SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a hot topic these days. Everyone wants to know what they need to do to have a strong online presence in order to connect with potential customers.
Let’s start off with a definition. What is SEO?
SEO is the process of improving the amount and quality of traffic to your website. SEO is organic (natural search).
Google looks at 200+ parameters when ranking a website.
To summarize, effective SEO is about content strategy and has 3 main components:
3. Social Media
But SEO is more than just content strategy. It is a comprehensive approach to optimizing an entire web presence for organic search. To do this effectively requires the implementation of both on-site and off-site strategies.
Here is a high-level list of the on-site SEO strategies that will be beneficial for both readers and search engines:
• Performing keyword research is the first step for successful SEO strategy
• Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to evaluate the competitiveness of words
2. Produce original content
• Publishing blog content, case studies and videos consistently will help to increase organic search traffic
3. Meta Description
• Utilize key words in meta descriptions
• Keep meta descriptions to 155 characters
• Write a unique meta description for each page
• Tip: Meta descriptions should be written for users in mind and not search engines specifically
4. Title tag
• The title tag is the clickable text that appears in search engine results, so writing an enticing and relevant title tag is key
• Utilize relevant keywords strategically
• Use your company’s name at the beginning of your home page title tag but for internal pages, include it at the end of the title tag
• Keep title tags to 65 characters
5. Product images
• Embed quality images for positive user experience
• Image names should be relevant and descriptive i.e. instead of Image1.jpg, rename image to Red-Sofa-Collection.jpg
• Where appropriate, use keywords in your image names
• Populate the Alt-Text field with a relevant description of what the image is about. Use keywords, but don’t keyword stuff. Keep Alt-Text descriptions to 140 characters.
6. Site map
• Have a site map on the home page as well as an XML site map inside the code
7. 301 redirect
• Implement a permanent redirect from one URL to another
8. Fix missing page (404 errors) errors and ensure the URL redirects to the home page or other relevant page
Here is a list of off-site SEO strategies you can implement to market your website, get ranked in search engines and build an online reputation/brand:
• Have quality links that point to your website
• Build back links by submitting press releases, submit to popular blogs
2. Social media
• Having a strong social media presence sends search engines signals of influence and authority
• Add Google + to social media strategy
3. Consumer reviews
• Encourage testimonials and reviews from your customers on popular review sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, City Search
4. Search engine submissions / directory listings (DMOZ)
Each page on your website or each blog post you create has a main heading or article title. Indicate page titles by using title tags. Title tags tell both users and search engines what the page is about and should incorporate meaningful key words. The title tag should be placed within the head tag of the HTML document.
If your page appears in search results, the contents of the title tag will appear in the first line of the results.
The title for your home page can list your website/business name as well as location.
H1 tags and title tags are similar as both help readers and search engines understand what the page is about. The title tag is what the user sees on the page, so you can make the title tag shorter for readability and user-friendliness whereas the H1 tag maps out the structure of the site’s content to users and search engines. There are six sizes of heading tags beginning with H1 (the most important) and ending with H6 (least important).
H1 tags are an important website component for catching the user’s eye and help to create a uniform styling on a website.
Some best practices for H1 tags include:
• Each page should have its own unique H1 tag
• H1 tag should act as a meaningful title to the page content
• Use focused and meaningful key words in the H1 tag but keep the text succinct and on point
• There is no length restrictions for an H1 tag, but it should make sense to the person visiting your page so they can easily identify what the page is about
In conclusion, for a well structured, search-engine optimized website, ensure that you populate both the title tag and H1 tag with relevant and meaningful key words that describe the content of the page.
Image source: Google SEO Starter Guide
You’ve probably seen the stats: the use of smart phones and tablets is quickly on the rise. In 2013, 17% of web traffic has come through mobile, representing more than a 6% increase since 2012. What does this mean for your business?
For starters it means your website should be designed in such a way that it is a responsive site. Responsive web design means designing a site that will provide an optimal viewing experience and automatically adapt to the viewing environment. This means your website will resize itself and have a consistent look whether it is viewed on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone (iPhone and Android). Responsive web design has become one of the hottest trends in 2013. Responsive sites use fluid grids and all page elements are sized by proportion rather than pixels. With the rapid use of mobile devices, it is important for businesses to switch to responsive web design.
Mobile apps are also on the rise. App use has increased 115% in 2013 and probably much more in 2014. But mobile app development is not just meant to be customer focused; they can also improve internal processes such as logistics, supply chain management, purchasing, maintenance or sales support.
Native App vs. Web Apps: What’s the difference?
Native Apps are apps that you download from the app store like itunes App store for Apple and Google play for Android. As the name suggests, Web apps are applications on the Internet (www) that can be accessed by a browser either on a computer or mobile device.
What’s better for you business? The answer to this will depend on the utility of the app. Will the app take advantage of the smart phone features…
Like mobility convenience, GPS, camera, scanning, notification etc.? If yes, then you should consider a mobile app for you business. Also mobile app development allows the most personalization and best User Experience (UX). On the other hand, if you are on a tight budget and SEO is of more importance to you to get your product and services out in the market, then a Web app that is mobile friendly or responsive is probably your best bet. Most large companies ranging from financial services like Bank of America to consumer services like Groupon tend to have both to maximize client engagement.
Humor in everyday life
And here’s some mobile humor….this video pokes fun at how addicted we are to our mobile phones but humor aside, this also stresses the importance of why you need to get your business mobile ready. Mobile platforms are a marketer’s dream as it gives you the opportunity to be in front of your customer 24/7.
Not all businesses need an iPhone or Android mobile app, but all need a mobile-friendly website!
Is your business mobile ready?