Nancy Wigal owns and operates Search Engine Academy Washington DC, an organization that trains and certifies anyone with a website on the search engine optimization (SEO) techniques necessary to have their pages show up higher in search results.
With two-, three-, and five-day SEO training and certification courses, as well as customized SEO-training packages ranging from four hours to two days, you and your team will learn the latest and most comprehensive ways to increase traffic to your website.
For more information, call 202.725.1422 to see what SEO training is right for your organization, and visit www.search-engine-academy-washington-dc.com online for course offerings and registration information.
By Nancy Wigal
Search Engine Academy Washington DC
What have you done to your website to capture, captivate, and beguile your target visitors so they stay on your site longer and read more of your Web pages?
Here are six search-engine-optimization (SEO) tips to boost your site’s charm for deeper visits from your target audience:
1. Use Captivating Keywords. If you don’t know the keywords and phrases your prospect is typing into the search engines to find your business solutions, how can you provide top-notch content that speaks to them and shows up high in search results? Solid keyword research can uncover gems and low-hanging fruit with long-tail keyword phrases that your competition probably is not using. Look for keyword phrases that have high demand (high number of searches) and low supply (a small number of competing web pages).
There are many keyword research tools you can use, but one of best is Google Insights for Search. It’s free, it provides geographical demand, rising trends in keyword phrases, and you can export the results for future reference. Plus, the data come directly from Google’s databases. And you can also discover cutting-edge, breakout terms that are in great demand right now.
There are also pay-for-access keyword research tools that give you detailed long-tail, keyword research terms with accompanying data to help you decide which phrases are right for your content. (I’ll share more information on that in a future article.)
2. Write Compelling Description Tags. Every Web page on your site must have a unique description that causes the searcher to click on your link in search engine results.
Follow this formula and break down your description into these three easy elements to create winning descriptions that will improve your click-through rates:
Your new, improved description tag will look something like this:
Not only does this compel the searcher to click on your link, but the keyword phrase you used will allow this Web-page description to show up higher in search results since you optimized it with a keyword phrase that your target audience is using to find your business services and products.
3. Make Sure Your Site Is Full of Catchy Content. Are you using content on your site that caters to all the different senses and emotions your prospects experience? If you sell spa packages, be sure to create unique, useful content that appeals to all five senses and the positive emotions that a day at the spa invokes.
Perhaps you offer consulting services for organizing businesses and homes. What’s the biggest benefit for your clients in being organized? Paint a picture with your Web-page content to make them feel confident, in charge, and able to knock out more work than ever before because they’ve conquered their clutter problem.
4. Beat Your Competition By Offering Different Types of Content. Here are just a few that may communicate your business solutions:
What else can you think of that may appeal to your target market? Earlier this year, Google updated and published its content guidelines, which clearly spell out what Google looks for to feature in search results. Follow its suggestions, and your Web pages will come up higher more often in search-query results.
5. Craft Appealing Links. Guide your visitors deeper into your internal Web pages by creating text links that appeal to their most prevalent emotion or promises them even more useful information. Use a compelling keyword phrase that clearly tells visitors what they can expect to find when they click that page link. The deeper your prospects go into your website, the more you can convince them to use your business solutions to solve their biggest problem.
Think about where to place your navigation links on each page. You have opportunities on the top navigation bar, the left and right navigation bars, as well as the bottom navigation bar. Put your most compelling, important links at the top, starting from the left side and work to the right. On the left and right sides, be sure your best links are at the top, so your visitors see them right away.
The search engine robots love text links with keyword phrases because they will “crawl” the pages that are in the links. By crawling your site, your pages will show up higher in the search results.
6. Go Local! Do you have a physical business location that depends on local and regional visitors? Be sure to claim, optimize, and update your Google business listing, so that your Web pages show up higher in local searches.
Here’s a tip that’s not used by many business, but makes a big difference in where you show up in local search results: put your address and zip code on every page of your website. Many searchers type in the business solution they need, followed by their zip code. This is an easy optimization process that takes no time to implement, and has a big payoff.
Also, provide a map and general directions to your business location, as well as your hours of operation.
While you’re at it, do you have the type of business that could benefit from coming up in mobile search results? If so, be sure to have your webmaster create a mobile version of your website to show up clearly on any smartphone search results.
The bottom line: If you put these SEO processes and techniques into practice on your website, you will see better search results for your individual pages.