The answer to the question “what makes good SEO” probably seems obvious. You’re probably thinking “duh, The Belford Group. You already told us that Search Engine Optimization is making sure that people and the web spiders can actually find our website. If our customers can find us, our SEO must be good.”
Not necessarily true. After all, your current customers know your name and know what you offer. Even if they don’t have your website bookmarked already, they can easily “Google” you by using your specific name.
What about those who don’t quite remember your business name or who are simply looking for any company in your region that offers your products or services? Will they be able to find your website?
SEO by the numbers
Web analytics is collecting data for the purpose of measuring, analyzing and then reporting how well a web site is being used. The analytics can tell:
A) which pages on a site are most popular
B) how long people are staying on the page
C) where they go within the site from the page
D) how they found the page
E) what they were looking for when they found the page ….
And much more!
Google Analytics is one of the most widely used web analytics program and is popular largely because it’s easy to use and it provides lots of usable, comprehensible data.
By using a web analytics program (we can help you with that), you can tell if people are finding your website and what words they are using when searching.
Another, less scientific way of measuring is simply asking customers, “How did you find us?” If no one says that they found you online, you might need to increase your SEO.
How do I attract the spiders?
There are several ways to attract the web crawlers (spiders) to your site…and they have nothing to do with leaving dust bunnies in corners or making dark spaces behind furniture!
Keywords are the words people are going to be most likely to use when searching for your products or services. By using keywords frequently and artfully throughout the pages of your website, we increase the spider’s chance of “hitting” your site. The consistent use of related words tells the spiders “this site is important to this searcher.” We research and use words and phrases that your target audience would be inclined to use when searching.
Notice how in this blog we’ve used the words “website” and “SEO” numerous times (and their variations). We aren’t being repetitive—we are making sure that the web search engines really understand what this blog is about.
Descriptions and Tags
Descriptions and tags are a part of a website that the reader never sees. It’s in the “back door” of the site and gives developers another opportunity to tell the web spiders what each page is about and what key topics are on the page. Tags are usually visible on blogs but not on websites.
Look at the bottom of this blog post to see how it was tagged to get ideas for what we mean.
Remember when we talked about Graphic Design last week? Well, there are more reasons than just appearance to bold certain words, use different size fonts, etc. Web spiders pick up on headline size and bolded words, and if they fit the keywords or general idea of what the searcher is trying to find, the spiders will be triggered to say “this is important.”
Look at this blog as an example. We’ve used several font sizes for headlines and subheads. This helps the reader understand the visual hierarchy of the page, but it also tells the web crawlers “hey, this blog has good stuff in it about SEO.”
Another major way to increase traffic on your website is to link build. This means finding ways to drive links back to your site, either through sharing links on other sites, through social media or through registering your site with various search engine optimization programs that will help refer searchers to your site.
Another way to link build is to link to other parts of your site from within your own site. This tells the reader that he or she can get more information about that topic by clicking on the link and it tells the spiders that this site has lots of relevant content because someone cared enough to link to the information.
For example, linking to the “Services” page when mentioning your services on a different page like the home page.
Ready to invite the spiders in?
The Belford Group is an experienced image-building marketing and website development agency, with more than a decade spent providing creative marketing and advertising solutions to fit any budget …and any medium.
Call us. We’d love to hear from you.