What is SEO?
Making Sense out of Search Engine Optimization
SEO which stands for search engine optimization just boils down to making it easy to find your website. Getting to know your clients business often uncovers special strategies which can be implemented to give them an advantage over their competition. Sometimes the strategy may require a unique approach to web design and in other situations it may require special attention in developing content and often the two will work in tandem.
Getting to know your customers
One of the keys to attracting customers is getting listed in the search engine databases under the correct keywords. The keyword meta tags of the past were greatly overused because unscrupulous developers would try to get virtually everyone to come visit their site. However, the purpose of the search engine is to find the urls that are best described by the words entered by people who are using the search engine to solve everyday problems and find their desired products and services. If your are looking for “metric conversions” it’s not useful for you to get urls that describe “conversion vans” on your first page of results. If that happened too much you would probably not use that search engine any more.
The problem for my clients is to identify the words and phrases that people most often use in describing what they want when they want my clients services or products. So one of the first problems is for you the client to figure out who your customers are and what phrases and words they use to describe your product or service. In the case of a business usually it’s pretty simple. A window tinting company wants people who wish to tint their cars. In the case of a political candidate it gets a little more complex because his products and services are a little more complex.
Content, Content, Content
You’ve probably heard of the phrase location, location and location in describing the importance of where to place a business geographically. But when it comes to a website content is the king. It’s important for you to provide your customers with all of the vital information they need to make a wise decision about your product or service. You can enhance the value of your content by providing valuable tips and tricks if your knowledge level is such that you are an expert in your field. However, at some point in all of your content writing you need to pay attention to the keywords or the words that people are using to solve their problems when you are the solution to their problem. You could use some data mining software on your competitors sites to see what keywords they are using but remember that you want to set yourself apart from the rest. I find that customer testimonials often produce some interesting results that I would have never guessed on my own and while it’s true that we almost always assume that testimonials on a website are going to be positive it’s still valuable to use their comments unedited. Sometimes even mispellings may bring in clients.
Taking Advantage of your uniqueness
One of my clients sells used fitness equipment. When he gets in a piece of equipment he takes the time to get a couple of pictures and add a thorough description of the item. He can do this all from a simple control panel on his website. The website sizes the images and adds valuable content to the alt and title tags. The description is crawler readable and the pictures help potential customers to get a good look at the equipment as well as getting indexed themselves into the search engine image list The end result is that over the years he has placed a lot of used equipment adds out into cyberspace which bring his site a lot more qualified traffic. The reason that it’s so successful for him is that he is really good at closing the deals and providing good customer service so every new client is potentially a great resource because of friends and family. A successful SEO strategy has to rely on the strengths of individual clients. Having a Facebook page for example has no real value for a business if no one in the business is going to monitor it and interact with visitors.
I do not accept clients that compete for the same type of customers in the same region as my current clients. It’s a slippery slope and can often lead to difficult judgement calls which I would rather avoid. Yes it’s a loss of revenue. But hey revenue is not everything.