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5 Simple SEO Tips a Marketing Manager Can Handle

SEO is not rocket science, folks. In fact, 90% of the on-site SEO process can be handled by anyone with basic website and computer knowledge (e.g. a marketing manager.)

In this blog post, I will share with five simple SEO tips that you (or virtually anyone on your marketing team) can handle. seo-tips

Before you get to optimizing your website, there's one thing that you'll want to confirm. That is, are you able to edit the content of your website?

If you have a content management system (or "CMS") like Wordpress, then you're good to go. If not, you'll need to touch base with your webmaster (or whoever created your website) in order to implement these SEO techniques.

SEO Tip #1: Make Your Website Keyword Relevant

This SEO tip is about as simple as it gets. It's important to ensure that your website is relevant for the keywords that you're targeting. To do this, you must include your keywords in the right places throughout the website.

The primary content elements that you'll want to include your keywords are:

  • Page URL - With the exception of the homepage, each page of your website will have a URL (e.g. www.YourDomain.com/keywords.html). Put only the primary keywords you're targeting in the URL (and dismiss words like "in," "the" or "for.") Also, separate each keyword with a dash (-) and not an underscore (_).
  • Page Title - This HTML tag defines what your page is about. The page title also appears in the search results as the main headline of your webpage listing (or the blue, click-able link in Google). For this reason, you'll want to include your keyword targets, but also be creative to compel search users to click your listing. Only about 70 characters of the page title will appear in the search results, so try to be concise.
  • Meta Description - This is the supplement statement to a page's title. Although it's debated as to whether or not the Meta description has SEO value (with respect to keyword inclusion,) the words a searcher uses will appear in bold. So regardless of SEO value, your page's search listing will appear more relevant based on user interaction. And like the page title, be creative and compelling with your words (and keep Meta descriptions under 160 characters so all is visible in the search results.)
  • Page Copy - It's ideal to mention your keywords in the page copy a handful of times, but avoid jamming your keywords. In short, include your keywords in a header and a few times throughout the copy. Keep your readers in primary focus (and not so much your keywords.) Keyword density is overrated, and too high of a density can actually be a risk.

SEO Tip #2: Create a Sitemap (and Link it Site-wide)

From a technical search engine perspective, the sitemap is known as the second most important page of any website (next to the homepage.) And unfortunately, many webmasters fail to include a sitemap on their website. sitemap seo tips

Creating a sitemap is pretty easy. It's basically an index page that contains links to all of the pages of your website.

Of course if you're optimizing an ecommerce website, there maybe thousands of pages to account for. This is when creating segmented sitemaps is a logical solution.

Once you have built a complete sitemap, you'll want to include a link to your sitemap on all pages of your website. An ideal location for this link is in a site-wide footer, or somewhere in the primary navigation.

SEO Tip #3: Implement Internal Linking

Another good way to establish keyword relevancy is to implement internal links (or "cross-links" between pages of a website). Keyword relevancy is established via the anchor text of the links (which are ideally included in the page copy.)

It's important for SEO to build internal links logically. That is, cross-link pages that are somewhat related to one another. This will naturally enable you to write keyword relevant anchor text that makes proper sense (and promotes optimal SEO value.)

SEO Tip #4: Integrate "Calls-to-Action"

Getting traffic to your website is half the battle. The other half is converting website visitors into leads. This practice is known as conversion rate optimization (or "CRO") and it takes the value of SEO one step further. call to action seo tips

A call-to-action is a simple way of saying "click here and give us your information." CTA’s are best in the form of obvious buttons or graphics (sometimes accompanied by a short form for visitors to fill out.) The trick to is to incentive visitors with something valuable, such as free consultation, audit, or eBook.

You can still manage to integrate CTA’s without designing graphics. A bold phrase in your page copy that says "click here to learn more" can often work just fine. Take some time to formulate a CRO strategy. It's an optimal supplement to your SEO strategy and making the most of your web traffic.

SEO Tip #5: Build a Google+ Page

So this SEO tip is a little of both, on-site and off-site optimization. Building a Google+ page will help generate greater search engine credibility and authority in your website.

It's super easy to do and can have a momentous affect on your SEO efforts. To get started, check out this past blog post about how to set-up a Google+ page.

The Takeaway

Keep in mind that these five SEO tips center on on-site optimization. Nowadays, on-site SEO only accounts for maybe 20-30% of most search engine algorithms. The remaining 70-80% of a solid SEO strategy focuses on off-site SEO, which is far more complex.

Here at OIC Group, we can help you with both on-site and off-site SEO. Contact us or sign up for a free web consultation (in the top left of this page.) We will personally review your website and provide free insights as to how you can improve your overall web presence.

