Don’t Wing It with SEO and Keywords

Time and time again, I hear about website marketers shooting blind with keywords. Or, more specifically, they wing it with keyword selection.

Picking keywords that sound good and seem relevant is only part of the game. You can aspire to hit the mark along those lines. But what if you rank #31 at the end of the day? What good is that? So what if you chose relevant words?

I've long said that you need to know what your website brings to the table? Is it worthy? Does it rank for anything? Are you doing an overhaul? Will the new design hurt or help rankings? Who is creating the new content? Will it reinforce some themes so the website establishes or builds on its authority?

And that's just the start.

Keep the following in mind while you earnestly think about the choose your keywords:

Keyword selection is a tricky business.

I focus on relevancy and possibly searcher intent words like "firm" or "buy" or "service."

I suggest thinking about these factors and more...… Read more

When SEO Is a Waste of Money

Let's say you sell a consumer product and it bothers you to no end that you don't rank higher for some keyword phrases.

Ask yourself: how much SEO knowledge do you possess? How often do you use that knowledge? What are your successes?

Let's assume you read about SEO and don't practice it and don't have successes.

You could:

1. Lament that you lack expertise.
2. Complain that you don't rank higher.
3. Pay someone to do it.

My suggestion is that if you hire someone on staff (or a consultant), don't weigh in from your super obvious lack of experience. But ask some questions so you're more informed.

And when the strategies and tactics start rolling in, don't question all of them. If they collide with your messaging, then work out some compromises. Typically, I invent new content that allows me to have some freedom.

What I've found is that some company  marketers put on an SEO hat and fight everything.… Read more

SEO Website Audit: How to Prepare for an Effective Strategy

online marketing seo auditAn SEO audit is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. You want to your website to attract as many visitors from search engines as possible. But to improve, you need to know where your website stands today. What are its strengths? What are the weaknesses? The data provides the perspective that we need to help you use an effective strategy to:

  • Improve your search engine positions (top rankings)
  • Increase your website traffic
  • Generate more leads and sales
  • Support your brand with more visibility

At the end, you should come up with initial findings and highlight with something like:

Executive Summary

  • Refine the keywords; create a priority set you can track
  • Focus on one H1 per page (visible content headline with more keywords)
  • Add content to some specific pages
  • Create new content to support keywords
  • Improve internal cross-linking
  • Improve image naming and the image alternative text
  • Consider gated content for lead generation (more brief forms for unique how-to guides)
  • Add unique meta descriptions
  • Pursue more inbound links (blogs, other websites)
  • Review blog structure, categories
  • Update robots.txt file
  • Monitor website performance with Google’s Search Engine Console (formerly called Webmaster Tools).
Read more

5 SEO and Local Search Realities for Confused Marketers

google local search rankingsSure, you've been in business 10 years and you're good at what you do. You have tons of website pages about your range of services and specialties for kids and adults.

1. But sometimes it seems that no one is searching for your services.

Take this example: Google has some public data that suggests people search for "dentist columbus ohio" an average of 1,000 times a month.

But what about "columbus ohio veneers?" Nothing.

And if you're in a suburb like Worthington, Google claims there are 50 searches for "dentist worthington ohio."

2. People do search for words even when Google claims they're not.

The fact is, someone could search for "Columbus root canal prices." And if your website addresses that, you might want well and get a new patient. And while you collect your money, Google will show that no one is searching for that keyword phrase.

How can that be?… Read more

A Simple SEO Plan for 2018: Are You Up to the Task?

seo strategy in 2018You will hear a lot of buzz about what's important for SEO in 2018.

It still comes down to authoritative content and backlinks. Small websites with limited text and hardly any inbound links just can't rank well for competitive phrases.

My advice for SEO in 2018:

1. Take stock of your website.
2. Are you using the SEO  best practices for page titles, page headers, images and more?
3. What's your link building strategy? Are you getting links by creating original content and appealing to some of your industry contacts for links?
4. How often do you update your content? Does it just describe what you do or do you educate your visitors and solve their problems?
5. It's good to have a niche to stand out and build a relevant audience. But if you sell similar products and services, it doesn't mean you can't be distinctive. Offer advice others aren't handing out.… Read more