As you probably know, most people find companies through search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Most customers only search through the first or second page of results for any specific search term. The good news is that getting listed on those engines is completely free. The bad news is that that means everyone is competing for those top ten to twenty spots for any given search term. Search engine optimization (or SEO) is a complex and constantly changing set of techniques which are designed, but not guaranteed, to get your web pages into those lucrative top 20 listings. All of our websites are optimized for keywords and phrases relative to your business which are popular at the time of construction.
Why would I want to re-optimize?
As was stated above, the process of SEO is a constantly changing thing. Search engines change the way they sort the search and new sites are constantly coming online which can out rank you. Add to that the fact that different search terms relating to your business come into and out of vogue for surfers constantly and you may want to have us re-optimize your site every few months.
Can I pay for my site to be listed higher in search engines?
Absolutely... but you cant pay us. Most search engines will allow companies to pay for placement on specific search terms or phrases. This is called pay per click or PPC placement. Basically you bid on the specific search phrase or word you want to be placed on and for each person who clicks your link you pay that amount. You are not guaranteed any new clients or income from the process but you can expect a pretty good return on the investment. We can manage that process for you for an additional $45.95 a month if you don't want to be bothered with it.
Part of it is SEO while the other is getting traffic from other sources. One of the biggest reasons to get a website for your business is to gain new clients and open up new demographics. One of the ways to do this is through online market research - finding similar sites to trade links with, getting listed on directories which cater to surfers who are looking for services you offer, etc... We do all that for you at no additional charge. The other way you can gain grater market share is to place high in search engines for popular terms, which is known as search engine optimization or SEO. We research various search engines to see what terms are the most searched for relating to your business and optimize your pages to rank highly when anyone searches for them. The only time we charge for this kind of SEO is if you want to re-optimize your site with new terms or new techniques. We will even tell you if we think that you would benefit from our re-optimizing before we charge you for it.
Of course if you need more help with your search engine optimization then we can add content to your site monthly that is specifically designed to get you more traffic from search engines. Take a look at our Search Engine Optimization Services for more details
Once you have created your web page or your blog post in our CMS it is time to optimize it for search engine traffic. If you have already determined what keyword/phrase you want to focus on then you are ready to use this tutorial. If you have not, please click on the links in the previous statements to get caught up then come back here.
The thing to remember overall is that google (and all search engines) like repetition, but not copy and pasting. This is referred to as keyword density. There are lots of different opinions on what specific percentage you should use, but none are considered best practices and there is lots of debate as to which is the correct number. We believe that when there is no consensus, you should use a rule of thumb.
The best rule of thumb would be to phrase your content in a way that might seem odd when read. In other words, if you read your content and you think to yourself "if i hear dallas dentist office one more time i am going to loose my mind", then you are using it too often. If you read your content and you don't notice the keywords at all, then you are using it too little. If you read your content and you think to yourself "that is an odd way to write that" then odds are it is perfect.
In addition to that rule of thumb you also have the opportunity to add some keyword density through media on the page and the metadata contained within. Below is how our system allows you to manipulate the metadata throughout your site with a simple recipe.
In the SEO Options panel, just below the main content area of the edit post/page dialog on your administrative back end enter the following:
- in the first field, enter the keyword or phrase that you are targeting for this update. Click here for help on how to determine which keyword/phrase to use
i.e. Dallas dentist office
- h1 field - write a sentence with the keyword or phrase in it.
i.e. Dentists office in the Dallas Area
- Description field - write another sentence with the keyword/phrase in it again, but rearranged this time.
i.e. Great Dentist in an office in dallas
- keywords field - this field is not really needed anymore. Most search engines dont look at this meta tag because it was so badly abused in the past. However, that could change at any moment so it is not a bad idea to use it. It just probably wont make a difference any time soon.
- seoblockquote field - Here you should enter a paragraph with your keyword/phrase in it a couple of times. Remember to rearrange the words to make them different than before, but just a couple of sentences should do the trick
Once you have all that in place, your content is ready to be published. Now all you need to do is figure out when publication would work best, here is what we suggest.
Before you even start writing a web page or your blog post in our CMS, you need to determine which keyphrase or keyword you want to focus on for search engine traffic. Once you have determined your keyword/phrase, you can create your page or post as normal, then optimize the content and the media to match. Here is how to determine which keyword or phrase you should use:
Option 1, ask google
One of the great things is that if you want to know how to get more attention from google, you just have to google it. They will tell you everything you need to know to get traffic from them. One of the greatest tools they provide is the keyword suggestion tool in google adwords. You will need an adwords account, but creating one is easy and free. Even though they will try to convince you to purchase pay per click packages, we advise you not to. Just use the tool instead.
