It’s an ongoing project: SEO What are the best tactics when it comes to ranking in Google and Bing? No doubt you’ll find a lot of information on the web about how to achieve incredible rank – some valid, some not-so-much. At the end of the day, focusing in on a few key tactics will give your site the best chance at ranking high in the search engines. Here are our best SEO tips for ranking in search results:
Build a good website.
What is a good website? The answer may seem simple on the surface. However, there’s more to a good website than user-friendly navigation and pretty pictures. A good website certainly does include these items, however there are a couple factors that must be addressed for better search results. These include responsive design and load time.
Responsive design is critical. According to Search Engine Journal: “Google is built for users – for people who search the web. In a world where those users are accessing the web via mobile devices, Google is acting accordingly. And so, it stands to reason that they are going to favor those sites that meet the needs of Google users.” Test your site on mobile to be sure it includes mobile navigation, renders properly and loads quickly.
Since 2010 Google has used page load time in their algorithms. While a slower site effects bounce rate and conversions, we also know that Google has announced mobile page speed will be used in their mobile-first index. Pay attention to your desktop and mobile load times. Think: image-size, server side processes, etc. Find out how you stack up to new industry benchmarks for mobile page speed with Google’s “Test My Site“.
Determine your keywords.
Your SEO strategy should begin with determining your keywords. Try to get into the minds of your intended audience. What are they searching for? Try to use their vocabulary whenever possible. Start with a couple of tools to analyze your current site’s keyword density. Then using the Keyword Density Analyzer (link below), see what the density is for the top-ranking (competitive) sites.
Google’s Keyword Planner, part of the Adwords network of Google offerings
Keyword Density Analyzer from SEOBook
Yoast also recommends the use of long tail keywords, especially if you are in a competitive industry. By using long tail keywords (3+ word phrases) you can narrow in on the audience that might use that phrase. Once you have determined your best keywords, looking at competition and search volume, incorporate them in all your content.
On-site SEO is easy and effective.
Using WordPress? Install Yoast or All-in-One SEO. Use the interface to add keywords and long-tail keywords in your meta data including page title, description and keywords. Be sure the title and description are reflective of your page content. You can (and should) use keywords in these entries but only if it makes sense. Write these for people; it will pay off in the end.
Write for readers as well as search engines.
For 15+ years marketers have tried to find ways to outsmart search engines to earn rank. But over time, and with Google’s continuous algorithm updates it is constantly a game of catch-up. With that, one thing has remained the same. Content developers need to write for people and the search engines. Sure you need to use your keywords but over-stuffing is ineffective and possibly damaging to your rank.
Developing rich content that is readable, stays on topic and is unique will create interest in your blog, your product or your service. The key is to bring readers in with quality information that answers their need for information and interest.
Engage with your audience.
Once you’ve developed rich content, share it. Find out where your audience lives, where they hang out. Depending on who your target is, this will undoubtedly include social media. Share your content on Twitter and Facebook, perhaps Instagram and YouTube, depending on your product or service. And don’t overlook local search opportunities with Yelp and Citysearch.
Engaging with your “community” will grow your social signals and help your chances of increasing search engine ranking.
So that’s it for now; we know this will change soon…it always does. We’ll be back with more tips before you know it. Work a little each month on SEO and watch for updates here on the best SEO tips.
I’m enjoying my Blogging University class but am finding it a bit tricky to ‘make time’ for homework!
Late last week, we were instructed to add some blogs to our Readers. A Reader is the tool at WordPress.com that, well, lets you read your favorite blogs. You can find and read popular blogs, blogs by category or search for something in particular. It’s a great way to organize your ‘library’ and you can even add blogs not hosted at WordPress.com. So that’s nice.
I went to our private discussion-blog (for our BU class) and found some interesting blogs to follow. It’ll be fun to learn together and see how their blogs develop. Reading other peoples’ blogs will also give me inspiration and is a great way to get connected with the community. After all, blogging isn’t just about writing, it’s about communicating and that’s always a two-way street.
