SEO: Embrace the Elephant

By Chris Hislop // Published on Nov 03, 2014

If you haven’t figured out that we’re living in the digital age yet, this blog is not for you. In fact, if you’re unaware of the digital age, chances are you’re not even accessing this blog anyhow.

Moving right along…

When it comes to embracing the digital age, businesses must understand and appreciate the notion of marketing their organization online. It starts with making sure you can be found in industry related network databases. (Most) people don’t look at the phonebook anymore, so you have to put a conscious effort into deciding where people might find you. If you’re not optimizing your web presence so that you might show up in an online search engine query, you’re not going to be found. It’s as simple as that.

From there, your options are seemingly infinite. Do you have a website? Are you utilizing social media as it applies to your business? Are you constantly creating unique content focused on engaging with current and prospective clientele?

Yes? Excellent.

No? It’s never too late to start.

Let’s take a look at what it means to be alive and thriving in the digital age. The existing “elephant in the room” at many marketing related meetings is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). What is SEO? How does it pertain to what we’re looking to achieve? Why can’t you explain it to me in 30 seconds?

Definition: SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "natural" or un-paid ("organic") search results.

SEO isn’t necessarily hard. It’s just time consuming (if you’re practicing sound SEO tactics). To explain it fully in even one hour-long session would be hard to do. To explain it fully in one quick-hitting blog entry would also be difficult, so, as mentioned, we’re going to offer an overarching “start” to your initiatives.

Here are five key areas to hone in on when it comes to knocking your company’s SEO out of the park.

Website Content

Content fuels your online presence. If you’re not in the practice of constantly updating your content with creative, engaging pieces of collateral your site goes dormant, and you’ll begin to lose traction from an SEO standpoint. Having a strategy in place to update your website with valuable content for the end-user to consume will ensure a constant flow of traffic to your site, thus improving your overall SEO.

Simple ways to start churning out content to aide in boosting your organic SEO:

  • Blogging
  • Put together product/service spotlights
  • Integrate keywords related to your industry/geography
  • Start creating case studies
  • Rethink/optimize calls to action you pose in your homepage banner(s)
  • Write pieces that feature your employees/customers – Let them tell your story for you
  • Plot the creation of infographics or other highly shareable pieces of collateral
  • Video – People love to watch videos
  • Use social media to your advantage by sharing the content your creating

Your content needs to be clean. It needs to be keyword relevant. It needs to read in an engaging fashion, and not come across as sales spam. If it’s something that ignites action, you’re doing it right. Action is currency. Whether it’s having users share your content with their networks, or they’re inquiring for more information, or are completing orders; if it leads to action, you’re more apt to be found.

Title Tags

Title tags are often overlooked, and are strong candidates for a revamp if you’re looking to take your SEO seriously. Take a look at the title tags that exist on your website. What do they say? Are they all exactly the same? Title each page as it applies to the actual content on the applicable page. Don’t just use your company name as your default title tag. If that’s what you’re doing, you’re doing a serious disservice to your SEO.

Unique URLs

Like your title tags, setting up unique, clean URLs for the inner pages of your site is sometimes overlooked, and is an easy way to bolster your SEO. This is especially important if you offer more than one service or product. With unique URLs set up in accordance to whatever the specific page is highlighting, you’re giving your target audience a far better chance of bringing up that specific area in their search queries. This also enables you to lead end-users to specific areas of your site without drawing a map for them. You don’t want your target audience fishing for what they’re looking for; it needs to be obvious and easily found.

Backlinks

The more places that host a link to your website, the more places exist where folks can find you. Simple as that. Be it through social media, the online directories referenced before, happy customers that want to share your brand with their network, writing guest blogs for other industry related sources… You can achieve backlinks many different ways. The more you have, the more likely it is you’ll achieve a better SEO score, as search engines view these links as validation of your website’s value.

Clean Coding

The backend (code) of your website can be as important as the organization of the content that folks actually see when they’re browsing your site. A poorly coded site will have an adverse effect on your SEO. Clean coding will allow for faster load times and overall site speed. Make sure your tags are tidy and easily readable. Make sure you have meta and alt tags set up for all components of your site. A cleanly coded site will not only improve your organic SEO score, but will also save you headaches down the road when you look to make changes/additions to your site, which ultimately falls hand-in-hand with other areas of focus when it comes to your overall SEO initiatives.

In Conclusion

The long and short of this blog is simply this: SEO doesn’t have to be confusing.

If you’re not consciously thinking about working towards improving your SEO, the chances of your website being found by folks other than your immediate family and best friend since high-school is marginal at best. That doesn’t likely lead to any sort of fiscal success. Perhaps you don’t know how to get started… Whatever the case may be, we’re happy to help.

If you are thinking about SEO, but just don’t have the bandwidth and/or personal resources available to make a strong, consistent mark; again, feel free to reach out. We’re all ears, and crafting a sound, engaging SEO driven marketing initiative is a piece of what we do. Creating content and helping our clients achieve digital marketing success is what makes our days so exciting.

Boldwerks: Unique marketing collateral for unique business dreams. Let’s hear yours.

Tagged Under: Marketing + Business Advice
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