Valentines is just a few days away, businesses have begun to have fun with valentines marketing ideas but what about your website... For me there is no better metaphor for how you should care for your website than to look at Valentines Day. Each Feb 14th we show someone how much we love them, in one form or another, we make a huge effort - we do it again at their birthday and at special times of the year like anniversaries... and maybe Christmas too. That is 4 times of the year we make a real effort to show someone special we love them. The metaphor works because that is what 99.9% of businesses do to their websites, they will have a few seasonal events (events like Christmas or the opening of a new store), they will give a little bit of love to their site - a few updates, a blog or two - but then they forget about the site and move on with other things.
Basically, my point is, almost everyone is guilty of it - we don't try hard enough throughout the year to show our love.
So, to help ensure that this year you can show the love to your website all year round, I have 7 great ways for you to love your website, enhance it's SEO and improve your business.
1. Regular Loving is Vital
Like any relationship you need to care for your website all of the time, not just because you've a special event. This simply means that you write regular new content for your blog, update product and service pages - and importantly don't put off fixing bugs.
If you are stuck for ideas on what to write about in your blog, here are 10 simple ways to generate content ideas.
2. Give Key Phrases Special Attention
Consider how you search the web, you don't enter a single word such as "jeans" or "dress" or "cat", you search for something using a phrase (a key phrase) such as "cheap denim jeans in manchester" or "red valentines ball dress" or "cat shelter in tameside".
Once you notice that users aren't simply searching for a "wedding photographer" but instead a "Manchester Town Hall Wedding Photographer" or similar you begin to look at how you write content in a completely different fashion. No longer is it "franking machines" you want to target for SEO but "pitney bowes franking machines". Another example could be that users don't typically just search for a service and hope that Google will know where they are, instead a search user will type the service and their location, for example "piano lessons in manchester", "silver jeweller in edinburgh" or "newborn photography in edinburgh".
One simple example of how this can change your content is that when you link between your internal pages you want to use key phrase rich terms (like those above) rather than "click here" or "our store". Descriptive links tell a search engine what to expect on the next page, in the same way it does a user.
3. Play It Cool, Be Natural
Unless you were lucky, we all had the thought of "be cool" or "stay calm" before or during the first date. Hell, for many it goes on for months and months - and of course when you have to meet the parents and family.
There is a similar thing with search, imagine your new blog post is going on a date with the Google-bot. GB asks "tell me about yourself" to which you tell it your life story, every service you offer and a thesaurus of words around the topic you are talking about. GB walks out of the door.
Google and other search engines want natural language, they don't want you to stuff it with keywords or key phrases. They want great quality content and you not to shove everything in their face. If you do that across your site, no page will have more value or relevance compared with another for any phrase - its a dumb idea. Plus if you stuff it with keywords you will probably find the page dumped from search results fairly quickly.
So, be natural - play it cool, let GB love you.
Learn more about how to create great blog content, here is a great slideshow by Elan Morgan of Schmutzie.com - she's prolific around the web. Give her a tweet of thanks @schmutzie [slideshare id=30703447&w=595&h=485&fb=0&mw=0&mh=0&style=border:1px solid #CCC; border-width:1px; margin-bottom:5px; max-width: 100%;&sc=no]
4. Tell The World You Exist
You're probably at the stage of a relationship where you really want the world to know about your website (if not stop reading, go to twitter and let me know @andykinsey ).
One sure way to help you do this is by using Google Webmaster Tools.
By using GWT you can submit your website sitemap (letting google know about all your pages and blog posts), view key statistics from google search (such as number of search queries you show up for and your avg position for a search term) and any errors google finds on your website (such as pages not being found, 404s).
Google Webmaster Tools is Free and when used with Google Analytics provides a great set of tools for creating measurable objectives - such as visitor growth from search engines and conversion rate growth (such as from one client shown above).
5. Keep Things Simple
Have a simple checklist you can memorise, then each time you update a page or blog post check off your list - this will ensure the basics of SEO are covered.
For me there are a few things to check...
1 - Title Tag 2 - Meta Tag 3 - All images have ALT tags 4 - Friendly and Short URL 5 - Check the quality of content
If you run WordPress you can also use the Yoast SEO plugin which will help you achieve the best results.
6. Don't Obsess (With Page Rank)
PageRank (PR) was once a large factor in the Google search algorithm, today it is a small factor in your overall ranking. PR has also not been publicly updated in a while, this could mean that even Google don't use it - or simply it doesn't matter anymore.
So stop obsessing over this small detail and focus on the bigger picture... You're in love with your website!
7. Make Your Care Easy to Share
Great content is generally worth sharing with friends or followers. SEO experts believe that social media, including Google+ and Pinterest, along with the usual suspects of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter - can all have a large impact on search results. Below is the top of a results chart showing what SEO experts believe are factors in current search rankings, click the image see the full set of results.
Given the above, if you'd like to share the love and share this seo blog with others please use the social buttons below.