Michelle W., one of Blogging University’s instructors has a post about Blogging Communities. Check it out. And if you’re looking for a particular niche, do a quick search in Google; you’ll find it! Search “nutrition blog” — you’ll find the Nutrition Blog Network. Search “candy blog” and you’ll find a long list of blogs that are about, um, candy! Try it, but make sure you have time on your hands, it’s a tangled web out there! Happy Reading, Happy Blogging!
I wanted to share a quick note with you that I’m taking a class from WordPress.com (that’s the site where you can have a blog for free!) — it’s called Blogging 101. (The next class, Blogging 201, starts July 20th, sign up here.) If you’re going to use the Internet to share information, sell your widgets, consult with clients, you really should start a blog.
I’ll share with you over the next few weeks what I learn and explain why “you really should start a blog”! I hope you’ll subscribe to this blog and follow along. It’ll be fun. Want to know more about me? Check this out: About Me!
Last month, Social Media Marketing World 2015 brought together the greats in the industry as well as thousands hungry for tips, tricks and lots of networking. Hosting each year by @SocialMediaExaminer, this San Diego event always has some great content, much of which is shared in the weeks and months following the convention.
7 Takeaways From Social Media Marketing World 2015
1. Video is Hot
2. Visual Content Drives Traffic
3. Consistency is More Important Than Frequency
4. Organic Reach Is Alive and Well on Facebook
5. Pinterest Is the New Google
6. Post Like a Fan, Not a Marketer
7. Hug Your Haters
Let’s face it, Google Analytics (GA) can be daunting. Luckily there is a good Analytics help center from Google about getting started and digging in to your analytics.
After you have the basic tracking in place you can see how many visitors you have to your site, where they come from and their behavior.
The next logical step is to look at how your social sites are doing for you. Are they driving traffic to your site? Which posts or campaigns worked the best? Which social media activity didn’t work out so well? That’s where Campaign Tracking comes in. Google Analytics offers the ability to add tracking code to your URL and when used in a social post, you can measure the traffic.
Recently I ran across a great blog by Kristi Hines on KISSMetrics about how to setup campaign metrics with UTM parameters. Kristi Hines breaks down the coding for social sites including Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, and Pinterest. In her post, Hines mentions Bitly for shortening URLs — a must for Twitter. I use Bitly but also do a lot of posting through Hootsuite which has it’s own shortener.
While Hines offers various syntax for tracking code, she also touts the URL Builder; that’s the route I recommend.
Let’s say I’m going to post on Facebook about my Website Design offering and I want people to click on a link to get more information. Here’s what I would do. Visit Google’s URL Builder and go through the steps.
- Enter my website URL, like “http://keenerdigitalmarketing.com/website-design/” (without the quotes)
- Enter my Campaign Source, I’ll enter “Facebook”
- Enter my Campaign Medium, “social-post”
- Enter my Campaign Name, “Design March 2015”
- Click Submit
This is the resulting URL: http://keenerdigitalmarketing.com/website-design/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=social-post&utm_campaign=Design%20March%202015. Nothing top secret there — you can hand-build these once you get the hang of it. When I use this URL in a clickable post link on Facebook, I can check my GA account and see how many clicks I’ve gotten to my design page and learn more about the effectiveness of my Facebook “campaign”.
Shortening the URL is easy too. Just jump over to bit.ly and paste the long URL into the box provided, then click Shorten. You’ll get something like this: http://bit.ly/1Oz1IS5. You can copy the link and paste it in your post or your profile description or… If you sign up for a free account with Bit.ly, you have the opportuntity to create a custom link out of the short link. So instead of …bit.ly/O1Z1IS5 I could have …bit.ly/keenerwebdesign.
So give it a try. You’ll be surprised how much information you can get from one shortened UTM link!
Tell me how you’re using Google Analytics and Social Media in the comments below.