Your Company's 2013 Website Optimization Checklist

Building a website optimization strategy for your company is paramount for its success online. It's key to create an actionable plan with realistic and well-defined goals.

This checklist is designed to help you and your company's marketing team tailor a results-oriented website optimization strategy. Whether for better website usability, visibility, or conversion potential, there are a number of elements that go into the website optimization process. Below we outline several ways in which your company can improve its website for better performance.

Optimize the Website's Navigation

A critical component of having a well-optimized website is its navigation. Navigation focuses on the structure and organization of pages, as well as how pages are linked together throughout the website.

Optimizing the navigation of your company's website addresses both SEO and CRO (conversion rate optimization.) In many respects, the emphasis is similar to structuring a textbook. Think of each primary category of the website as a main chapter, and the site's sub-categories (or individual pages) as sections that support each chapter.

From an on-site SEO perspective (and to strengthen a website's "domain authority") having more sub-categories and individual pages supporting a chapter will help bolster keyword relevancy and overall domain-level authority. A cohesive and logically-structured navigation can also help to ensure visitors can efficiently make their way around the website.

Optimize the Website's "Focal Pages"

Keyword optimization is a primary aspect of the SEO process. In order for your company's website to attain its fullest SEO potential, the "focal pages" of the website must include keywords in the proper places. Focal pages are core pages of your website that will bolster SEO value, such as the product and service pages.

Whether your website has 2 or 200 focal pages, the process is the same per page. The actual "optimization" of these pages consists of mentioning targeted keywords in the right places. These include:

  • the URL (e.g. www.domain.com/keyword-target/)
  • the page title (or "Meta title")
  • the Meta description
  • the page copy

It's important to note that a high keyword density is not the way to go. In fact, keyword stuffing is a risk that can get your website penalized (with respect to Google Panda.) Based on the best practices of on-page SEO, the optimal keyword density is about 2-3%.

Lastly, focal pages should only be optimized for 1 or 2 closely related keyword targets. Attempting to optimize a page for 3 or more keywords is inefficient and wasted effort. Instead try to create dedicated pages whenever possible.

Optimize the Website's Internal Linking

In short, optimized internal linking is the art and practice of linking one relevant page of your website with another. The art comes in how you balance the anchor text of internal links for keyword relevancy.

The primary purpose of internal linking is for better usability. For this reason, it's best to approach this practice with a logical and user-focused mindset.

However, optimized internal linking can also aid SEO. Similar to an inbound (or "external") link, the anchor text used for the link can help a search engine spider determine its keyword relevancy. So in addition to usability, you can implement internal linking with keyword-optimized anchor text.

You’ll want to be careful not to go over-board in using keyword-optimized (exact phrase match) anchor text. In light of Google's algorithm updates ("Penguin") that penalizes sites that overuse keyword-targeted anchor text (both internally and externally,) keep your linking as natural as possible, and only use keyword-relevant anchor text when it makes logical sense.

Optimize the Website's CTA's

An important component of your company's website optimization efforts is the use of calls-to-action, or "CTA’s." By testing the appearance and placement of CTA’s, you can maximize the conversion potential of your company's website traffic.

The CTA’s of your company’s website should be well aligned with its online conversion goals. If your optimizing an ecommerce website, the goal of your CTA’s will center on immediate purchases and newsletter sign-ups. As a result, you'll want to leverage sales promotions and customer incentives to get people to register on your site, or buy a product.

To determine the most effective call-to-action, testing multiple variations is key. Whether it’s the copy, graphic design, or the placement of the CTA, you’ll want to try-out and keep track of split-tests to ensure you know what's working effectively.

Optimize the Website's Back-end

The load speed of your website can directly correlate to its back-end, or HTML code structure. If you’re company is using a content management system (CMS) that generates a back-end structure of nestled tables and other robust coding structures, the load speed of the website may be hindered.

The coding structure of your company's website can indicate of how efficiently it gets crawled and indexed by search engine spiders. In short, a website takes several seconds to load (using a high-speed connection) may not be reaching its full SEO potential. To determine the approximate load speed of your company's website, try using this handy tool. If it takes several seconds for the website to load, you may need to optimize the HTML, or flip your company's website to a different, more SEO-friendly CMS.

Optimize the Website's Sitemaps

Next to the homepage, the sitemap of your company's website is one of the most important pages. The sitemap should withhold the entire navigation of the site, containing links to all primary pages.

In essence, the sitemap brings everything together like an index and it serves as a roadmap for search engine spiders. For deep websites with hundreds and thousands of pages, creating segmented sitemaps is a great website optimization technique.

Segmented sitemaps are essentially as the name implies. You simply break-down and segment a lengthy sitemap into relevant groupings for their own dedicated sitemap. For instance, if your company has a blog that publishes posts weekly or every other day, you can create segmented blog sitemap to contain links to all of you blog posts.

