- by Trish
Who says SEO is dead; are you kidding me?
It was nearly seven years ago now that many posts were claiming that SEO is dead. Basic SEO will NEVER be dead folks… that’s right NEVER be “dead”. SEO is every bit as important to your local business website as it has always been.
First off, I’d like to explain that SEO is acronym for Search Engine Optimization.
And, it is the shady, underhanded, black hat SEO that is dead… and rightly so. Without proper SEO, a website is going nowhere… fast.
So listen up.
Don’t you ever be fooled by those types of smooth talking writers should they ever claim this to be true again.
Basic SEO goes something like the following…
Proper Usage of Keywords: In other words you are not going to use “Toronto plumber” as your keyword in the body of your website if you are a Bowmanville plumber. Use your keywords though you are speaking directly to someone in person.
Keyword density IS dead… so do NOT overdo keywords else you could find your website penalized for “stuffing” keywords. When that happens, Google WILL punish your ranking should you abuse using your chosen keywords.
META Tags: These tags you should see listed in your web page header if you were to click on Ctrl + U keys on your keyboard (using Windows), while viewing your web page.
These tags allow search engine spidering software list and index web pages quickly. Make sure you use these tags properly so that your site is indexed accurately and so that your posts will appear in search engine results. This will help ensure that your website will be more likely visited by those searching for, let’s say, your local business.
Using the Description META Tag appropriately can benefit your website best, as this will be displayed in the search results along with your page title. Please, don’t believe me… watch and listen to what Matt Cutts (in the video below this) has to say about THESE tags.
How much time should I spend on META tags, and which ones matter?
Here’s a example of a Description META tag:
<meta name="description" content="How to scan a Samsung TV [VIDEO included] along with a manual that you can save or print." />
There are other META tags you should become familiar with too, like copyright tag, robot tag, etc.
Title Tags: The same goes for this tag as described above in the Description META Tag; the page title is displayed in search engine search results. You need to decide how you want your website to be identified to your potential customer(s).
The Title Tag, along with the Description META Tag are THE most important tags a webmaster can use.
Writing the best description and title can be the difference in your article(s) being clicked on in search results, and read or not. So, you need to think of these tags as “click bait” when creating them.
Domain Name: If you have not yet selected your domain name, and you want to understand the benefit of having a proper domain name for your local business, I will let Matt Cutts explain in the video below. Four minutes into the video you’ll understand a lot better WHY your domain name really is important.
How Google Search Works
Good example of a great domain name for a Toronto plumber would be: TorontoPlumber.ca, TorontoPlumber.com, bestTorontoPlumber.com, bestTorontoPlumber.ca.
Guest Posting: The value of a well written article on YOUR topic published on a well known website that has a high ranking already will benefit your website in two ways. If a potential customer finds your article posted on another well recognized website, they may come to deem you as an “expert” on your topic.
Then, providing you are allowed to place at least ONE link in either the article itself or in the credit box (author’s details), make sure you use your local business website URL there, so that you will receive a quality backlink.
Good Fresh Content: Nothing beats fresh content. Google LOVES fresh and original content and always will. So be sure to take the extra time and offer those great tips you have always wanted your customers to know about but were afraid to share with them. Grateful readers will be sure to call you the expert in your local business.
NOTE: If you DO use fresh content be sure to copyright protect it by using Copyscape’s free plagiarism checker tool. This will help you find any duplicate use of your content and guarantee you that your article IS original and not a duplicate of someone else’s writing. Plus, when using this tool BEFORE announcing you have posted your new information will help assure you do not create copyright issues.
Use Social Media Accounts to Create a Buzz: I’m sure you have heard all about YouTube and how most people prefer videos as opposed to any other form of information given how busy everyone’s lives have become. So, if you are not camera shy, get those cameras rolling and offer up those great ideas on video that relate to your local business.
Inexpensive video cameras and even tripods can be purchased from local liquidation stores so cost is no longer a viable excuse for any of us to use. Then there are all of those high quality cell phone cameras. Those too can be used to start you off in creating great videos for your YouTube channel.
If you are camera shy (I am, so I do understand), perhaps you could use a family member to help you… or maybe you could create how-to videos where you can show your visitors how-to do something in your niche right from your computer’s desktop.
And then there is Facebook Fan pages where you can create a page for your business. NEVER SELL your fans and always provide only great content on your fan page so that your fans will not want to “Unlike” your fan page.
Here’s a quick link to create a your very own fan page https://www.facebook.com/pages/creation/
Don’t forget about Twitter, and again, I cannot stress this enough to you, do NOT SELL your business to your Twitter followers either. Simply offer up great, helpful articles that you have created, as well as those that you have come across that others have created.
Even sharing cute videos, quotes, images with quotes and cute, age appropriate jokes are perfectly acceptable.
