Factors That Impact Your On Page SEO

SEO huntsville al Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, typically comprises two distinct and different strategies…optimization of the website itself , known as “on page” optimization, and boosting the authority of the website in the eyes of the search engines, known as “off page” optimization.

Though both SEO activities should be utilized for greatest impact, you should focus on your on page optimization before starting any off page optimization.

In this article, I’ll go over some areas that can be optimized on your website to increase its ability to attain better rankings. Before I start, however, you need to be aware that most pages of your website need to be SEO’d. This will not be a problem for many websites but if your site has dozens of pages, the work and time required can be considerable.

Here are 4 factors that impact your website’s SEO:

Title Tag

The title tag is the main text describing a web page. As such, it is one of the most important elements of On Page SEO. It mostly shows up in three places:

1)   The top of browsers and page tabs.

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2)   The web page title on search engine results pages.

seo madison al

 

 

 

3)   As link anchor text on external websites, such as social media sites.

In most cases, your page title tag should be relatively short (no more than 70 characters), accurately describe the page’s content and include two or three keywords you are optimizing the page for.

Meta Page Description

A meta description provides a short summary of a web page’s content for use in search engine results. As of September 2009, Google does not factor a page’s meta description in it’s ranking algorithms. So why are they important?

Users searching for specific content will be more apt to click on a search result with a compelling description that incorporates relevent keywords.

Therefore, your meta description should read well and at least include your primary keyword. If your description provides a benefit or elicits interest in the user, you will enhance your click-thru rate. Google will truncate or shorten any description over 156 characters (including spaces) so it’s best to use that as your optimum length.

On Page Content

The on page content should include the keyword phrases you are targeting and be unique to your website whenever possible. For search engine optimization,”keyword density” can be a factor (good or bad) in determining if a web page is relevant to a specific keyword or keyword phrase search. I would use no more than 5 keywords per 500 words of content. Too many is worse than not enough. The main thing is to make sure your content flows naturally and is of good quality.

Website Design

Though you may be surprised that “website design” is included on our list, it can have a profound affect on SEO in numerous ways:

  • Keep visitors on your site as long as possible, with a well organized and professional look.
  • Coding should be as “clean” and validate with “W3C standards” whenever possible.
  • Media, such as images, and coding should be optimized to maximize site speed. A fast site is good for both SEO and human visitors…no one likes to wait for pages to load.

This has been just a small sampling of factors that affect your website’s SEO. If you address the topics contained in this article, you’ll be on your way to well-optimized pages. With a strong On Page SEO framework, you’ll find your off page optimization efforts yielding better and faster results.

TAP Marketing specializes in helping local businesses in Huntsville and Madison, AL get more customers and clients with affordable and effective internet marketing solutions. Give us a call at 256-513-9736 or Contact Us for a free consultation.

Keys To Generating And Maintaining Website Traffic

seo huntsville al An increase in new customers and potential earnings can be made using internet marketing. Here are some key pointers to help you in your quest to build traffic to your site and make sure visitors return frequently.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one key way to attract traffic. If the search engines do not notice that your site is there, you will not get many visitors. The main point of SEO is to use the right keywords both in the coding of your website’s pages and titles but also in the text of your articles, posts and various content. Do research online to learn how to do this yourself or out-source this part if it is not your thing. It is most important if you want the search engines to notice you, so do make sure your site utilizes proper and current SEO methods for best results.

The single most important factor in building traffic is providing excellent content for your visitors. This means you must know your target audience well enough to post articles or other content that interests, informs and entertains your visitors. Relevant and up-to-date content is not only important to show Google, it’s also the right thing to do for the potential or current customers surfing your site.

A good way to capture your audience is to answer a question or solve problems they are interested in.  You can determine common questions by visiting blogs and forums related to your business and scanning the headings for common problems people are talking about. But really…who knows more about potential questions or problems your clientele may have than you? Use that knowledge to create content that solves or alleviates some aspect of those problems. With this technique you will build trust and traffic to your site. So, be helpful, offer valuable information, and watch your traffic grow.

One way to stay current is to check your competition occasionally to see what they are posting about, how their site is arranged and other details. You do not want to copy them but you might find ideas that with a little adjusting, could work well on your site. You could very well learn something from an occasional visit to your competition so work this into your routine.

For variety, consider adding video or audio presentations on appropriate subjects to your web site content. Alternatively, post videos to online video sites to generate a backlink to your articles. Producing a podcast or other audio content, little used in internet marketing, can also tap into other potential markets.

