SEO Tips

Keywords in the URL

Keywords contained in your URL (Uniform Resource Locater) is also another item that carries a lot of weight with the Search Engines. On our sliding scale of +3 to -3, keywords in the URL come in at a strong +3. So that means if you can happen to get a domain name with your searched keywords, the better your ranking with the search engines and getting your web site optimized.

Take for instance this domain name:

http://www.freesearchengineoptimizationtips.com – it has all of the main keyword terms that will help whenever someone searches for any of the following keywords: search – engine – optimization – tips – free and that is not counting the keyword phrases that may be searched for as well.

Another factor of getting your keywords into your URL is by naming your sub files or pages with important keywords that you are trying to optimize for in the content for that particular page.

For instance:

http://www.freesearchengineoptimizationtips.com/urlkeywords.html where “urlkeywords” is the keyword phrase that you are attempting to rank well for. Now also keep in mind that you need to have the keywords in other parts of the document or just relying on them in your URL will not be effective. Having a URL that includes the keyword alone doesn’t help, but it helps when other sites link to you and lot of people link to others by their URL, thus the anchor text will use the keyword, and in the end that would help.

There are also some rumors that by having your keywords in your URL can also potentially help in your click through rate. My guess would be that the reason for that is that it makes the site look more relevant to your particular keyword search term.

Overall, just having a keyword rich domain name is not going to catapult you to the top ten, but in the big picture, it will help in branding your image and when combined with other SEO techniques, it does matter.

The META Tags

Ahhh…to META or not to META that is the question? Or in the words of my friend from Italy, “Whats the META you?”

Ok, enough of the puns. Really, META tags are not what they used to be. Now that doesn’t mean that they are not important, but it means they don’t carry as much weight with the search engines as they used to. Again, on our scale of +3 to -3, META tags come in at a +1. So, a point is a point and in the search engine optimization game, it all adds up. Three out of four tags that that I review here all carry a +1, the last one (the dreaded tag) gets a -1.

Let take a look then at some of the META tags and what you can and can not do to optimize your web site. First one up, the tag. Use this tag to write a description of your site. Now even though Google really doesn’t factor in META tags anymore, MSN and Yahoo still use META tags extensively. The other advantage to the tag is that some search engines will use that content as a description of your site in the search results that are displayed to the end user. The other rule that you want to be aware of is to try and keep your description to a 150 characters or less. Two reasons for that: first, if your description has to many characters it will not be considered a “robot friendly” web page. The other reason is that anything over that 150 character limit may get truncated by the search engine and in that case it would not display in the search results.

One last point, you also would want to try and strategically pepper your description with your main keywords as well. Just remember to write your description for humans and not just for the search engines.

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Geographic SEO

Geographic SEO, or Geographic Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of targeting website content toward very specific geographic regions. It can be a powerful method for marketing location-specific products and services, like real estate. When used creatively, it can also be effectively used to market non-location-specific products and services, like lawnmowers or lawnmower parts.

The concept revolves around creating geographically targeted content that is not seen by search engines as spam, and therein lies the challenge. It is important to do this correctly so that you don’t get your site banned from Google’s index, or otherwise penalized by their search algorithms.

Geographic SEO is accomplished using several different techniques together:

  • Using geographic keywords in the URL
  • Using geographic keywords in the page title
  • Using geographic keywords in the heading and meta tags
  • Writing unique content for the geographic area
  • Using geographic keywords in the URL

Notice the highlighted geographic keywords. An added benefit of using geographic SEO techniques at the URL level is that not only is Google likely to rank your site better for those keyword searches, but your click through ratio will be better when your site does show up in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This is because Google has a practice of highlighting the searched keywords when they appear in the URL. This draws the eye to your listing, making it stand out on the page ahead of other non-geographically optimized URLs.

Using geographic keywords in the page title

As any search engine optimization expert can tell you, page titles are of the most important aspects of SEO, and it is no different when it comes to geographic search engine optimization. Your page title is like the title on a recipe card. If you labeled all your recipes “Recipe,” you wouldn’t be able to find “Brownies.” This is parallel to what many website owners do by mistake: not titling their page with unique and relevant page titles. If your page is about Boise Idaho Mortgage Loans, then the title of your page should be Boise Idaho Mortages Loans.

