Clients always have great questions about SEO, Keywords, and Internet Marketing. What are some of the basics, gotchas, and where's a person or business to get started? There is no magic bullet - sorry. Like anything, hard work and research will pay off. Below are some fast tips I recently sent to a client that I thought I'd share....
You always want to avoid what I call Keyword Stuffing. Google’s spider (called Panda) that crawls and indexes the web is VERY smart, and looks at sites with a very critical eye to ask “is this website trying to cheat me to get ranked better?”. One of those cheats is keyword stuffing. Back in the day before the search sites did an intelligent job of indexing, a webmaster could simply write the word “toy” a thousand times in a white on white text block on the homepage and you'd shoot to the top of Google. With Google/Panda today, the indexing works eerily similar to how a human would rank a site in relevance to the type of business and the keywords offered up. Keyword stuffing looks like a cheat, and hence Panda will actually demerit you for that. You best bet is to be conversational with your keywords.
One thing you can do when you craft your text is try to avoid generic pronouns like “this”, “these”, “it”, “thing”, and instead replace the pronoun with the actual thing “educational toy”, “educational game”, “books for teaching”, or whatever the pronoun would be referring to.
The next big thing you should start thinking about is Linkbacks. A link back is nothing more than another website having a hyperlink that points to your website. Link Backs are one of the most important elements to increasing your SEO ranking. Essentially this happens: as Google is indexing the whole web, it keeps track of who is linking to what other websites. As the number of link backs (to your site) grows, Google assumes that because other sites are talking about and linking to you, that you are relevant. The quantity and quality of those linkbacks determines how relevant Google/Panda thinks you are, and changes your rank score partially based on this.
How to do Linkbacks. First, notice I mentioned “quality” of linkbacks. If at anytime you feel like you are ‘spamming’ someone else’s website to create a linkback, Google will probably feel the same way and actually demerit you. So for example, don’t go to another site and post 20 times a day that your website is the best ~ that will not help your cause. That said, here are ways you can cultivate linkbacks.
1.) Create and post articles in your blog on your site. Then make sure to share links to your blog articles on Facebook, Pinterest, (other social media sites you are involved with), etc. Here’s the thought.. Frequently with my own blog, I’ll see a new article on another site that is relevant to my business. I'll come to MY blog, summarize what they said, provide a link to their article so people seeing my blog can get to the original story, and then I’ll share my article to my facebook to drive people to my website. Lastly, I’ll go back to that original news article and comment on it with a link to my blog article that is in response to the original one. This way, people reading the original news article may see my comment with the link to my website. Finally when Google indexes the originally news article on the other website, they will see my comment, the link to my site, and I just cultivated a linkback.
2.) Using a similar school of thought as above, just get involved with reading other people’s websites like blogs that are popular among your industry. I usually do my super early morning coffee while reading tech news instead of the newspaper. If I don’t have time/ambition to create a blog post like in above, I’ll leave a relevant comment on the other site’s article, but ALWAYS include my “signature” that includes a link to my website. Also don’t be afraid to pose a question in your comment to help your comment get repeated by others when they discuss or answer it. So for example:
I think your article was stop on when talking about this facet of technology. What do you guys think will be the next logical evolution with these computers?
Now my business name and a link to my website has been dropped on their website. Because I posed a question, an unlimited amount of people could potentially click “respond with quote” and by doing so quote my original question including my signature/link ~ each cultivating more link backs to my website.
3.) Just ask! If you have friends with websites or have weight at associations/organizations within your industry, it can never hurt to ask if they will list you on their website and include a link pointing to your site.
4.) Paid For Link Backs: There are TONS of opportunities out there for you to spend money to drive traffic to your website. We always recommend that if nothing else, run it by us first so we can help you avoid landmines. There are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there that will promise the world and just burn through your money with no real ROI. You’ll find that when you do #3 above, “Just Ask”, some websites will ask you to pay for the link back/reference of you on their website. Your best bet with this is just to trust your guy. Personally unless it was someone like Microsoft, I’d never pay more than $100 to be listed on someone’s website with a simple ad or mention.
While I’m on the subject, you two best friends for paid for online advertising (this is not SEO, but instead just merely paying to get people to your website) are Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. Like I said above, because you are our client, check with us first before doing either of these. We have a lot of experience with both, and experience can be the difference between spending $100’s on little impact, or spending a few $100 and driving quality leads/sales to your website and brick and mortar store. Google AdWords takes quality keyword analysis research before doing your targeting, and Facebook ads similar with interests research ~ both to make sure your ads are targeting the right people; namely those with money looking for your products/services. If at anytime you get interested in having us help you with online marketing, just let us know. Basically what we do is help you determine a monthly budget to spend on ads, set up the accounts properly for you, assist in the keyword and demographic analysis, put the ads in place, and just charge you a small fee for our time to set it up and/or manage it on an on-going basis.
Bottom line, with your website:
1.) throughout your site keep your keywords abundant, conversational, and make sure they don’t feel spammy to you.
2.) cultivate link backs wherever and whenever you can
3.) use your blog to tell the world about how great EduCare is, and share the posts to social media
4.) when it comes to paid-for online ads, partner with someone with an excellent track record and experience.
Hope this helps J