After you've created a sitemap, or segmented sitemaps, you can then generate XML versions of each sitemap. XML sitemaps are submit individually to your website’s Google Webmaster Tools account. This tells Google the pages of your website that are ready to be crawled and indexed.

About the Author:

Tyler Tafelsky is a SEO and Internet marketing specialist at the Web Presence Group, a professional website optimization company and branch of OIC Group.

Tyler offers over 5 years of experience in the SEO profession and has handled a spectrum of campaigns on both a global and local level. You can contact him directly via email at tyler@webpresencegroup.net or you can connect with Tyler on Google+.

What Constitutes a

SEO Friendly Shopping Cart for Website OptimizationThere is a lot talk in the ecommerce forums about which shopping cart software platform is the most "SEO friendly." It is a phrase that gets tossed around quite a bit, and depending on who is claiming a shopping cart to be SEO friendly, the definition can mean a lot of things. Here at OIC Group, we have years of experience in developing ecommerce shopping carts, particularly those that need to be compatible with search engine optimization. So in this blog post, we are going to highlight some of the major components that make for a SEO friendly shopping cart.

"Static" Instead of "Dynamic" URLs

One of the most important aspects to a SEO friendly ecommerce site are the URLs of its product pages. A dynamic, non SEO friendly URL might look like www.yourwebsite.com/id=12345?ref=321. In a SEO friendly ecommerce platform, you should be able to edit and choose the URL for your pages. This will allow you to include the page's keyword targets in the URL. So instead of a dynamically generated URL, you can change this to a static, SEO friendly URL like www.yourwebsite.com/keyword-target.html.

Title & Meta Tag Control

Another key component that you need complete control over is the page title and meta tags. The title of the webpage is one of the most important contributors to establishing keyword relevancy for SEO. In addition, the meta description holds some importance for SEO, and it is also crucial to blend keywords into the content of the description.

SEO friendly shopping carts will always have editable fields where you can write your own page title, meta description and keywords. There is no right or wrong way in writing these on-page SEO elements, but be sure to know what keywords you are targeting for that page and respectfully include those keywords into these fields.

 

Optimized Internal Linking Patterns

Unlike external linking, which is commonly referred to as "link building" from external sources to generate website popularity, optimized internal linking is different (and still very important for SEO.) Ensuring that your site has a well-optimized linking pattern between relevant pages can make a significant difference in your rankings Each page of your ecommerce website should be optimized for one or two primary keyword targets. For instance, you want www.yourwebsite.com/product-x.html to rank highly for the keyword “product x". In turn, you will to create links on your site that point to www.yourwebsite.com/product-x.html to use “product x” in the anchor text or link text.

But you may be asking yourself, "how does this apply to my ecommerce shopping cart software?" Consider the product categories of your ecommerce site. Almost all shopping carts for ecommerce websites will list product categories in either the top or side navigation. It is thus important to ensure that shopping cart software you use makes the links to your product categories in plain text links, and not images or the SEO Unfriendly Javascript. Because the core navigation of links is found on almost all pages of your ecommerce website, this provides quite a bit of link weight to your primary product categories. When the anchor text of these links are all keyword optimized, the results can be very beneficial to increase your rank in the search engines.

XML Sitemap Generation

Generating and submitting the XML sitemap of your ecommerce site will help search engine spiders crawl and index your webpages faster. This is an important component for search engine optimization, for most search engines like Google fully support and emphasize the use XML sitemaps. Some of the most SEO friendly shopping carts will create XML sitemaps automatically as product and category pages get updated. For ecommerce websites, this can be a great features because some online stores have thousands of pages on the website. This is ideal if you provide ecommerce SEO services or simply have an ecommerce website.

Shopping Cart Functionality

The last point to consider when pinpointing an ecommerce shopping cart with SEO in mind is the functionality, especially during the checkout stages. This aspect focuses more upon the consumer behavior and preferences, rather than the mechanics of SEO and spider crawl-ability. In fact, many would consider this to be a facet of conversion optimization or website optimization. While customers are checking out, the last thing you want them to do is bounce, or leave your site due to a cumbersome process. Aligning the stages of the checkout process with respect to the product and customer preferences is essential. Many professionals in the field of website optimization consider this aspect to go beyond SEO, however wasted traffic is as good as no traffic. Ensure that your ecommerce shopping cart software enables you to customize the steps in the checkout process. Only a few SEO friendly shopping carts can handle these capabilities without a developer.

 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Internet marketing specialists here at OIC Group, Inc.

Visit Tyler on Google+

 

Peoria Web Design Company Offices:
OIC Group, Inc.
Phone: (309) 680-5600

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1111
Peoria, IL 61653