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?

Stop Controlling My Newsfeed

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I have a very love hate relationship with Facebook. I love the social interaction and being able to share the parts of my life I chose to share with my friends and family. I also love being connected to those that don’t live near. What I hate about Facebook is that it chooses what I see based off the algorithms it’s created.

According to Kurt Wagner’s article Facebook: Here’s How Your News Feed Works, the average person’s newsfeed has 1,500 possible stories per day but only 20% of those stories will make it into that person’s newsfeed. Facebook created an algorithm called EdgeRank to determine what it will allow you to see. It assumes you will find certain things interesting based off your past engagement with friends and brands.

What bothers me is I’ve chosen to be friends with someone or like a company but because the post doesn’t have a high EdgeRank, I might not see it. A great example is I’m an administrator for the LPGA’s Facebook page but for more than a year I didn’t see any of the posts. Just because I didn’t interact with the content doesn’t mean I don’t want to see it. It angers me that Facebook gets to decide what I see and don’t see. There are probably plenty of people out there that enjoy not seeing everything but I’m the type of person where I want to see all the posts but Facebook doesn’t allow all of the posts through to me.

EdgeRank boils down to how close you are to someone and the amount of interaction you’ve had with them. It puts a value on a post has based on comments and likes and how long it has been since the post was created. The article The Importance of Engagement in Facebook Marketing – EdgeRank explains it in much more detail. What brands need to learn from EdgeRank is to put more time and effort into posts to make sure the post will be engaging. Only 16% of followers will see a brand’s post on average because of EdgeRank. The more engaging the post, the higher the likelihood that more people will see it. Some great tips were given to help improve engagement. It boils down to short posts that include visuals, a call to action and posting during the right time for your followers.

When it comes to Google+, Facebook’s competitor, I don’t know much. I’ve used it less than a handful of times. I’m ready to understand more about it and how marketers can successfully utilize the platform. Unfortunately, this week’s readings left me still wondering what Google+ is all about.

What I did gather from the article Why Google+ is an Inevitable Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy is that posts on Google+ have an effect on Search Engine Optimization. Working on a website, I know how important SEO is to a brand. It’s free traffic back to your website. Google+ is a content sharing platform that is significantly integrated into all of Google’s products. Posts you make to Google+ can have a very positive impact on your SEO. Brian Clark said in the article above that not contributing to Google+ could make you lose traffic to your website.

Apparently Google+ made some changes and Kim Garst details them in the article How to Use the New Google Plus Changes to Build Your Brand More Effectively. Not having used Google+ before doesn’t allow me to say whether they were good or bad changes. What I do know is that you aren’t forced to accept the new three column layout. Google+ allows you to revert back to the old version. Photos and videos have been made larger and a really cool photo enhancement feature has been added. While I say hello to Google+, I can say goodbye to blemishes.

Do you like the fact that Facebook chooses what you see or don’t see in your newsfeed?

How often do you use Google+ and what benefit do you get from it?