Ways to Improve Your Search Results
7 Minutes, 17 Seconds
Written By John Marx
When it comes to search content is definitely the most important thing you can do for your website. With good, and quality, content your location on the search engine stands a better chance to be at the top of the organic search results. Along with the quality content you need to worry about keywords, your competition, page description, readability, non-spam, and semantic mark up.
Quality Search engine optimization (SEO) can make a big impact on the success of your online business. The tips below can help you achieve these results. The tips presented below can all be done by you in a few hours a week of your time or by professionals, like JM2 Webdesigners, using our unique set of tools designed to help you achieve the best search engine experience possible. By taking the time to tune up your site you can watch your websites growth.
Organic vs. Paid Listings
When you want to attract visitors through the search engine results pages (SERP) to your site you have two choices for getting on the top of the pages. You have organic and paid listings. As the search engines find more about your site they will index your content, images, and documents. Once this is done it is processed and analyzed to determine the quality of information, value that it provides, and determines on if you are the expert in your field of business in your area.
The best way is to get on the first page of the search engines using organic results. The reason for this is that you will not be paying the search engines directly for these results to show on the pages. You will either be doing the work or paying another third party, like JM2 Webdesigners, to perform the work. The biggest downside is it takes a while for the hard work to start showing. Under no circumstances should you ever just "build it and they will come" as rarely will this ever work. As with your business, you must put forth the effort to get your desired results from your website.
With paid advertising many will just think Google AdWords and be done. The problem with this type of thinking is there is more than just Google for finding websites. The other major search engines of Bing and Yahoo should also be considered. Additionally, with social media becoming more important to businesses this should also be considered. In many cases we have found that advertising on the social media landscape sometimes fairs better for businesses. The reason for this is people spend more time surfing social media than they do searching for information on the search engines. More time can equal more exposure for your advertising. The biggest advantage to paid advertising is you will be guaranteed to be seen using the keywords you want to be found under and in a much shorter turnaround as you're paying to be at the top.
First Page Goal
The goal of any search engine marketing (SEM) campaign is to be on the first page of the results. To achieve the best search engine results you need to do several things to each page of your website. Once you've made the changes you need to continue to look at your information, review your data analytics, and make changes to improve upon your results. Areas that you need to look at are:
Title Meta Information
The title tag is a brief summary like the cover of a book or magazine that explains what the page is about. This information will display in your browser's title bar, bookmarks or favorites, and as the title that is found on the search engines. In many cases if your can target your page to a specific geo-location, product or service you should also include that information. The title should be kept to 65 characters or less.
The description tag should be 250 characters or less in length. The description should be unique for each page that clearly and accurately identifies the content that exists in the page. When you can you should include keywords that exist within the page content.
Each page should include one, and only one, header. If you need more than one H1 (major topic for a page) it is recommended to create a new page just as you would have only one chapter title for each chapter in a book. The header field informs not only your users the core title of the page as well as the search engines.
Keywords Meta Information
The search engines will go through your page content looking for keyword phrases on your page. This will be a 100% computer generated list of keywords that is statistically based. The statistics may not line up with the keywords that you want to use on a specific page. As such, you need to think of what words you would type within a search engine if you were the visitor of the given page. You should try to avoid using the same keywords for every single page of content. The reason for this is that the content of every page should be different and not the same.
When you start SEO you will hear that content is king. The reason for this is that poor content will make your visitors leave your site by not providing them with the answers they are seeking, and not want to come back because of this. This can also make it so that they don't speak highly about your website as well. Whether you are selling a product or service, providing a knowledge base, customer service assistance, product manuals, sales information or other pertinent information you need to be concise and clear.
Every site needs to have a sitemap so that the search engines know of every page that exists on your website, how often it is updated, and when the last update. A sitemap should be in the industry standard XML format. You should use a site map for all dynamically created content, pages that may not be easily found (e.g. pages not on your main navigation that are typically found through search), you have a new or redesigned website, or you have a large set with archived content which may no longer be in the main links of your website.
Your site navigation should be clear and easily understandable so that your site visitors can find the information they want. By having the information easy to be found by your human site visitors the information will also be more readily discoverable by the search engines.
Image Meta Information
Each image that you put onto your page should have a few key items. The alternate and title text should be assigned. It is best practice to have the height and width of an image set to the exact size that is required. The reason for this is the image sizes will be smaller which will make your pages respond faster for your site visitors.
When your site is first created all of the links are usually right on target. Over time the information in your site can become stale, links to internal and external pages can become broken. If your web page has broken links you may have a less credible page to the search engines as well as your site visitors.
When you pull up a website you need your information to display as promptly as possible. The reason for this is that having a slow website can be perceived by the visitor as not important to your overall business, provides a less than great customer experience, and will make your visitors leave your site faster than they might have normally left.
As you start a new website the one item you don’t have are inbound links to your site. These back links are important as they help establish you as a credible source of information. The better the source for a back link the better your site will be perceived. Having links for local Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and other experts in a given field will help your website be moved to the top of the search engines.
Whether you decide to do all the work yourself or pay JM2 Webdesigners to do the work for you remember that you must also give content to help in the SEO process. Having an expert guide you and help you will help achieve better results. This does require your input as the experts for SEO are not the same experts that know your business.
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