Finally, don’t forget your website design. Make sure your site is inviting. It should be graphically appealing and easy to navigate and find good information. Menus, topic clouds and tabs are popular tools for this function. Again, it is good to see how experts set up their sites to get ideas. Then adapt them to your visitors’ needs and desires. If a site is fun to click around and explore you will find that you viewers will return to enjoy the experience.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to drive traffic to your site. Now you know how to build traffic and keep it with the hints and tips provided. However, only those that master the major key of quality content that entertains and informs are likely to reach the level of success that most desire. So, get busy and create the traffic flow that internet marketing can provide.

If you need help with SEO for your website or any internet marketing project give TAP Marketing a call at 256-513-9736 or Contact Us for a free consultation.

Didn’t My Website Designer SEO My Site?

Huntsville Website DesignThis post isn’t likely to make me any friends from my colleagues in the Web Design community but as they say…”sometimes, the truth hurts.”

Generally, the problem is that the “left hand” has no idea what the “right hand” is doing. The end result is that important details involving your site are left undone. In this case, the left hand represents the website designer, and the right hand represents you, the client.

Most client’s naturally assume that their website designer will be optimizing their website for the search engines. Most web designers’ assume that the client will hire an SEO specialist to handle optimizing the site.

See where this is going?

The website design has been completed and the site goes live. The client reviews the work, marvels at the beauty, and makes the final payment. The problem is that the site has not been Search Engine Optimized at all and the client is completely unaware of this fact.

I’ve seen sites that have been live for years that still have “meta titles” that read, “Untitled Document.” This is a sure sign that no SEO work has even been done and the site’s poor traffic rankings usually are a result.

Now, I’m not blaming my fellow web designers because I don’t think it’s mandatory that they SEO the sites they build in the first place. I do, however, believe that they should communicate that fact with their clients. Some web designers perform basic SEO to the sites they are building and some outsource the work to a SEO Consultant.

Regardless of what is done in terms of SEO, make sure you talk to your web designer to see what, if any, SEO services are included with the site. This way, you will understand what it is you’re paying for and will know to look for a SEO Consultant if that work isn’t being performed.

At TAP Marketing, on page SEO is part of all of our website packages. Your site will go live ready for the major search engines to find you. To get started on your new website, call us at 256-513-9736.

Local SEO: 10 Things You Should Know

SEO Huntsville al
Image via Wikimedia Commons

Research has shown that 74% of search engine users perform local searches, with 43% of search engine users seeking a local business or service to make a purchase offline. 

This is great news for local businesses and service providers, but only if they have a web presence that has been search engine optimized. The following ten points will, hopefully, give some helpful insight into the SEO industry as well as what to look for in an SEO provider.

1. Content is King

Quality, search engine optimized content is the crucial element in every SEO campaign. Basically search engines index websites depending on the content they find on each page of the site. Comprehensive keyword research, to find and make the most of the targeted market, combined with a thorough understanding of language and grammatical standards, can allow a website to move to the top of the “SERP’s” (Search Engine Results Page) in an ethical and efficient manner.

2. Beware the “#1 Ranking” Guarantee.

People who promise a #1 ranking will either optimize for obscure keyword phrases (like, “purple and orange striped rubber baby buggy bumper”) that only 5 people in the world will ever likely look for, or they are simply making a claim that they hope will come true and know probably won’t. They may tell you they have an inside secret (think “against Google policy”) for ranking #1 on Google, a position you will quickly loose, when the good folks at Google discover it.

3. Overkill is Never a Good Thing.

Submitting your website to every search engine on the planet is unnecessary. Companies offering this type of service are only accomplishing two things, wasting their time and wasting your money. About 85% of all searches on the Internet come from one search engine. If you have just one link from an established website, or even better, a directory, the Big G will find your site just fine, on it’s own. Four (4) search engines account for over 90% of all traffic on the web. As for any assumed benefits from being listed in some unknown search engine in Pango Pango specializing in shrunken lizard heads that receives a whopping 3 hits per day; well, the result is obvious.

4. SEO and PPC are Different Acronyms.

Under the right circumstances, a well planned PPC (pay-per-click) campaign can be an effective way of getting more traffic and increased sales. But the fact is that PPC conversion rates are likely to be low, and more importantly, the potential “clicks” cease the moment the “pay” stops. Results utilizing a properly planned and executed SEO campaign may take a little more time, but they will continue to produce, and in fact grow, even after the work is done and paid for. In many cases after an in depth optimization of a website, only minimal modifications are required on a recurring basis, primarily pertaining to new content.

