We are often asked the question “How can I get my site to appear on the first page of a Google search?” It is not a quick or easy answer, but here are a few things we have to say on the subject of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)…
SEO is a process that requires some planning and can be tackled in phases starting with an analysis of your website. But before you begin, it is important to do some groundwork of your own by identifying and defining your expectations. Start by making a list of keywords and search phrases. Then, by process of elimination, boil down your search phrases to a short list (length will depend on your specific needs). This should be a list of the things that you think your customer will actually type into the search engine in their attempt to find you or your service/product. Keep in mind that a search phrase will usually contain the subject, product or service along with the city and/or location. Once you have done this, you and/or your web developer will have a better base for which to build a game plan.
After your site has been analyzed it is important to prioritize, then delineate which items on the list of services will give you the most bang for your buck. Your final game plan will depend on which services you decide to move forward with.
Here is a short list of SEO services:
- Key words and key phrases (add or improve upon existing ones)
- Create alt-tags for all images
- Add and/or improve on meta tags (name, descriptions, keywords and key phrases)
- Set H1 and H2 tags (HTML headings) on all pages
- Submit URL to search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Alexa, etc.)
- Create a sitemap
- Set up an Google Analytics account to track site performance
- Resolve duplicate content issues
- Create ‘page by page’ relevancy between content and meta data
- Add ‘Resources and Links’ page (if necessary)
- Add and/or rename pages to match meta and page content
- Incorporate social media links and share buttons on website
- Set up link exchanges with industry listings
- Link building consultation
- Blog installation and integration. This will give access to an admin area where you can input new content on an ongoing basis.
- Set up social media accounts
- Add a contact form (good for collecting email addresses for future email marketing)
- And so much more …
Remember, Search Engine Optimization is not a hard-and-fast science so there are no guarantees. SEO is better characterized as ‘fluid’ and ‘ever-changing’. That is why it is important to take an active role in your SEO. You will have the best and lasting results if you or your SEO professional continue to monitor your site on an ongoing basis.