Using geographic keywords in the heading and meta tags

Likewise with the meta title, heading, and other meta tags. All should contain the phrase you are targeting for geographic optimization. Your H1 tag in the above example should contain the phrase Boise Idaho Mortgage Loans, as should your meta title, keyword tag (though decreasingly relevant anymore), and meta description. The description tag is not so important for ranking, but can be very important for click-through. The description tag is what Google uses in the “snippet” it places in the SERPs. If it contains your geographically targeted keywords, it will be in bold, and more likely to stand out on the page as a relevant search results worth clicking on.

Writing unique content for the geographic area

This is perhaps the area where most webmasters who try geographic optimization stumble. The content must be unique enough not to be considered “spam” by Google. In other words, simply throwing up 30,000 city-named landing pages for the whole country with identical content will not get you ranked well. You must do your best to provide unique content, as targeted as possible to the geographic region you are wanting to focus on.

How to Improve SEO Rankings & Targeted Traffic with Social Media

Without a doubt, the content on your site (or any other place you publish) is necessary and important for becoming visible and directing traffic to your landing page. While it would presumptuous to say that methodical SEO marketing is outdated, it is accurate to note that it alone, is not enough.
Small business, corporations and independent professionals who wish to be successful, understand the importance of developing an online personality and presence to represent their company or brand. Today, it is not sufficient to offer a product or service through only traditional means of marketing. If you do not find a way to become visible within the social media channels, it is likely your company will cease to exist.

The problem for many business owners usually falls in one of three categories.

  • Unfamiliar with the likes (no pun intended) of social media and consider it a generational gap in which they have missed the cutoff
  • Cannot afford nor see the value in outsourcing or hiring for social media/community management
  • Have a hard time melding their professional persona into networks that were designed for other (social) purposes

Fortunately, there is a solution (or rather, several). The first step is to accept the necessity of maintaining multiple channels of communication. Anyone can make use of these sites, so it is vital to remember that the tricks of each portal can be learned. Depending on what you offer, different networks will service you in different ways.

How Social Networks Differ

Facebook announces products, events, and is a showcase of your following community. Twitter maintains a repertoire and information can be pumped through the web with insurmountable speed. Pinterest showcases the personal aspects of your company, displaying priorities and a company ethos through the images and sites linked to your page. Instagram also promotes a higher understanding through visuals, paired with a potentially massive (and active) following.

But these are only just a few. The idea behind large platforms is that you have access to an expansive community. The question, though, is how do you make sense of the onslaught of information presented to you – organize it (and your own content) in a way that creates a space where you are actually heard? It is possible, though not easily mastered. Following those with whom are related to your business is a start. Offering consistent (and still surprising material) is also helpful. Finding a singular message that is targeted to your active audience is key. Now, let’s think outside the box.

Our world that is booming with online activity, thus there is a need for us to focus on what we gain from our own efforts. Specialized social platforms, especially those that are content based, are an excellent resource for gathering, organizing, and creating relevant material. While you may have a smaller number of followers than the Jersey Shore cast totes on Twitter, the specialized social platforms successfully bring you together with people who relate to your professional needs. There, you are spreading your business message while maintaining a network of people you can actually utilize. Your presence is in no way stunted; instead, you are connected to people who have a vested interest in also spreading your information through their professional (and personal) channels.

An example of a site that succeeds in this method of professional communication is exploreB2B. The social platform for businesses allows users to write articles on their company, industry news and ideas for collaboration. Through the written content, business professionals reach an audience that can relate to their material, encouraging the users to spread the information through their own, relevant channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). The advantage of the communication aspect of the site is that the content is not lost within a sea of posts and tweets, it is refined and made influential through relevant professionals working together with vested interests.

The Moral?

Don’t shy away from social media marketing and connection, and in the effort to do so – expand beyond the “popular” horizons to maximize visibility to a relevant audience while improving SEO with links from social media.