NOTE: Treat your Facebook Fans and Twitter followers like your best friends who have only a few minutes of their time to spare. Send them QUALITY posts whether they are videos, inspirational images or even great posts others have created on your favourite topic.
Pinterest is not to be forgotten either. Here is help with Pinterest: How to Increase Website Traffic.
As for obtaining great images, I recommend only ONE website for images and that is Dreamstime.com. And, NEVER use any image that you cannot prove you have a right to use, else you may find yourself being sued for copyright infringement.
You need to make sure you add a link back to your local business website from ALL of your Social Media accounts. Then, always be sure to offer quality information and great/cute images to grab the attention of your social media viewers. This way you may have your followers buzzing about you in no time!
Simple Methods to Gain SEO – Update or Remove Outdated Content
There is so much advice out there today folks that I get it… most times it is tough to know who to listen to. If you are sincerely stuck for fresh content to add to your website then update or remove outdated content that you have published in the past.
That truly is a simple method to gain an SEO advantage, because by doing this you are telling search engines that you are keeping your content updated.
So… if you cannot provide the recommended post per month for a well established local business website, simply go through your old posts to see what you can now ADD to them. I’m sure you will be surprised at just how much new information you may be able to add to those posts you wrote even two years ago now.
Doing this will surely rank your old content and provide you with an added boost to your SEO at the same time.
Using your Google search console (you do have one already activated, right?), you will see your traffic listed per page. Find which of your older articles are no longer getting lots of traffic. Those are the targets you need to focus on by refreshing the information provided in those posts.
After downloading the csv version of my personal website performance shown in the screen print above, I opened the file, froze the top row with the header labels, and then sorted “Clicks” column from “Smallest to Largest” and highlighted ALL of those with zeros for clicks.
Now I can identify which posts that Google Search Console shows me that are losing traffic. Deciding what I can do to improve upon these posts in making them more complete by updating and adding information to each post is my next step.
Whatever is outdated, obviously will need to be removed, and what needs additional information or corrections made to the information offered will be now added to my “to-do list”.
Why bother, you ask?
Because I want my website visitors to benefit from the information that I share on my website, as that is why I created the content in the first place.
If I can make my content more inclusive and served up better than it is right now then my chances to improve my site’s rank will be vastly improved.
5 Simple Methods to Gain an SEO Advantage
1.) Update Meta Description
Another tip that has been suggested by SEO experts is for you to revisit you Meta Description of these old posts that are no longer ranking well. When improving the descriptions to entice searchers to click your posts in their search results make sure you are offering real a “call to action”. This will help entice searchers to want to click your link.
Now reads as:
What I mean by a “call to action” in the example above is the sentence; “Time for you to discover how you can do the same!”
Most SEO experts now recommend that you keep your Meta Descriptions to 155 characters in length. Remember that when counting characters that includes spaces between your words too.
You will want your descriptions to GRAB the attention of those searching for your information, so make sure to include your keywords while providing accuracy of what you are offering, and also include a call to action whenever possible.
Make sure your descriptions are DIFFERENT than your competition’s descriptions so that your descriptions will make your posts titles stand out, and will be more apt to be clicked on.
Convincing searchers to click on your posts is where you gain more traffic; so yes, optimizing your post Meta Descriptions IS that important. Plus… once more searchers click on your links in their search results, your posts rankings will automatically improve.
2.) Remove Outdated No Longer Relevant Posts
BUT… don’t just delete your old, irrelevant content… I have learned recently that it is best to redirect those posts to the most relevant articles in order to help those articles to rank better.
3.) Add Relevant Internal Links to Older Posts
It is so easy to forget about your website’s older content. So, do make sure that you add relevant links to your older posts as often as possible as this will help those older articles rank too.
4.) Create Other Forms of Media
Using the content in your older articles, you could create videos, infographs, and even audio files to bring new life to those posts and then embed them into those older posts. This will help to improve your visitor’s time on your web page and also reduce your bounce rate… proving to search engines that your articles are being loved.
5.) Adjusting the Date on Updated Old Content
Only when your old content has been updated and added to significantly would you ever adjust the date proving the relevancy of your reorganized content. If you only update a small portion of an old post then DO NOT adjust the date.
Be sure to also share this updated content on your social media accounts (and even resubmit it to Google). You could even go so far as to find users who are sharing your competitor’s content on social media and ask them to share your relevant posts.
The chance of seeing your older content rank better and better will be a slow and steady process. So please don’t panic if your posts do not appear on Google page one in the first week after you have added a substantial amount of new information, and then changed the date too.
These tips will prove out to help improve the rank of your old content over time.
How is your website doing with basic SEO?
Need help? Contact eParrs.com right now, or leave a comment.