Do You Want Your Site To Rank High With The Search Engines?
Of course you do. The vast majority of your customers use search engines like Google & Bing to find your business these days, and with the high level of competition for their attention, making your site stand out is vital. And web-surfers want what they want in a hurry. They rarely look further than the first couple of search results pages before choosing the business that suits their needs. Getting your site on the first search results page is a fundamental priority.
So How Do You Do It?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how to get your website ranking high enough to help generate a good volume of traffic. It involves a combination of strategies; primarily by delivering quality content; partly through the use of keywords and phrases in all site pages and individual elements of your site; partly through cross-linking with other websites; partly through third-party registrations, and more and more, through social media interaction.
It also involves advertising choices, which I’ll discuss below.
So content quality is a prerequisite. The search engines want their users to find the best, most relevant information, and they check all websites to determine how they fit into their ever-changing criteria of what a reputable, informative and high quality site should be. There are three fundamentals needed to optimize your site for the search engines:
1. Organic SEO. Organic SEO describes the work you (or your website builders) do to make your site rank high on the search results pages. When you enter ‘SEO your website’, for example, Google comes up with 74,100,000 results. Clearly there’s a lot of competition for that keyphrase. If you disregard the Adwords listings (those with the yellow ‘Ad’ icon), which we’ll discuss in the next section, all of the other listings on that first page are there because they used great SEO copywriting. Organic SEO is all about carefully and thoroughly including the most relevant keywords into your content and metadata. We’ll discuss keywords more in section 3.
Search engines don’t look at websites like we do. They read the HTML code. To them, site content isn’t just the text. As the search engines read HTML, there are other factors they consider, including the text associated with images, your page titles and headlines, meta-description tags and video script. Even the outbound links within your content are viewed by Google as evidence that you’re actively helping visitors to find the best information.
They reward you for that. Each element on each page offers you an opportunity to enhance the quality of the content and improve how your site is viewed and ranked by the search engines. It takes time and persistence and some basic site-building know-how to do a great job with organic SEO. If you feel intimidated by the whole thing, get in touch with us and we’ll help you with everything.
2. Pay-per-click (PPC). If it’s important to you that ‘SEO your website’ is on your list of chosen keyphrases, you’ll understand you’re in a very competitive market. 14.1 million results. That’s a lot of competition. Even if you load your copy with it, you’d need a huge site with a large content volume, and you still may not rank as high as you expect. But you do have the option to pay for your ranking.
Google Adwords is one (PPC) paid advertising program, Bing and Yahoo also run similar programs. You can create as many ads as you want and include as many keywords and phrases as you want. They run a type of auction where you place a value on the keywords you want to use. The net result is that if your bid for a keyword or phrase is the highest, you go to the top of the rankings for that particular search result. Then when someone finds you on that search and clicks through to your site, you’re charged at your bid rate.
We can write google ads for you to test for the best response. We can monitor the search results to keep your costs down and your responses up. We can show you how to place a value on your keywords relative to the value of your customers. Most importantly, we can help you with your keyword research.
3. Keyword research and selection. For the search engines to rank your site you need to make decisions on how you want people to find you online. There are a number of options for researching and determining the appropriate keywords for your business, and it’s the most important part of the SEO strategy planning. The three platforms we use are Google Adwords, keywordspy and wordtracker. Once we’ve identified the most powerful keywords in your market segment, we can then incorporate them into the copy. We want to give the search engines what they want to bump your rankings, without sacrificing the power of the copy to sell your products.
It’s easy to get side-tracked when you focus on SEO, but it’s important not to neglect the readers experience and satisfaction when writing it into your copy. SEO is for the search engines, the copy is for the reader. It’s a balancing act; if you don’t satisfy the search engines with quality SEO content you get no traffic, and if you don’t satisfy your hard-earned readers with quality content that solves their problems, you risk them clicking away to your competition. We can help you get it right. For more details or to arrange a free consult, reach out here.