Pitch Perfect Marketing

8 Tips to Make Your Website More Search Engine Friendly

1. Pick The Right Keywords

Keywords are at the heart of every search engine optimization effort . You have to target the correct words and phrases that your audience is likely to type into the search engines. This process is called Keyword Analysis. First, you need to do the research to find those phrases. One of the best tools out there right now is called Word Tracker ( www.WordTracker.com ). With Word Tracker you can research the types of keywords that you are going have the most bang for your buck as well as those that are going to have the least amount of competition. It is best to start off with a set of phrases that you think your customers are going to enter into the engines. Then go to Word Tracker and do further research. You will probably find that there are additional words and phrases that you hadn't even thought of. Once you have whittled down the list of phrases, then you have the foundation for the rest of your search engine optimization effort.

2. Define The Title And Description META Tags

The HTML META title tag for each page describes what each page is about. Many of the search engines look to this Title tag to see what the page contains. It is usually a very short sentence or phrase. Add the phrases that you have researched in your key word analysis and place them into the title tag once, or at most twice. This tells the search engines that the page is "about" this phrase. The same holds true for the Description META tag. Here you want to be a little more lengthy in your description of the page, but in the text of this description you should include the keywords that you want to target for that page. Do not add the phrases over and over. This is a spamming technique. You want the description to be read in a natural way so that when people read it, they will understand what that page is about. If you can place your key phrases (from your keyword analysis ) within the META Description short paragraph and the META Title tag, it will help your search engine optimization rankings.

3. Eliminate Obstacles Within Your Website

The word obstacles here refers to different things you can do on your website that can actually hinder how the search engines index your site. Watch out for a navigation scheme that is hard for the search engines to follow. You want to make sure that you have text links within your site that link to all your main pages. You don't want to have linked images that are your single source of navigation around your site. That is why we also recommend you use a site map as a way for search engines to easily follow the links to all of the pages of your site. Also it is a good idea to have a set of text links at the bottom of each of your pages that link to the various sections of your site. A navigation bar built on only graphics does not provide the easiest path for search engine spiders to navigate through.

4. Write Readable, Keyword Rich Content

Content is king. The most important part of a website is that each of your pages is readable and the text itself has the keywords that you targeted during the keyword analysis phase. You want to create each of your pages with a healthy amount of text. You don't want just a paragraph or two. The more text you have, the better chance that those search engines are going to be able to understand (using their algorithms) what each page is about . If you have, for example, six paragraphs on a page about graphic design then the search engines are going to interpret that that page is probably about graphic design. If you only have a single paragraph because you want to keep the page short and sweet, then it is harder for the search engines to understand what that page is about, because it only has one paragraph to analyze. So for each of your pages, you want to create lots of keyword-rich, readable text.

5. Get Other Relevant Websites To Link To Your Site

Your website will benefit from having inbound links from other sites in the same category. So get as many links as you can from similar types of websites and similar types of companies/organizations. The reasoning is if many other sites are linking to yours then the content that you have in your site must be worthwhile and helpful to people. This is the goal of your links campaign. Research what those websites are that you want to have linking back to your site. Contact the web masters at those sites to request (in a polite way) if you can have a link to your site from theirs. Of course, if you have great content on your site, they should be linking to you anyway!

6. Insert Your Keywords Into Your In-Bound Links

Your in-bound links are those links that are on other websites that link back to your site. Remember that the actual linking text on those other sites should include the words and phrases you identified in your keyword analysis. In other words, you want to include those keywords and key phrases if at all possible in the text that people are using on their sites to link to your site. It helps the search engines to understand that the phrase you are using in your link text relates to your site. This helps your Google Page Rank and consequently you will get higher rankings for that phrase (across many of the larger search engines).

7. Use Pay-Per-Click

If you need to rank high in the search engines quickly, you can leverage Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Pay-Per-Click allows you to list your site in the sponsored sections of search engine results. You are bidding on key phrases people enter into their search engines, and then you appear on the resulting pages. Whether you are the first, second, third, etc listing depends on how much you are bidding on that keyword or phrase. Keep in mind though that people will be able to identify that sponsored listings are different than natural website search engine listings. But if you need to get your website some exposure quickly, then you can use Pay-Per-Click. Combined with a careful bidding campaign, you can get the exposure that you need until your organic search engine optimization efforts start to kick in. Keep in mind that Pay-Per-Click can be very expensive. It is important to track how much your return on investment (ROI) is while bidding. Make sure that you know how much it is costing you to bid and then how much it is costing you to actually complete the transaction that you desire (such as purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter, etc). PPC is a solid technique if used carefully.

8. Research, Revisit, Revise

Once you have a website optimized, it is important to revisit the site every month or so to check on its rankings. You can also research what your competition is doing (whether they are climbing above you) and revise your site to make sure that you are taking advantage of the best keywords and key phrases. Try to maximize the amount of text you have on your site as well (but make sure it is useful text, not just text for the sake of text). Use a blog to keep your content fresh. Leverage social media sites (like Facebook and Twitter) to engage with your audience on a personal conversational level. Beef up the number of in-bound links also. Once your website is complete and optimized for the search engines, the work is not over. It is an on-going process because your competition is always out there trying to get higher rankings. And if you are not intermittently checking and improving your own site, then your rankings will inevitably slip as your competition does more work and they rise above you.

Paul Kaufman
Pitch Perfect Marketing


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