by Niki Tudge
“SEO is not synonymous to JUNK EMAIL” – Matt Cutts
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term tossed around in many discussions about internet marketing, however few people truly understand what it involves and how to improve it. The purpose of SEO is to help your website rank higher in search engine results than your competition so you can draw people to your website (your shop front) and get more customers. The content of your website has a huge impact on your website’s SEO. But the effective use of content to improve SEO requires more than repeating specific words in a blog post or article. Achieving good SEO requires a combination of content, keywords, value propositions and website links. When used correctly SEO can be a vital component of your marketing tool-kit and a great tool for pet businesses.
Not only do search engines look for keywords, they also search for relevant content. If you write gibberish with some strategically placed keywords this will not help your SEO. Original website content that reflects the concept and theme of your website is the best way to drive visitors to your site. When you create original content do not forget that it needs to be relevant, well written and customer focused. If you use all three of these approaches you will soon have people clicking on your website.
Tips for writing content:
• Proofread: Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can distract customers from your written message. In extreme cases poor writing makes it difficult for the search engines to analyze your content and makes it hard to read and make sense of the message.
• Use titles and headings: Break up your content to make it easier for people to skim over the text. Keywords are more effective in titles and headings so make sure to give yourself ample opportunities to use them appropriately.
• Use short sentences: Online content is not a book. Use short sentences that your audience can read easily.
Keywords are words or phrases that people use to search for topics and content online. Integrating these keywords into your content will help improve your search engine rankings. An effective SEO campaign relies on choosing the correct keywords. Keywords that match the website will rank higher amongst the search engines. Popular searches also change so it is necessary to research the best keywords for your content. Google Wonder Wheel is a great tool for this because it can show you how the search engine groups keywords and their popularity ranking. Once you have chosen your keywords use them to guide your original content. Variations of your keywords should be in the title and headings and repeated throughout the content.
Your company should have a clear understanding of its value to its customers and what separates it from your competition. This is the value proposition. According to Google’s Maile Ohye, failure to provide value propositions is the number one mistake that many companies make. Your value propositions should not only appear on your company values page, they must be spread throughout your content in the form of differentiator phrases found researching keywords and phrases. For example, instead of simply using the phrase “local dog trainer” add differentiators that describe the business such as “puppy training, force-free, fun dog training.” Integrating differentiators into your content will improve your SEO as well as your marketing in general.
Linking is an important part of the SEO process. Every external link is a vote of confidence in the relevance of your website. The goal in improving SEO is to gain inbound links to your website. The more inbound links the better your SEO rankings will be. Fortunately, there are ways to improve the number of inbound links on your site.
Tips to Inbound Linking:
• Write: Writing and publishing articles online will provide a link back to your site. You may even make this a stipulation of using the article.
• Contact bloggers: Ask bloggers to review products or share information that will lead back to your site.
• Send out Press Releases: Include links to your site on your press releases. This will result in numerous links to your site.
So with a little thoughtful planning and work you can greatly enhance the chances for your customers finding your website. Think of SEO as installing and maintaining a lot of clear road signs to get customers to your store. You always want to make it as easy as possible for your valued customers to find you.