Search Engine Optimization: Why Do Keywords Matter?

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Why Do Keywords Matters?

For a business owner in the digital age, some of the technical terms floating around can be somewhat intimidating. Naturally, you are familiar with business jargon, but when social media experts start throwing all of these terms out there is can be somewhat confusing. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of those terms that leaves business owners scratching their heads in confusion.

Even if you read articles on the subject, you usually end up walking away with more questions than you started out with. You might read about Google Penguin, Panda, or Hummingbird and find that there are really no actionable steps to take. The truth is that this is done intentionally. Rather than toil through article after article of technical jargon, a better first place to start is with keywords. (more…)

Brandcasting. Article marketing goes a long way. (Part 4 of 7).

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When you market yourself as an expert in any field, chances are that people will want to buy from you. An excellent way to do this is to write articles and about your industry then distribute them both online and in print publications. Both Ezines and print publications are hungry for fresh content, so submitting a good article to them is a win-win situation; they get fresh content and you get exposure. Keep in mind that it’s very important that your content is engaging and informative so that readers will seek your articles out and publishers (ezines and print publications) will come back to you again and again for that golden content. Article marketing can really establish a lasting footprint online for your brand because useful information tends to have a longer shelf life. Articles should be in-depth and informative and rely less on opinion and more on facts. Here are some simple guidelines to help you get your articles the attention you seek.

“¢Â How-to’s are great subject matter when creating an article. A succinct list that explains how something is done in a step-by-step manner can be an enticing read. For example, say someone bought a low-quality “widget” from a competitor and you write an article on how to make a high quality “widget” in a step-by-step format. First, the reader will feel empowered with the knowledge of what makes a great widget and may use that knowledge to question the competitor. Secondly, you become the quality “widget” master in that person’s mind and the next time they’re in the market to buy a quality widget, they just may think of buying from you.

“¢Â Make good use of the resource or bio section under the articles you write. The submission box appears after your article and is where you can promote your brand as well as offer contact information for the author of the article. You should include a short bio and a link back to your main site and blog. If your content is good enough, you can be sure people will click on your links thus increasing your website and blog visibility.

“¢Â Use keywords in your articles that are similar to the ones you’re using on your main site. Remember that SEO expert you hired when you built your website? You can use that same keyword strategy with your articles too. This will help your search engine rankings when your articles are linked back to your main site. Good thing you hired that SEO expert, right?

“¢Â Publish your articles to submission sites and have them distribute your content. Submission sites collect articles and also allow for you to add a bio-section at the end of your articles that can link back to your brand site or your blog. A few of the more popular ones are ezinearticles ,   goarticles , thephantomwriters and buzzle.  To find the best fit for you, do a search for online article marketing distribution and you’ll find lots of options to choose from.

Want to read more on article marketing, visit my article on the subject by visiting this link

Brandcasting. Build a strong and SEO-friendly site. (Part 2 of 7)

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Having a branded website is the first step for getting online visibility. Think of your website as the foundation of a house or a base camp. Every element of your Brandcasting campaign will link back to your branded website.  Your website is an extension to your brand, so make sure you build it right the first time.

When building a website, consider having three experts on hand:

1) An SEO expert. While employing an SEO expert can be expensive, it really is the foundation of a good Brandcasting strategy and is worth the cost. But do your homework first. There are some SEO solutions that promise you way more than they can deliver. If you want to know what to avoid when choosing an SEO expert, click here.

2)  A solid programmer who understands SEO and SEM. I can’t tell you how many times clients come to us with websites with broken links, absent meta tags or are built entirely in flash and are literally un-findable by search engines. Clients then proceed to tell us that they hired a professional designer. Some coders are not aware of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM). If ever there’s a time to hire the experts, now would be it.

3) A knowledgeable designer who builds sites for a living. Make sure you choose a designer who has a working knowledge of what good design means for both a human and a web crawling bot. For example, you may want to make sure your content is text instead of images to get the best optimization for your site. That happens on the design level and a good User Interface (UI) designer will know that. If you want to go it alone on the designing of your site, solutions like Lynda.com offer how-to videos that can be an affordable, albeit a time consuming option. However, I would not suggest taking on programming or SEO work yourself if you have no background or knowledge of either field.

Here are some things to keep in mind when building your main site.

“¢ Make sure your site is well designed, easy to navigate and is structurally sound. This is where a good coder and designer can pay dividends in the future. Keep in mind that it’s not enough to look good to the human eye. Your website must be sexy to a web crawler too. For example, it’s very important to make sure all your links work. If they don’t, web crawlers may stop at a broken link and may never see all the great content you have past that one link. Not sexy. Another thing you may want to consider doing is to have a site map that lays your entire site out in simple HTML code. Sexy, sexy.

“¢ Update content on your website often. The more often you have new content on your site, the more often bots will crawl it thus increasing your website’s visibility and rankings on search engines. If your content is refreshed daily, web crawling bots will visit your site more often. Placing articles or daily blog posts on your site are some of the most common ways to offer up daily content.

“¢ Have a keyword strategy. Having good keywords can make or break an online branding campaign. Having keywords built right into your URL can mean added optimization. For example, if one of your top keywords is “widgets” , it might not be a bad idea to name your site “widgetsforless.com” or some URL with the keyword worked into it. Again, you can see how having a strategy upfront can have implications for the life of your brand in the long run, so it’s always a good idea to get an SEO expert involved from the get-go.

“¢Â Position your brand. Doing a competitive analysis of keywords can help you level the playing field within your industry. Positioning your brand with keywords can mean helping get your site the right kind of traffic. If you are selling widgets, for example, you want to focus keywords around the words that people who are searching to buy widgets are most likely to use. That makes sense, right? A good SEO expert can help you determine what keywords people use when they are looking for your goods and services. Having a list of the right keywords will help you be more findable when searched for. Also, sprinkling your keywords in all forms of content that you release on the Internet will help you rank higher for those keywords and can be a great way to build links back to your main site.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about different forms of content that can help kick-start your Brandcasting campaign.

Want to find something? Ask a librarian.

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Most search engines rely on constantly crawling the web for the purpose of mining keywords, titles, phrases and links. The search engine then indexes the data it collects so that when you search for a topic, it can algorithmically spit back information based on what you typed in the query. As the information on the web increases, weeding through results that weren’t relevant to what you were looking for will occur more and more. The process of asking a question and expecting an answer is fast becoming an inefficient way to find answers, according to a recent technology review post published by MIT. The article suggests a process that is more akin to how you would interact with a librarian. For example, let’s say you asked a librarian to help you find information on Florence. She may ask you to further specify; Florence art, culture, history, Travel? Thus a more efficient way to search online would involve asking a question, then being asked another question for the purpose of specifying what you are looking for, then getting a more targeted answer. To experience this type of search, one has to go no further than a visit to WolframAlpha.com.