By: Chad Bell
When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), understanding of the concept usually caps off at name recollection. Our Lead Developer has spent over 10 years working in internet marketing and web development. Join him as he discusses the following case studies that highlight 3 major SEO considerations crucial for all websites.
A quick Google search will confirm this as one of the most important aspects of improving traffic from queries. Surprisingly, making your site robot-friendly is the one SEO tactic that is often neglected. Often, this becomes the case when businesses have sites built by developers who have not been asked to think about SEO or by those were are just plain negligent.
Consider the following: to humans, a well-designed page requires highlighted content to be communicated from page headings and titles. In comparison, robots from search engines such as Google and Yahoo seek similar clues. The problem is that the back-end, or coding, of most web pages are made up of an undifferentiated mass of equally important text.
Case: Not long ago, I had a client operating within a highly competitive industry that needed to enhance the search performance of their site. The initial step was to rip out all of the tables and organize each piece of content in appropriate HTML tags styled with CSS. Then, headings were coded as HTML tags and body copy went into paragraph tags, with menus and content lists copied into list tags. I also created a meta description tag (nonexistent at the time) and unique page titles for each of the different sections. Within days of these initial changes, the company website moved onto the 1st page of computer training search results for its city. The corresponding increase in business was so significant it led this client to move SEO to the top of her marketing priorities.
2. Keyword R&D
Making robot-friendly sites is a job for a developer, but any site owner can conduct basic research to find out what key terms and phrases they should be targeting. There is a range of sites available for determining what phrases will be most successful in driving more traffic to your site.
Case: When optimizing the Zen Den Web Design site, Google Insights is a go-to tool for geographic and season-specific data. For example, over the past 12 months there were over 30% more searches for “web design” than for “website development” in San Francisco.
Your list of key words and phrases should change over time and be used consistently, as in each time you generate content for your site. The list should inform the headings, page titles, search-friendly URLs, link text, first sentences of paragraphs (these tend to get more weighting by search robots), and even the subject/category of articles for newsletters.
3. Growth Consistency
Significant growth may be easily attained, but consistency is the key to successful SEO. Variations of this idea exist, but I discovered this very useful and simple trick by accident on a forum I developed.
Case: Every month, I made a different post that included popular search terms that would send the user to the site from search results. The posts listed the terms, with each linking to the post or article that the user went to. Immediately, I saw the terms starting to rank increasingly higher in Google searches. Month on month, I supplemented the original terms with ones that I wanted to target but needed to rank higher, perpetuating a positive SEO loop.
The same rationale behind spending more on ad space than on the ad itself, exist for businesses who spend more on SEO than web development. Considering the resources often required to create visually stunning and functional websites, it’s worth the additional investment to ensure your website easily found.