It has been estimated that 70% of all business transactions begin with a search. Even if that is 50% correct, that means over a third of business transaction begin with some type of search function. Clearly, coordinating all effort toward appealing to those searches is necessary to drive business to your website. Logically then, it follows that doing so is a matter of knowing what people are searching for. From my previous post we know that finding out what search terms (i.e. keywords) need to be targeted isn’t a matter of simply guessing. So how do you employ them to get people to find your site? Include them in the right areas of your site in the right proportions. Here’s how:
Domain Name – admittedly using a keyword or a combination of keywords in your domain name is not often an option, however, doing so on landing sites IS almost always an option. More about this in a later post. Suffice it to say for now that this can make a huge difference in how search engines rank your site.
Metatags – “Meta” information is simply user-defined data that is added to your site specifically for the search engines. It is, for the most part, unseen by visitors to your site and should be crafted using keywords. It’s important to mention, however, that not all search engines even use metatags in their ranking algorithms. So it’s still valuable to include your keywords in your metatags, just know that certain search engines – Google especially – will ignore the data.
Site Title – This is the name that appears in top of your browser. Often you’ll see website titles like “home” or “welcome” or some other name that lacks keywords. Including a keyword or multiple keywords in your site title can make a big difference in your site rankings.
Anchor text of Links – For sake of simplicity, let’s divide the links on your website into 3 parts: the name of the link, the string of characters that says where the text goes, and the tool tip for the link (the anchor text). The tool tip is text that shows up when you hover your mouse pointer over the link. Make sure your anchor text includes your keywords
H1 & H2 Headers – These are the titles of your articles and or sub-articles. Resist the urge to title the different articles on your site with catchy or nifty titles – unless they include your keywords.
Content – I talked about how keywords should be used in your content in a few of my previous posts, but for the most part using your keywords 2 to 3 times within the first 150 words is a good starting point. Additionally, keeping your keyword usage within 2% to 5% of your total word count generally works out best.
In a number of my previous posts I used the term “keywords” and I did so for good reason – they play an absolutely critical role in all your online marketing efforts. Yet, until you know what keywords are it’s pretty tough to incorporate them into a search engine optimization strategy, much less tactically employ them in a manner that will drive business to your door. So let’s start by defining what keywords are…
In the simplest terms, keywords are words that people will use when searching for your products or services. For example, a business in the Chicago area looking for accounting services may type the following phrase into a search engine: “Best Chicago Accounting Firm.” Each word in the phrase, “Best Chicago Accounting Firm” is a keyword. Now clearly, if you’re our hypothetical Chicago Accounting Firm you wouldn’t use any of those keywords by themselves because it wouldn’t make sense. No one is going to do a search using only one of those terms – at least not anyone looking for an accounting firm in the Chicago area. So we use terms “Long-tail keyword” or “Short-tail keyword” to describe the type of keyword “phrase” we’re talking about. True to the description of each term, Long-tail keywords are longer search phrases and Short-tail keywords are shorter phrases. Each type of keyword traditionally provides different benefits, results, and traffic, but I’ll post more about keywords and how they directly relate to search engine optimization in my next post. Stay tuned.
Unlike other advertising mediums (magazine, yellow pages, radio, tv, etc.) the online world moves fast, often changing by the day. It’s part of what makes online marketing so challenging and intriguing. It also means that in order to succeed you have to be better than your competition. So understanding what factors matter the most can make all the difference. Here’s a quick list (and maybe a little recap from previous posts) of the things you should pay close attention to as you engage in your online marketing efforts:
- Keyword in your domain name – whether it’s your main site or a landing page having the proper keyword(s) in your domain name is critical.
- Age of domain – not much you can do about this, but it’s important to note that there’s value in the duration of time you’ve owned your domain name.
- Title of Web page – Pretty self explanatory here.
- H1 & H2 tags – Header tags, especially your H1 and H2 tags, should be properly worded and, ideally, specific to the keywords your targeting.
- Competition of the keywords – know your keywords and compete them intelligently.
- Keyword density – Articles you write, blog entries, pretty much all content can benefit from good keyword density. In general, using a keyword 2 to 5 times in first 250 words of any content is a good rule to follow.
- Unique content – Content is king. Nothing replaces quality, unique content.
- Frequency of updating – Search engines like change. Keep it fresh and make them happy.
- Internal link structure – I’ll be posting more about the dynamics of website links in the future, but for now, ensure you have a logical link structure for your site. And be careful not to create a link structure too deep. No more than 3 layers deep if you can.
Next time, more about keywords – how to find them and what to do with them when you do. Stay tuned.