on your site and fit in naturally to enhance what is there.

For example - Thanks for visiting our website. Could be: Thanks for our website about widgets.

Or instead of saying, “We offer a wide range of widgets… You could say "We offer high performance widgets that come in a variety of materials such as ….”

Just by sprinkling them throughout not only enhances the text on your page but can help increase the relevance of your content. Be sure not to over do it with your keywords. This can become a blatant attempt at what is called keyword stuffing. That would look more like, “Thanks for visiting our widget website about widgets. We offer a large line of widgets that are the most widgety widgets you’ve ever seen. 

So, now that we’ve talked about weaving in keywords let’s discuss some other ways to get them incorporated in your website. Headlines are very important to search engine ranking. Many times you just see one headline on the page and it’s generally the page name. 

If you were a search engine reviewer and you came to a website page that said “About Us” as the headline. Do you think you would judge that page as being very relevant to your widget site? You might determine that the page is about the product or company but if you were to use “About Wildwood Widgets?” they would know a lot more just from the headline and know that you're going to tell them about your widget company. 

Jst a bit of geek speak here. The main headline should always be an H1 tag. You can see this when you are editing the text. Subheadings should be of less importance but should use the H2, H3, H3 and so on. Be sure to make use of Headlines. Not only does it help the search engines but it also helps the reader as they scan your page. 

Another place that you should add in more keywords are your images. You may have seen when adding images to your there are extra text fields that you can put things in. Many people just leave them blank allowing just the default field to be filled in. These boxes are generally the Alt Text, Title text, Caption, and Description. 

These fields help tell search engines what the image is about. The Alt text is Alternative text to display in case the image doesn’t load for some reason. Be sure to use at least three of these if not all four. Alt, Title and Description being the most important.  Again, be sure not to keyword stuff these fields. Some suggestions might be like the following.

Alt Text - Picture displaying an Oak Wood Widget

Title - Polished Oak Wood Widget

Description - Oak Wood Widget used to stabilize medium size doors. 

As you can see we’ve fit in quite a bit more keywords than just the default.

One other area related to images is the filename itself. Many times you might see an image named something like img-5069-large.jpg. This is great for you if you are cataloging the images and you know what image 5069 is. But, the rest of the world (including the search engines) have no clue what that is.

When naming your images I recommend you use a naming convention such as polished-oak-wood-widget.jpg this tells the search engines that you have relevant images to match your copy. And makes more use of keywords. 

As you can see there are many areas we don’t always think about when creating your website but by adding even just a few of the strategies mentioned above you will be well on your way to increasing search engine optimization and bringing in optimal prospective customers to your website.

About Frank Deardurff

My Passion is my Faith, Family, Love for Music, Art and Photography. I myself have delivered many of my own training courses as well as webinars and teleseminars for many other coaching groups. I’ve also published a book titled “50 Biggest Website Mistakes”. Having many decades of experience in various forms of graphics and IT experience and aspects of online business, my vision is to help others overcome their fears and frustration with taking their businesses online and reach the next level of success.

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