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Thursday, August 12, 2010

SEO Primer: Nurturing Your Online Digital Visibility

le Marche - passeggiando in bicicletta

Being Found Online - aka Digital Visibility - Matters. So, What Do You Do?

As a result of blogging since 2006, building the Wear-Dated and Simple Marketing Now websites, discovering other markets and industries, and nurturing the process over time, I've been learning about Search Engine Optimization [SEO], and the importance of being found online. I refer to it as digital visibility and I share with you here my SEO primer.

Now, I'm no SEO expert. I am, though, a fierce practical marketer who wants to understand how all of these digital elements interact so that I can manage my digital assets and create the most engaging, relevant, visibly and effective content online whether for a website, a blog, a press release, LinkedIn or an old-fashioned article.

[See 10 Tips for Being Found & Connecting With Customers].

What amazes me, when I start exploring sites including big budget sophisticated-fancy sites, is discovering that they haven't adopted some of these best SEO practices.  I guess they'd rather rely on PPC [pay-per-click] to generate traffic?  Although, wouldn't the PPC be a lot more cost-effective if it were coordinated with better on page SEO?

Here it is: my practical & simple marketing perspective for improving digital visibility [aka my SEO primer].

1. Be sure to review each of your website pages, paying attention to your META data.

Here's how:
Click on View/Page Source [in FireFox]; View/Source [in Explorer] or right-click/View Page Source [in Chrome].
Use Crtl-F and type in "Meta". What do you see listed for keywords, title and description?

If you see nothing, you might want to do something about it.
If you see something, how unique is the information to each page on your website? How critically relevant to you are the keywords listed? How descriptive in your description?
If you see every keyword under the sun stuffed in that Meta keyword list, be worried. You will need to prioritize.

2. Review the content on each of your website pages.

Does the content on each page address the keywords that are unique to that page?
Is each page unique and rich with meaningful content?
Have you included header tags? What about alt tags for photos? Do they include keywords?
Have you considered the keyword density of your content? Or, how many times do you address your keyword in your content? For the important ones, you'd like to have a density of ~3%.
Is you content reader friendly? Does it answer your reader's questions?

3. Pay attention to your keywords.

I can't say enough about how important your keywords are. They define you. They characterize you. Not only will you use them on your website and to help guide any content you create online, but you'll also use them in the various profiles you create - on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. - so you can enhance your digital visibility.

Spend time identifying your keywords. The resources listed below offer guidelines.

4. Static vs. Dynamic Content

Remember that websites are mostly static.  Blogs, on the other hand, are dynamic [i.e., they update frequently]. Search engines love dynamic, high quality content. Furthermore, the more valuable your content - both on your blog and website - the more likely you will be to attract links from other sources, another important aspect of search engine optimization.

Several SEO related articles worth referring to:

SEO Basics
Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide
3 SEO Tips for the Ages
SEO Title Tag Formulas: How To Create High Performance Title Tags
How to Strengthen a Site via Title Tag Strategies
How to Find the Right Keywords for Your Content Marketing Efforts
Added 12/25/10: Links of Note: Metatags 101

I bet you're learning more about SEO.  What have you found most valuable and effective? Especially for driving business? What other resources would you add to the list?

Photo Credit
le Marche - passeggiando in bicicletta originally uploaded by gigi62
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