How to Use Search Engine Optimization Effectively
Search engine optimization isn’t a new subject for any company with a website. It is understood that in order to top out in search engine rankings, businesses have to continually invest in Search Engine Optimization techniques to maintain their page position for organic (keyword-based) searches on the web. That being said, many companies don’t consider implementing SEO tactics until after their website is complete, and/or focus on external SEO tools like directory submissions or article marketing to increase their page rank. This could be a fatal error for your SEO plan. Here’s why:
- SEO Begins with your Website Creation. In other words, during R&D (Research and Development) when businesses are making decisions on the layout of their web page, the color schemes, graphic and content locations, many companies fail to consider SEO in the actual build of their website. This can have a long-term effect on a website’s SEO capability, due to the ever-changing nature of the internet.
Implementing keywords into the META data in the site code as well as the website page content is one important step to a strong SEO starts out of the gate.
- META Tags are the Title, Description, and Keywords for each and every page on a website. They help search engines to find the website’s individual pages when a web user performs a keyword search.
Search engines crawl new sites intermittently, so if there is a strong keyword base in the right places throughout the site, the initial page rank will automatically be higher.
The same consideration should be given to the flexibility of your website – its ability to move with the times as technologies change and advance. The site should be built with a keyword and content strategy, but navigation structure, page naming, and layout all affect SEO, so be sure that these items are adjustable to keep up with current trends and best practices.
- Header Tags – Be Specific. While H tags (Header tags) within META data in website code are not critical to SEO for any website, it’s important to be specific about your header tags to help build out your overall website content strategy. For example, a legal website has a page referencing client service offerings. The existing header tag for the page is “COMPANY X, Services”. Unless someone is searching for the business name, the chances of that page coming up high in search engine rankings are low. However, consider a header tag like this for the same page “Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Services in the San Fernando Valley, CA”. The header tag does not include two of your site’s keywords, “bankruptcy” and “foreclosure”, but it relates to a geo-target location of the San Fernando Valley in California.
Knowing this is the page title, the website copywriter can hone the page content to include the keywords and focus on the topic of the page header as noted. Most search engines rank web pages higher that relates closest to their META tag content.
- Consistency (sometimes) is Key. Do you have an offsite blog that sends updated content to your website to increase your SEO? If so, you’re not alone. Keeping content on your website current and new is one way to draw the discerning eye of search engines, but keep in mind, like all things, too much change can do more harm than good.
While updates to your website are necessary for solid SEO results, if you have a standard list of products or services, and solid keywords in the code and content on those pages, then keeping these pages content static allows for search engines the time to search them out and rank them continually. Keep in mind that the page content should be directly related to the META and header tags for best results.
SEO is not a one-time effort on the part of any website. It needs to be an integral part of any web marketing plan, from the very first planning session throughout the website’s existence. Consider the lifecycle of your SEO plan and, if necessary, step back to fill in the blanks of missed steps that could be dragging your website rank down.