Green Business Bureau Blog
5 Tips for Search Engine Optimization
We all know that technology is everywhere, but what’s more is that today every company – no matter how small – is really expected to have a website. Your website is a great way for your customers (and potential customers) to learn about you including reading a list of services you provide, learning some of your company history, and finding your hours and location. But if you use your website correctly you can really take advantage of it to pull in new customers from across the world wide web. How? By effectively using search engine optimization (SEO).
With SEO you use keywords and other methods to ensure that your website ranks high in all the major search engines. Of course this is important as most web surfers only look at the first page of search results before clicking on a website – you want to do your best to ensure that your company shows up in that first page of results. Sure, you can do this by paying to be a sponsor on Google, Yahoo and all the major search engines, but you can also do it with your SEO. Following are 5 tips for improving your SEO and helping your business to rate higher.
Tip #1: Use New and Unique Content in Your Website Most search engines rank websites by the content, not just by headers and titles. Web crawlers are always looking for new, relevant information – words that are original. This is why websites such as copyspace.com have become so popular – they provide a way to judge how original articles are. Thus, to rank as high as possible in search results your website needs to have information that is unique to just your website, with pages that are unique from each other. This means a number of things – even when you are stating information that is similar to other companies, you need to ensure that it reads very differently, that it is unique.
Similarly, your own web pages need to be written in a way that each is totally original. And, if you cross promote with another site, put out advertisements online or post press releases, these need to be worded so that each is original. In addition to originality, relevance of information is paramount – most search engines assume that more updated information is more relevant. So, it is important that you update your pages frequently both so they are fresh and accurate for your viewers but also so that the search engines read them as newly modified. At the absolute least update every page each year.
Tip #2: Add a Blog Part of keeping your website fresh can involve blogging. Adding a blog helps ensure that you have continuous, fresh content constantly appearing on your website. Allowing replies to the blog also provides a method of letting your customers feel involved. In this way a blog can help you with SEO (ensure that your blog writer understands SEO and works keywords into their blogging) and can also help you provide general customer satisfaction by providing customers a platform to voice their thoughts or ask questions. If you do allow for customers to post to the blog ensure that you are monitoring it to answer questions; when a customer takes the time to post a question and no one bothers to answer they will feel unwanted and are likely to take their business elsewhere.
Tip #3: Flesh out Your Site with Informative Articles Yet another way to keep your site original and interesting, while also filling it with dozens (even hundreds) of opportunities to use SEO to advance your rankings is by posting informative articles on your website. Let’s say you own a plumbing company. You have your standard “About Us” and “Services” pages, “FAQs” and a few others. That’s all fine. But, what if a customer in your area thinks they can fix their leaking bathtub faucet on their own? They won’t be searching for anything that appears in any of these pages. They may be searching for “Do it yourself tub repair.” So, put some articles like this on your website. Then, end the article with a call to action – the action of calling your company.
Tip #4: Create New Pages for Each Keyword This idea of filling your site with articles fits in with another well known SEO marketing tool – create new pages for every keyword that is important to your business. Your site will rank highest in search engine results if every possible keyword that your clients are likely to search for is represented a number of times throughout your site. The best way to do this is to have a single keyword or phrase represented on each page of your site. You can accomplish this on all the basic site pages (About Us, Contact Us, etc.), but posting blogs or articles is another great way to do this right.
Tip #5: Use Keywords and Key Phrases Carefully So, we’ve talked a lot about how important it is to have your keywords all over your website, but it is also important to evaluate your keywords themselves. First, remember that there are likely thousands of sites like yours, so key “words” are so overused that they will often not really get your site the attention you want. Instead, use keyword “phrases” of two or three words that are phrases likely to be searched for by your potential customers. Remember that these key phrases should be placed in your title and also in the first paragraph of all web pages. Finally, ensure that the key phrases appear in your meta description, headers and alt tags.