Introduction to SEO
In a previous session we looked at the importance of providing current and relevant content to retain your readers’ interest and attention. As they read more and more from you they will build trust in your expertise and use you as a reliable source of information. When that level of trust is obtained and there is a need for your type of product or service, you will be top-of-mind such that they will be open to your offer and become a customer. We also briefly mentioned the need for basic SEO tasks applied to the content.
In today’s session we will examine the seeding your content with key words or phrases that will enhance your prospecting and lead generation online throughout the search engines such as Google, BING and Yahoo. This seeding is known as Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, and the goal is to give you an overview such that you have the basics to know what to learn and implement yourself using simple tools.
The following recommendations are based on our own experience and are an integral part of our internet marketing efforts. How these ideas work for you will depend on how well you learn and implement them among other factors not under discussion herein.
Every article you write to post on your website is always based on a certain theme or idea that can usually be described in a key word or key phrase such that the reader has some idea of the topic. Search engines are no different; their algorithms read your content assessing the key focus of the article such that they can provide the most relevant information to people who are searching for your type of information. If the search engines see your content as relevant, current and unique you have a better opportunity of ranking high in the search results page, hopefully page one.
So, once you have identified the key word or phrase for your article, how do you use them to enhance your ranking within the search engines? You have no doubt heard of the term Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. There are many factors that we could discuss on SEO but today let’s just look at the basics of SEO within your article posting on your website.
The SEO basics include the use of your keyword or keyphrase in five areas of your website posting of your content being:
- within the page’s meta keyword identifier
- within the custom title tag
- within the page’s meta description
- within your article content itself
- within the description of images in your article
Keep in mind that the short descriptions to follow only skim the surface and that more detailed training is required to learn how to properly implement this advice. Don’t let this terminology scare you – there are user friendly SEO tools to help you perform these tasks yourself or by someone on your team.
SEO Within the Page’s Meta Keyword Identifier
Experts agree that the use of too many key ideas (or keywords) within an article can lead to confusion for the reader, as well as for the search engines. We suggest that each article you post on your website should have only one focused keyword or keyphrase around which all other content is focused. Once selected, through a task called Keyword Research, it is then placed in what is technically called the Meta Keyword Identifier of the website’s programming code. Again, with a little training and practice most people can do these tasks regularly on every article they post on their websites.
SEO Within the Custom Title Tag
While you may come up with a relevant title for your article, there is an opportunity to generate a custom title for the search engine results listing of your website. Thus you can have one title relevant to your article while having another title for the search engine results that may be more enticing to someone searching on your topic. Best practice is to use your keyword or keyphrase in the custom title tag. Choose your words wisely as you only have 70 characters. Once again, don’t despair; there are user friendly tools to insert this tag into the programming code.
SEO Within the Page’s Meta Description
While not seen within the website itself by the reader, the meta description is seen in the search engine results page listing for your posting. It is your chance to describe the benefit to the searcher for clicking through to your website for the information they need. Again, choose your words wisely as you only have 156 characters.
SEO Within Your Article Content Itself
This single keyword or keyphrase should be placed strategically but naturally within your article content. At a minimum it should be used in the first paragraph, in a headline and sub-headline, and throughout the article as needed, but don’t over-do it. Experts suggest a keyword density of about 2% to 4.5% that includes all the content, titles, meta sections and image descriptions. There are also user friendly tools to quickly assess the percentage of use of keywords allowing you to add or take remove keywords.
SEO Within the Description of Images in Your Article
Best practice is to place a relevant and interesting image within your article posting. This can be a simple picture to a more complex chart. Within the programming code you can place a title of the image as well as what is called an Alt Tag. Don’t worry about what it means just know that you should place a very short one to five word description of the image along that contains the keyword or keyphrase. Once again, the tools are able to handle this task too.
SEO Results and Training
There you have it – the basics of SEO that if used properly, along with other tasks, will aid your marketing efforts providing more prospects, more leads and more closed deals.
Here below is a screen capture of one of our favourite SEO tools when building a new webpage or blog post. It provides automated feedback and when you get it right you get a green light – how simple can it be. In another post we will cover the use of this tool and how it saves time and makes for better search results of your pages.