This is the second part of our 5 part series – How to get found online!
How do you research and purchase products and services? Probably like most consumers do – through search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.
The question is this: Is your website getting found by consumers looking for you?
Paid or Organic?
There are two kinds of search results: paid results and organic (or natural) results.
Paid results are those listings that you see in the sidebar that require a fee for the search engines to list their link for particular keywords. The most widely used form of paid listings is Pay Per Click (PPC). This is where you pay each time someone clicks on the link in your advertisement. The price increases based on competitiveness of the keyword (s) you’re using.
Organic results are gathered by search engines’ web crawlers (also called bots or spiders as some people have tagged them) and ranked according to relevance to search terms. This relevance is calculated by criteria such as extent of keyword match and number of links into that website. Ranking in the organic search results is better because not only is it FREE, but research shows that people click on the organic results 75% of the time and paid results only 25% of the time.
So how does Father Google Decide?
Google and other search engines rank websites in search engine results pages according to relevance to the search terms. This relevance is calculated by looking at both on-page factors such as the content on your site and off-page factors in the form of inbound links (important) to your website. Off-page factors are the biggest influencers in your website’s ranking in search engine results.
How do we beat the bots?
STEP 1: Find Keywords
- Search Volume – Given two different keyword phrases, optimize for the one with the larger number of searches.
- Relevance – Choose keywords that your target market is using to describe and search for your products and services (do YOU know what those are?).
- Difficulty or Competition – Consider your chances for ranking on the first page of Google for that keyword phrase. Look at the sites ranked in those first 10 slots, their authority and relevance to search terms, and gage if you will be able to overtake them to secure a spot on that first page.
STEP 2: On-Page SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Place keywords in the page title, URL, headings, and page text Optimize your page description for maximum click- through-rate when your site ranks in Google searches.
- Place keywords in other “invisible” places on your site, including meta-keyword tags and alt-text on images.
(Don’t know how to do this? Ask your website person – if they don’t know – hire us!)
STEP 3: Off-Page SEO
- Build more inbound links from other sites into yours. Each link serves as a recommendation or a reference to tell the search engines that your site is a quality site.
- Build more links within context, i.e. those with valuable keywords in the link anchor text (the text that is hyperlinked to your site). Link anchor text provides context for the search engines to understand what your site is about.
- Build more links from trusted websites. Just as references from well-respected friends and experts offer more value, so do links from trusted and well-respected websites.
- Submit your website to directories like the Yahoo! Directory and Business.com
- Communicate with others in your industry through blogs and other social media
- Create compelling tools (such as an interesting calculator) and content (via a blog, for example)
STEP 4: Measure & Analyze
- Track number of inbound links, keyword rank over time and compare to competition.
- Measure real business results: number of visitors, leads, and customers from SEO
Let us know how we can help you with your social media presence – it’s ALL about YOU after all – when you succeed – we succeed!