So you've decided to get a website that's optimized
for search engines. You're no dummy. You want your website
to show up any time a search is conducted in your area
of expertise. Who can blame you? But wait. Be prepared
for twists and turns ahead.
The Bible says, "My people perish from lack of
knowledge." This is also true in the technical
world of search engine marketing. Your lack of understanding
of how search engines find websites can be detrimental
to your success. In effect, you could lose your website
investment, and lose again by not being at the top of
the engines later. If your website is built and written
correctly, you will experience a positive return on
your website investment that pays dividends for years
Before you start correcting the website content created
for you by The Marketing Shop, or any webmaster experienced
in SEO, make sure you have a firm grasp of search engine
optimization. If you have a question about something
that looks peculiar, ask your designer before you spend
too much time fretting. Chances are--if it's on your
website--it's there for a purpose.
Writing a website is a delicate balance between pleasing
people and computers. Strike the right balance and you'll
find your website at the top of the search engines,
converting your website traffic into loyal clients.
Miss the mark and your site will be in no man's land
without a word to say.
Here's a few things to know about search engine optimization
before reading your website content for the first time:
Keywords are Paramount. If your website does not have
the keyword content that people are using for search,
it will not show up in search results, period. This
is not quantum physics. Computers are machines. They
can only pick up text. It's crucial that we analyze
what people are typing into the search engines and build
your website content accordingly.
Keyword Research is Necessary. The Marketing Shop performs
extensive keyword research for all our web marketing
clients. We want to know exactly what people are typing
in what into the search engines to find products and
services like yours. Based upon our expertise in search
engine optimization, we determine the best keywords
and phrases to optimize on your site. We have many different
calculations that we use to determine which keywords
to optimize for and rest assured we've done our homework
on the best keywords for the current development phase
of your website.
Headings Must Be Search Engine Optimized. The headings
of your website impact your website search engine optimization.
It is important that they read in a precise way in order
for you to "score points" with the search
engines and rank higher in search results. There are
at least three levels of headings (h1, h2 and h3). If
you're keywords aren't here, your page won't be optimized.
We try to maintain a balance by writing headings that
are search engine optimized, and compelling for the
reader. A headline sets up the structure of the page
and entices people to read further. We try to do both
Your Page Layout Must Be Search Engine Optimized. Everything
about your website must be optimized for search or you
may loose valuable opportunities to gain new customers.
Our websites have generally the same layout because
our research has shown the layout to be most effective
for SEO. While there are probably many better ways to
layout your website, we prefer the way that the search
engines prefer in effort to attract website traffic.
Your Navigation Will Make or Break Your Search Rankings.
The navigation on your website is integral to your website
for a variety of reasons. First, it contains links that
help the search engine spiders get to where they need
to go on your site. Second, it contains keywords that
help your website get indexed for search queries.
We strive to create intuitive and easy to use navigation
systems that are search engine optimized. Much thought
goes into the creation of your navigation. Though it
may see strange, your navigation is built for search
engines and people. Whenever possible, we will add keywords
and key phrases to each and every link of your navigation.
Here's some bizarre things you may encounter on your
Repetition Keywords: It's important to put keywords
everywhere, including the navigation system. Not only
do the keywords score points for being there, but the
link itself scores double points for linking to the
page it's linking to.
Re-Phrasing of Terminology: Sometimes we will need
to breakdown the way you phrase something in order to
make it match with what people are searching for in
the search engines. If our research shows that people
are not searching for a given term, we will change it
to suit the search queries of the customers you want
Localization is A Sticky Situation. Many of The Marketing
Shop website clients are those seeking web marketing
in a local vicinity. We do our best to bring you customers
only from the area you request. However, there are times
when our keyword research concludes that people are
just not searching for your local area and we have to
optimize more broadly. If this is the case, rest assured
that targeting the broader area will still render results
in your local area due to our expertise in local web
Each Page is Only Optimized for One or Two Phrases.
The most successful web pages for search engines are
optimized for only one or two keyword phrases. That
means the title is about one thing and the page contains
the same keywords sprinkled throughout with plenty of
links reflecting the same keywords too.
Images are Invisible to Search Engines. If you were
expecting a website to be a lead-generator that has
more visual appeal and aesthetic stimulation, please
reconsider. Images are invisible to search engines.
Studies also show that people want information when
they come on the web as opposed to a colorful "website
Content is King. Content is king for a variety of reasons
including for search engine optimization, for website
conversion enhancement and for inclusion into Google.
Search Engines: Search engines can read only text.
It makes sense to keep fresh, relevant content on your
site for search engine crawlers.
Website Conversion Enhancement: People are on the web
to get information, not to read brochures. The more
information you provide for them, the "stickier"
your website becomes and the more people will bookmark
your site and rely on it for pertinent information.
(See article on web content.)
Also, people who get free and valuable information
from your website are more likely to rely and depend
upon you when they're ready to purchase goods and services.
It's a "give before you get" mentality that
really works. Offer information and your website visitors
will reward you with loyalty.
Another way good web content affects your website's
conversion capabilities is by showing your clients how
you operate. Your web content is very telling as to
the goods and services you provide. If you skimp on
your content and your competitor does not, your competitor
will win the business. Your prospects may wonder why
you're not offering adequate information. Do you not
know what you're doing? Do you have something to hide?
Will you skimp later? It's best to just ante up the
Google has strict requirements for it's top search
result contenders, including inclusion in the DMOZ.
The DMOZ is a human edited directory that requires unique
and informative content as a barrier to entry. We're
in the Information Age, time to step it up and provide
The World is Changing and Your Customer is Well Informed.
Why bother creating websites that are valuable to our
website visitors? Because your customer is different
today than ever before. Information is readily available
to everyone. The person who gives out information most
efficiently is the one people will rely on to do business
with in the future. Customers are well informed, savvy
and able to get information at the click of a mouse.
We need to step out of the box and cater to the new
SEO Sites Can be Tacky. There are websites out there
that try to capitalize on knowledge of search engine
optimization by adding keywords flagrantly and abusing
the system. The Marketing Shop will never do that as
we rely only on ethical search engine optimization techniques.
We care more about people than we do about search engine
rankings. The only time we'll put machines over people
is when it's very important to the overall SEO success
of your website. Other times, we try to appeal human
visitors most of all.
Before you get started, make sure you understand what
it takes to get to the top of the search engines. Good
foundational knowledge in SEO will help your site be
more successful, and save your web designer and SEO
professional a ton of headaches in trying to get you
to understand what's what. Please understand that The
Marketing Shop will do nothing to your website without
having a good reason for doing so. Please ask questions
before you get frustrated.
About the author:
Jennifer Ryan of The Marketing Shop is a web promotions
and sales expert. Having earned numerous awards, recognition
and financial success in sales, Jennifer now sells Dallas
web design online for businesses worldwide. Visit http://www.the-marketing-shop.com
today to sign up for her monthly newsletter (generous
with free tips and advice!).