Archive for January, 2011

To Search Engines, not All Identical Keywords Are Equal

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

In our previous post we talked about how to identify the right keywords to use to be attractive to a search engine.

The next step is to determine where to put those keywords.  Not all places on a website are treated equally.

The most important places for a word (roughly in order) are the

  1. Domain name
  2. The page name
  3. The page title (which may or may not appear in the actual content) and possibly the page description (which will not appear in the actual content)
  4. Headings on the page
  5. Regular content
  6. As alternate text for video files and pictures.

If at this point you are thinking it would be wise to use a word or phrase as often as possible, then you would be partially correct.  If the search engines believe you are duplicating content for the purpose of beefing up your relevancy scores, they will subtract points from their relevancy rankings for your page(s).  You can also be dinged for the same web content appear on more than one website, or repeating content too often.

So the point is to use the words, just don’t go overboard.

Some of these items, such as the heading and regular content are readily accessible for you to change.  If you use a content management system, make sure that your provider either makes these details available to you or is willing to make the appropriate changes for you.  This area is one where good programming makes all the difference in the world.

Keywords, Choose Them Wisely to Drive Website Traffic

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

People come to your site 3 ways:

  1. They find a link to it (because someone liked the content on your site.)
  2. They type it in (because you told them about it, such as on your business card or an advertisement)
  3. They searched for something, and the search results point to your page (because you did a good job of convincing the search engines that your site is worthy.)

So how do the search engines (like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) determine whether a site is worthy?  They start quite literally, by cataloging the number of times each word or phrase shows up on each of your web pages as well throughout your website.  (Yes, it is a very large database.)  They then take a number of factors into consideration and give your web pages a relative importance rank for each of the words they have catalogued.  These factors include the use of social media, the number of links coming into the page, the number of visits to the page, and others.

When someone types in a search phrase, the search engine looks into its magical database and asks what sites are the most relevant.

The takeaway point is this:  if your site does not include the terms used by people doing searches, they will never find your site because it will not be in their master database.

So how do you find out what people actually search on? You do some tedious research.  http://www.seobook.com has a lot of good information for free.  Another source is www.wordtracker.com, and www.keywordiscovery.com.  The pay-per-click advertising programs such as http://adwords.google.com, Bing, and Yahoo also have key word search tools.

To use these tools you will type in a search term and the tool will tell you how many searches used that term or phrase.  Good tools will also provide you a list of similar phrases and the number of searches tied to those terms and phrases.   Remember that different search engines and processes attract different people, so the exact statistics will vary from tool to tool.  If you do this yourself, you will likely need to create a spreadsheet of key words and how many times they appear before you can make a good decision.

Once you determine what the most important keywords are, use them in all of your campaigns and materials.

If you need help determining the keywords for your business, please give us a call at 615-479-7518.

What Does Your Website Say in 30 Seconds?

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Random website visitors are like a boss I had one time.  From my cubicle, I could regularly hear him berate people for bothering him with problems that he did not think were significant or fit the situation.  Many times, they actually had a significant question; they just took too long to get around to the heart of the problem.  As I told my fellow employees, the solution was to start with your most significant issue and get it said in one sentence or two.  Once he tuned out, you were done.

Random website visitors will tune you even faster than my old boss.  You have 30 seconds or less to convince them you might

  • understand their view of their problem
  • solve their problem, and
  • have supporting information in the website to build your credibility.

We advise our clients to accomplish this goal with a powerful headline on the home page that leads into a sub-headline and an opening paragraph.  With this starter and good blueprint of the text skeleton, much of the content will write itself and your website will be a powerful communicator.  Website graphics are far less important.  We also think that for many people, the process is easier when a third party helps with the process.  (I know personally that it is very easy for me to get bogged down in wanting to explain all the details of my own business and  that it is difficult to remember the reader only needs a 20,000 foot view.)

Some of our example work includes http://www.farringer.com/, and http://arenalawfirm.com

Is Your Website Marketing Strategy Like an Elementary School Cafeteria?

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

At my elementary school the cafeteria was right in the middle of school.  If the lunchroom got too noisy, the nearby classrooms could not hear their teachers.  For each of my 6 years there, the principals were always trying to find ways to keep the noise down.  Nevertheless, it always got loud, and the only people you heard were the people at your table of 6-8 students.

Every day we as consumers are bombarded by the “cafeteria noise” of people asking for our business.  It all sounds so similar:

  • Great “customer service”
  • Just like the “big company” but more personal service
  • “Low prices”

So how do you break through the noise?  Instead of trying to shout louder than everyone else, why not just be yourself?  All of us are unique individuals with our on take on our industry.

We help our clients develop their unique voice because we think it is more likely that you will get customers that you can serve very well.  These are the clients that will rave about you.  On the flip side, when the customer is really looking for an approach that is opposite to your style, it is more likely that they will chatter about what poor service your provide.  In the worst case scenario they become the customer that makes you cringe every time their number comes up on your caller ID.

We have helped several clients do a better job of identifying how they are uniquely positioned in the marketplace:  www.arenalawfirm.com, www.affordableclosings.net, and  www.laserone.com.   Call us at 615-479-7518 to see if we can help you.

    Please come back when we have finished our re-branding and have republished this site