Search Engine Optimization Isn’t Scary

SEO Perfect Company

Search engine optimization or SEO for short sounds like a scary subject. The thought behind SEO is simple. A company wants to be easily found when someone searching the internet types a keyword into a search engine. The goal is to claim a high spot on the search results page because you will get more traffic to your link. The article What’s the Value of Being the Top Google Search Result states that the link at the top of a search results page gets 33% of the clicks.

The goal is to get that top spot but the question becomes, is that spot attainable for that specific keyword. Competition in the space and how well a company’s website is optimized for search all plays a part. Someone approaching SEO for the first time probably isn’t going to understand how to make their website work best for SEO.

It’s best to start out using Google’s webmaster tools to make sure your website is in working order and can easily be indexed by Google. The article 7 Ways to Use Google Webmaster Tools to Increase Traffic to Your Website gave tips that included creating a sitemap, resolving HTML errors and server errors and removing bad links. The easier it is for the site to be indexed, the better it’ll do in search. The key to using Google’s webmaster tools is to continually monitor your website. It isn’t a set it and forget it kind of area.

Once your site is in good working order, you can focus on making some changes for SEO. The article 10 SEO Tips for 2013 reinforced how important it is to keep good content on your site and update it regularly. It’s extremely important to reference Google Analytics to know the keywords people are using to get to your website. The next step is to utilize those same keywords in content and put them towards the beginning of the article.

An area that most people don’t pay a lot of attention to is images on a website. It’s extremely important to use appropriate file names and alt tags on images so they also can easily be found in search. That will drive extra traffic back to your website. The blog How to Move Your Blog Post Up in Search Results also said it was important to put the image size and a caption on the image.

I have a great example of how keywords and content tags get content into search. I wrote a blog for my Intro to Multimedia Class on how well they three different brands faired with integrated marketing communications. The blog was full of keywords and I made sure to apply tags to the blog. My blog ended up being quoted on SmallBizTrends.com. How did they find my content I first wondered? Then it all made sense. It had to be related to the search the writer did and my blog applied to the search terms. There was no other way for this person to wind find my blog. I hadn’t posted the link anywhere for people to see. That just goes to show how important SEO needs to be if you want to drive traffic to your website and be relevant with important keyword searches.

Do you think about SEO when you create your title for a blog post?

There are lots of tips for improving SEO. Which tip will you be taking the most seriously?

Advertisements

Look past Likes with Social Media Analytics

social-media-analytics-pic

There are so many metrics to measure and many other tools you can use for social analytics. It’s no wonder a lot of companies still rely on charting likes and follows and don’t dive further in to track engagement. It all can be very confusing and overwhelming but with the right social media tracking tool, some of the pain can go away.

The blog 13 Social Media Software Tools for Marketing Your Company or Clients does a great job of listing out a large amount of tools, giving the pros and cons of each. One of the tools on the list is Sprout Social and I am a user of this tool. I mostly use it for social analytics reporting but it has so many other features. Multiple profiles on most of the major social platforms can be tracked in this one tool. You can schedule posts. One of their highlights is the ability to find new customers and grow a brand’s social presence.

A lot of the tools listed I’d never heard of but many were free and sounded intriguing. EdgeRank is a tool I’d like to check out to see where the brand page I work on falls in edgerank on Facebook. I like that it can help a brand increase their exposure and fan engagement. Social Crawlytics is another interesting tool that will look at a brand’s competitors and see which users are engaging with competitors.

The blog Best social media analytics tools: 8 of the best to use also stressed the fact that most companies are only tracking the number of followers they have. There are so many other important metrics. I like to know which posts fair the best so I can adjust the social strategy. If there’s a type of content that isn’t performing well, then I want to know . Why keep going down a path that isn’t successful. Tweriod was also mentioned in this blog and it is a tool I’ve utilized. It takes all the guess work out of when the best time is to post to Twitter for a brand.

What a company may not realize if they aren’t tracking social media analytics is that “Social media is a window into the mind of their target market and a through that, it’s a window into the health of the brand,” said Niles Mork Ulnes in Beyond Social Media Analytics — Getting to Consumer Insights. It’s a way to understand what motivates a customer and track trends. You may think one thing of your brand and the consumer may think another. If you aren’t tracking that conversation on social media, you’ll be left in the dark.

I’m a big fan of Google Analytics and like that they incorporate social media into their free tool. The blog Using Google Analytics to track social media marketing does a great job of defining each of the areas and what the purpose is. I do want to clarify that Google Analytics doesn’t measure anything happening on your social media channels. The data they report ties back in to a brand’s website and what social channels are driving visitors back. It isn’t going to tell you how many likes a post got. You will see what social channels works best for driving web traffic and the type of content on your site that people share.

I encourage anyone who is just starting to dip their toes into social media analytics to check out this infographic. It gives actionable steps to start looking at social analytics. You shouldn’t just start looking at the data. First determine your goals for each social media platform. You won’t know what metric is the most important if there aren’t actionable goals to meet. The next step is to configure your analytics for those specific goals and get a tool that can help you accomplish what you are trying to measure.  A large part is educating yourself with the meaning of the metrics, as they are different for each social platform. The final step is to analyze the data and see if you’re meeting your goals. If you aren’t then how can you make changes to move in the right direction?

What metrics do you measure the most when it comes to social media?

Do you have a favorite social media analytics tool?