Be Found on the Web: Five Steps to Optimize Your WebsiteThursday, February 26th, 2009
Message from Michelle
Last week, I spent most of my time discussing basic SEO techniques. My Online Business Marketing Bootcamp crew learned the steps needed to optimize their websites and increase web rankings. On Thursday, my special teleseminar guest, web designer Nina Menezes, and I talked about how a website design can affect SEO, and I spent hours during the week incorporating my web copy optimization speech into my upcoming panel discussion on The New Generation of Online Marketing.
As I thought about what to write for this issue of Your Business Marketing Solution, it seemed logical to write on optimizing a website. As a web copy writer, I see too many companies making the mistake of neglecting search engine optimization, even as they’re having a new website built. If you want to rank high on the search engines and be found by visitors searching for your product or service, then you cannot ignore SEO.
Be Found on the Web: Five Steps to Optimize Your Website
You can have a beautiful website with a clear business message. You can have a growing email list and an ezine that people love to read. But if you aren’t working to up your search engine rankings, all your hard work won’t get you found on the internet.
If you want to grow your online presence and compete on the world wide web, it is imperative to optimize your website. It isn’t hard. And you don’t have to be tech savvy. All you need is the understanding of how it works and the tools to know how to do it.
Here are five key steps to organically optimize your website:
Step One: Determine key phrases or keywords that potential website visitors will type into a search engine to find you. Remember, your target phrases must describe what your web page is about. One of the best ways to determine your target keywords is to ask people how they would search for you. Ask your current clients, colleagues, friends, and family. You can also use one of the many keyword tools.
Step Two: Analyze your competition. In the world of SEO, your competition isn’t who you might think it is because you’re working on a page level, not the entire site. The best way to determine competition using the same keywords as you, is to get on Google or Yahoo and type in your keywords and phrases. See what comes up and make note of the competition. Click on all the links on the first search engine result page and make a note of where and how that site uses their keywords.
Step Three: Incorporate keywords and phrases into your web copy. Make sure your copy reads organically, or naturally. If it reads as if keywords have been stuffed into every single sentence, you need to rewrite it. Overstuffing won’t help you motivate visitors to call you or buy from you. And it might get you into trouble with the search engines and hurt your rankings. Also, including your main key phrases and keywords in the title of your page and in subheads helps with SEO.
Step Four: Get those links! Search engines love links. You’ve probably heard the term backlinks. Backlinks are external links from other web sites and blogs that link to the site in question. The more like-minded, quality sites that link to you, the more the search engine thinks your site keywords are important and will rank the keywords higher. In a nutshell, links are vital to your website if you want to rank high in the search engines. Search engines place a higher value on one-way links as opposed to reciprocal links.
Step Five: List your website on directories. Directory listings are vital to your online visibility and should be a top priority for your online marketing strategy. Directory submissions provide inbound links to your site. These links help your search engine rankings. The more inbound links you have, the better your placement in the search engines. Submitting your link to relevant directories is a great way to maximize your SEO efforts.
Tip of the Month
According to a recent report, Generations Online in 2009, released by Pew Internet & American Life Project, internet users ages 33-44 continue to lead in online shopping, with 80% of this group buying products online, compared with 71% of internet users ages 18-32. Interest in online shopping is significantly lower among the youngest and oldest groups; 38% of online teens buy products online, as [email protected] 56% of internet users ages 64-72 and 47% of internet users age 73 and older.
The report is free and downloadable at https://www.pewinternet.org/
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