- login to adwords by clicking the link above
- if you don't get to the keyword planner tool initially, click on tools in the navigation bar and select keyword planner from the drop down menu
- under [Find new keywords and get search volume data] click on the first option titled "Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category"
- this will open up a form where you can enter different information. These fields are pretty self explanatory and have help icons you can click on for more detailed information so we will not go over them all here. Fill out the form with what you want to determine and click [get ideas]
- The new page will show lots of different options and ways to drill down to find the information you want, but if it gets overwhelming, just let us know and we will walk you through it.
- The important thing to look at is the keyword ideas table in the middle of the page. The table is like a spreadsheet with the following columns:
- ave. monthly searches
- suggested bid
- ad impr. share
- add to campaign
- the first three columns are what you are after. Find a keyword that is high in monthly searches, but low in competition. That is the keyword you want to use for your content.
They change this tool quite a bit so these instructions might not be correct when you read them. If that is the case, let us know in a support ticket and we will walk you through it personally.
Option 2, ask google... in a different way
All of the sites we build include google analytics tracking. You can use this tool to find what keywords your site is getting traffic from as a starting point before using the adwords tool above. You should also use this tool to see what results your efforts have brought so you can adjust your focus accordingly in the future. Again, this tool is very robust and powerful to the point that it is hard to handle if you aren't used to working with it. We are, so don't hesitate to ask us to help you navigate the use to get the information you need.
- login to analytics here
- click on the all website data link under your company name (if you don't see statistics initially)
- in the left menu, click aquisition, then search console, then queries
- this will show you what keyphrase was used to find your site in the time period you indicated.
The first row is always going to be (not set) because as privacy concerns have increased, there are instances where google will simply not log what keyphrase was used to find your site. Typically though, that is just an amalgam of the other keywords below so simply ignore it.
Because keyword density is so important to get right (you dont want too much but you also dont want too little) you need to use every opportunity to add keywords without looking spammy. One great way to do that is through media on your post or page. Hopefully you have already reviewed, or are familiar with adding and editing media to your content. In addition to the normal way of adding an image, you want to follow these additional steps to ensure your image(s) are correctly optimized with the keyword you have determined for your update and that you have optimized the update for.
Step one, find an image that matches your content.
Simply doing a search in google images for the keyword you are using and downloading someone else's image to use isn't a great idea, although it probably wont be a big issue if you decide to (we just didn't tell you to do it). The better idea is to find a royalty free stock photography supplier where you can find the image you need and purchase the rights to it pretty inexpensively. We recommend 123rf.com as the smallest image size they provide, which is all you need for this kind of thing, is only about a dollar.
Step two, adding it to your content
The normal process of uploading an image to be used in the update is fine, just dont complete the process until you have finished the next step. Select a spot near the top or even multiple places for additional images if your content is long enough.
Step three, optimizing it to suit your keyword
once you have uploaded the image, make the following modifications in the attachment details panel on the right side of your screen:
- Title: Edit this to have your keyphrase/word in it. Very few people will see this content, but googlebot certainly will.
i.e. Dental Waiting Room in our Dallas Office
- Caption: This will show up under the image on the web page you are creating. Keep it readable, but try to include the keyphrase again in another order
i.e. View of our Dallas office waiting room in our dental practice.
- Alt Text: This is for things that don't have sight. I say things, because googlebot and other search engine robots can't see. All they can do is gather data and a bunch of pixels don't look like a picture to a robot... they are just a bunch of pixels. So the alt tag is a great place to add another instance of keywords into your update. Just another sentence with the phrase in it rearranged just like before. This one can be seen by people, but not as obviously as the caption.
i.e. Image of dallas dentist office waiting room
Now, insert the image just like you would normally.
Because search engines need your content more than anything else, the various algorithms that they use all have one thing in common... they all want new content added on an ongoing basis. To make sure you provide the content they want in a routine fashion we suggest two things;
#1 create an editorial calendar
Having a plan to target specific keywords/phrases on a regular basis is key. Using one of the templates below, you can create an editorial calendar that will help keep your plan organized and on target. Your editorial calendar should include simple information about each of these projects:
- Title or description of the content
- Links to supporting documents, like content briefs
- Author or writer
- Channels you will promote it on (don't forget, search engine optimization goes hand in glove with social media)
The following is a very basic template of an editorial calendar which we got from this article on the Hootsuite Blog. You should add columns or rows as required.
#2 Pre Post your updates
Using your editorial calendar does not have to be a day to day thing. You can create it, then schedule the updates you write to be published automatically on a future date through your website. If you have opted to have our social media setup done as well, then your social media platforms will also get the update over time. Here is how you do it:
- Create and optimize a blog post as usual, but dont click on the blue publish button
- just above the blue publish button you will see a calendar icon with the words [Publish immediately] and an edit link next to it. Click on the edit link
- this will reveal date and time fields that you can edit to your liking. Set the date into the future and click okay
- that will change the publish button into a schedule button. Click on it and your post will go out automatically at the time and date you specified.
You can create and schedule your entire month, quarter or even year of updates all at one time using this technique. Then you simply do what you do best... build your business while your website published updates to get the search engines attention.