image via SEO Moz Search Engine Ranking Factors
Kathy and Janet started off the workshop by sharing their 4 Steps to Improve SEO (search engine optimization):
1. Choose keywords your audience uses
2. Label your site copy to reflect those keywords
If you choose keywords that you want search engines to associate with your site but your content doesn’t reflect that site, your keywords won’t perform as well. Make sure keywords appear in page titles and meta descriptions (see below for more on that).
4. Get links
Outside links to your website are really important for SEO. “However, it is not simply the sheer quantity of inbound links that matters — the anchor text of inbound links is just as important.”
When you share your site’s content on sites like twitter, facebook, and other social media platforms, you’re gaining inbound links!
image from SEO Moz 10 chapter Beginners Guide to SEO
Since I don’t know that much about SEO (and things change by the minute), I thought it would be most helpful for me to include my session notes, along with some good links:
• Set up a google profile for your company (new as of last week!)
• Start a blog! You’ll be adding regular, new content, will show your credibility for your subject, and will be creating great content that people want to link back to. Right?
• Add a facebook like button, a tweet button, and a google+ button to all your site pages/posts to see an immediate jump in traffic. The google+ button doesn’t currently affect search engine rankings, but Watier and Miller believe it will down the road.
• Expand your social reach and network. Keep in mind that tweets are probably not showing up in your follower’s feeds after about 3 hours. Use hootsuite to maintain social media pages without losing a ton of productivity.
• Follow journalists and important people within your field. Follower Wonk lets you search twitter for people who will be relevant to you, and track/analyze your followers.
• Make sure you can edit your meta descriptions (WordPress users: see this SEO plugin). Your meta description is what shows up in search engines under your page link, and each page of your site should have a unique description and use keywords in that description.
• If your site publicizes events for your company, use sites like Craigslist and other free event listing sites.
• Have videos and images associated with your site. Images and videos now appear on the first page of a Google search, and get good click-through rates.
• If you want to “ride the trends” to increase site visits, check out Google Trends. They allow you to search for trends by keyword, so you can see what topics are trending in your industry and write posts around those trends.
• rel=”author” tag connects authors to their content (WordPress users, see this post about rel=”author” and rel=”me”). Search engines now give people weight, rather than just sites or pages or content.
• Work on your mobile site this year. Not in the next two years, this year! By 2013 Google predicts that mobile traffic will surpass PC traffic, and there’s been a huge increase in ad spending and clicks (especially on tablets like the iPad). check out GoMo from Google for help in thinking about your mobile site, or templates to create a temporary free mobile site (and see what works for your biz).
• If you have a brick and mortar, register with Google Places today! It only takes a second.
• SEO Moz is a helpful tool. It’s $99/month so you might not want to spring for it, but there’s a 30 day free trial and it’s a great starting place for you to analyze your site’s performance in search engines and figure out what to do to make it better. SEO Moz will take Google personalization off of your results, so if you’re in New York you can see how your company does in California searches, for example.
• read “digital marketing evangelist” Avinash
Thanks Janet and Kathy!
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Howdy Do It came from “how do you do It,” the question Ellie & Margot found themselves asking about their freelance lifestyles, and so Howdy Do It was born, a column about the things we do to keep ourselves organized, inspired and on track.