As a solo/small business owner, we are often tempted to do it all on our own. Always remember, there are experts out there in every area. Call on them to make your life easier and delegate whenever you can. You’ll usually save yourself loads of time. Here’s a guest article from Barbra Wolfe of In House Marketing LLC, an expert in web design and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Use her tips to DIY or call on her to do it for you.
We do self testing exams on our bodies; we submit ourselves for diagnostic blood work; we take our cars in for tune-ups. When is the last time you thought about the health of your website, your SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process, a comprehensive strategy, to move your website higher on the list of results that people see when they search for a keyword or key phrase on any of the search engines ie, Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The more people that see your company appear in the search results, the more visitors you are likely to have, and that should have a positive impact on your bottom line.
There are two main categories of SEO tactics. “On page” refers to thing you can do on your website. “Off page” refers to all the other things in the universe that influence where you rank in search engine results.
So let’s check the SEO health of your website, your “on-page” SEO. Please keep in mind that your “on-page” SEO is just a qualifier, so to speak. You could do all the off page SEO strategies and have a zillion quality backlinks, but it’s all for naught if you don’t have a good foundation in place.
Tip 1: Do you have a sitemap? A sitemap tells Google how your website is organized. It assists Google to crawl your pages. How can you tell?
1. One way to tell if you’ve got a sitemap is to look at the Footer credits that appear on the bottom of every page along with the Copyright year and the name of the company who designed your website.
2. Check your plug-ins. Do you see anything that says Sitemaps? I use Google XML Sitemaps.
For each page and each post on your website,
Tip 2: Have you identified a relevant title, putting the most important descriptors at the beginning?
Tip 3: Have you identified your page meta description? If you don’t, Google will pick copy from the page and it often won’t make sense.
This is a bad example of a title. What is the name of the upcoming event? This is also an example of what happens when you don’t tell Google what you want in the page description. “Venues are all within walking distance” was a phrase that Google chose from the home page. The home page consisted of pictures and links. The only copy on the home page was:
Shopping, sports complexes, and gaming venues are all within walking distance.
(Actually, this information doesn’t even make sense in the context of the home page, never mind a description for Google to use to describe the whole page, but that’s another issue.)
Tip 4: Do you have relevant copy on each page that Google can search? You can’t have a title and description for Blue Widgets and then have the content of the page be about Pink Toothpicks. You can, but it will not help your SEO or your readers.
Tip 5: Have you identified your Page meta keywords? (Google doesn’t look at keywords anymore but Yahoo and Bing certainly do.)
If you don’t know if this has been done, you can check the code itself.
Get out of your back office and go to your Home page as a public viewer. Right click on the main part of your page (but not on a picture). You’ll get a pop up box. In the middle of the pop up box, you’ll see “View page source”. Click on this. Don’t worry; you don’t need to know code or how to read it. But you should get familiar with this process because we’ll use it again to look for other things on your site. (And, of course, you can implement the same process to look at your competitor’s sites… Just sayin..)
The tops of my code pages look like this. The code is in red. The copy in black is what you create.
<meta charset=”UTF-8″ />
<title>the title of your page ie: 20 Free Wealth Building Tips | Financial Wizard | Las Vegas </title>
<meta name=”description” content=”20 key wealth building tips are revealed for free from Financial Wizard’s newest book, the Wealth Finding Genius.” />
<meta name=”keywords” content=”best financial wizard, financial guru, wealth building, Las Vegas, whatever you want to write” />
Yours may not look like this because you have an older website or you have one built and hosted by GoDaddy. Regardless, now that you’re looking at the code, you can find these words by using the Control-Find feature. (Press CTRL and F at the same time.) Type in the word title. Do you see the title of this page? Type in the word description. Do you see a description of your page? Type in the word keyword. Do you see any keywords?
Tip 6: Photos. Are you using “alt tags” every time you upload a photo? The search engines cannot see photos. They can only read the description of the photo that you type.
On one page of my Author website, I’ve got a picture of a woman blindfolded. When I uploaded the picture, I added the description, “Woman Blindfolded”.
If you look at the code page, press Control-Find, and type the word alt. You should see your alt tags. Here’s mine:
<p><img class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-79 alignleft” src=”http://barbrawolfe.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/WomanBlindfolded-300×200.jpg” alt=”Woman Blindfolded” width=”300″ height=”200″ /></p>
Tip 7: Have you set your page urls to make sense to the user? Google is very concerned with the user experience. Make sure your Permalink settings are set to “post name”. So, rather than seeing http://FinancialGuru.com/?p=123, you’ll see http://FinancialGuru.com/20-Free-Wealth-Building-Tips
Tip 8: Links. Watch the words in your links; make them relevant and try to use keywords.
Tip 9: Are you linked to your social media sites?
Tip 10: Google does not pay much attention to static websites. Do you have an active Blog?
Content. Content. Content. Relevant, Original, Fresh Content.
There’s lot more involved with SEO. To learn more, contact me for our upcoming workshop schedule or meet with me to find out what I can do for your site.
President of In House Marketing LLC