Search Engine Wisdom Is Not Inherited … It is a Learned Skill (Part Two)
Continuing to discuss search engine secrets, part two will deal with how to begin the journey. For most of us, taking the time daily to devote to Search Engine Optimization is just not in our plan. However, with all of the changes in technology recently, it must now be considered as a major part of our business success. Every website owner will be tasked with either completing the SEO requirements or hiring a professional for the work.
You don’t need to be selling something to need search engine optimization. If you represent a service and want more traffic to your site, that is reason enough to embark on a plan to update your SEO techniques. Good design includes, user friendly navigation, pleasing graphics and fresh content. Schedule some time this week to begin site revamping by working on the two steps below. A great beginning to attract more visitors to your site.
1) Refreshing the page content for better SEO rank.
Let’s start by going over each of the pages on your site and re-writing the content to make it relevant. If the content is over one year old it is especially important to do this. The only rule (when you re-write content) is to never copy any content from a competitor’s site, or from any other source on the web, and paste it into the content area. Google and top search engines have become very smart. They can tell where the content comes from. If you copy and paste content from another site thinking this might be a great short cut …..think again. Each word string on the web is given a value. Search engines now can easily tell if content is copied from another source. This method can get your site banned from data bases. Make sure also, that you do not add duplicate content from page to page. This will receive a lower rank. Fresh and different content on all pages is best.
The safe rule is to re-write the content on your own as an original piece of work. Who knows your business and your core message better than you? By writing your own content, you will be protected from a method which is known as “plagiarism.” In some circles, this is also called “content scraping.” Once you re-write the page content, you may plug the new content in yourself if your site is a CMS site or you may simply call your site developer and provide the new content in word document format for he or she to plug in for you. After the new content has been added, you might consider going one step further and submitting the site (again) to search engines. This will allow the search engines to pick up the new content.
What content should be included as you refresh the page?
The first goal is to add only engaging and relevant content. It is important that the content conveys the right message. Engage your visitors by adding a “call to action” element such as “call us now for savings.” To attract a new audience of visitors, consider an offer of some sort such as a savings or a “free consultation.” Make sure you include the basic contact info such as the phone number and address on all pages of the site. Use bullets to explain product or service benefits so that the user isn’t tasked with reading every word. Use rich keywords on all pages and use navigational methods to link back to other pages of the site using keywords and phrases. Provide proof of your experience and past results by adding a testimonials page or maybe consider adding a testimonial at the bottom of all pages. Last, but certainly not least it is a good idea to add a new photo or graphic to each page. Older graphics have served you well but as long as we’re using fresh content, let’s add a few fresh images too.
2) Look at the source code for meta tags… why add the title and description and skip the keywords?
Most web developers include adding basic meta tags which include the site title and site description to the site. Meta is the Greek word which means after or behind. These meta tags are found within the site html source code (behind the scenes). Keywords are no longer being considered by major search engines to rank sites due to the actions of many site owners that tried to use those to game the system. Some adult sites were determined to trick the system by adding keywords such as “Disneyland, Mickey Mouse and Brittany Spears” to gain rank and to drive unsuspecting viewers to these sites.
Finally, Google and top search engines became aware of this misuse and stopped the method. We suggest the keywords be used in posts in clever ways. Keywords are still important but we are using them now in content development, rather than in the source code of the site. We will be talking about ad words and other methods to work with keywords later as you follow our Search Engine Wisdom articles.
Our design wizards at InsideDesignOrlando.com feel strongly that we should have meta tags as part of the site’s SEO development. We make sure the titles and the descriptions from page to page are unique and explain the purpose of the page. We include meta tags on all sites we develop which include responsive mobile and custom design. If you find that you have no meta tags on any pages or have only partial meta language, you should call or email the site programmer and ask them to please add basic meta tags to your site. Here is what you will need to provide them:
The site title is normally only one sentence long and should explain your site name and the product or service you represent (example) Central Florida Medical Equipment by Merrow, Inc. Wheelchairs, medical equipment and more.
The site description is about two sentences long. The description should be put together in a clever way in order to provide an explanation of your site services (example) Merrow Medical Equipment of Central Florida has been providing quality medical equipment to clients thoughout Orange County since 2003.
These are some of the first steps to consider as you edit your current site. Stay tuned next time as we move forward with more SEO tidbits to digest. Thank you all for stopping by and joining us on this journey to a better web experience.
Article by: Jean Holland-Rose
Inside Design Orlando
Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day ….