5. SEO is Not Magic.

No “top-secret handshakes”, “sacrifices of virgins” or “magic formulas” are involved in Search Engine Optimization. Any SEO specialist that can not tell his practices to you, their client, or a judge, or even his mother, may have something to hide. The very structure of the Internet has long been one of cooperation. With enough time, want and money, SEO techniques can be learned by anyone. A legitimate SEO firm will provide you with an item by item description of where your money goes. Be wary if you sense an unwillingness to answer any of your questions. While some technical factors might require some background to fully understand, a substantial summary of the general strategy, should be an easy task for your SEO company to explain.

6. SEO DIY.

It is entirely possible for you to execute your own SEO campaign and find a reputable SEO firm to help plan and organize it. To save money, you can do some of the work yourself, or have your in-house staff do it. This can be accomplished after a discussion of the goals of the website, a complete website analysis, comprehensive keyword phrase research, and focused instruction on the methods for achieving high search engine rankings. This is followed up with a detailed program of recommendations and procedures that the client can put into action themselves or hire others to perform.

7. All incoming Links Are Not Created Equal.

The value of inbound links to your site is determined by the relation of your field of business and website subject matter to the relevance and PR (Page Rank) value of the incoming link. The days of snagging all the incoming links you can find, in any way possible, are gone. Not only will low ranked and/or irrelevant incoming links not help, they will, in fact, cause a penalty. Link farms, automated link building software, or any other gimmick that does not carefully screen the links and the websites they come from will, ultimately, do more harm than good.

8. If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is.

This is especially valuable advice in the world of SEO. By its very nature, the Internet is a competitive marketplace and we all want to be #1. Tangible and measurable results can only come from a well planned and implemented optimization strategy. Over time, a reliable upward trend will place you far ahead of a speedy lift-off followed by a “crash and burn”.

9. Knowledge is Bliss…Or At Least A Good Idea

Above all remember, in the battle for the top, the very survival of your website, your business, and most likely your reputation is at stake. Watch out for any “shortcuts” or unethical tactics that anyone might suggest to further your business goals. In the end you, as the business owner, bear the responsibility for any company or individual you hire. Be adamant on knowing what the exact strategy is and the steps that are being performed to put it into practice. Ask for clarification if anything seems the least bit suspicious. In this situation ignorance is not bliss, it could be a huge stumbling block for your online business presence.

10. It’s More Than Just SEO.

The business relationship between an SEO provider and his client should be one of trust and openness. To be effective, an SEO provider must not only know the facts and figures pertaining to the project, but he must also know something of the desires and aspirations of the business owner. Sometimes, the things which don’t normally come out in an SEO evaluation are often the most valuable when searching for the “right solution” in the complex world of search engine optimization. The SEO provider’s ultimate goal should be to help the client achieve their goals in an ethical and comprehensive manner.

TAP Marketing provides local businesses in the Huntsville and Madison, AL area internet marketing services. Give us a call at 256-513-9736 or Contact Us for a Free consultation today!

Social Media for Local Business: Making It Matter

Social media can be a useful tool for local businesses, provided it is used correctly. Social media marketing puts your message in front of your current and potential customers. With it they might post negative reviews, criticize your product or service, and recommend potential clients to stay away from your business.

Image by mfinleydesigns on Flickr

Customers can rave about the great products or services you provide and what needs some improvement. They might also offer positive reviews that contribute to increased sales. To put it simply, that’s a great deal of marketing power to hand over to the general public.

In formulating your social media strategy, you should consider three important components.

Connections

The most common mistake for businesses to make is using social media to stage sales pitches. This is great if you want to be ignored or called out online for using a cheap tactic to make money. Regardless, you are misusing a fantastic resource for your business. Preferably, emphasize the development of personal relationships and making lasting connections with people.

Posting acknowledgements, along the lines of a consultant congratulating a client’s success or a company submitting posts about an event it is hosting, promotes your product and/or service while making a personal connection. These types of posts increase the curiosity of the reader, leading them to find out more information about your business. How did the consultant help his client achieve success? Why is the company hosting the event? Using this approach, your business is being promoted while building a relationship with your customers.

In addition, remember to build a relationship with your clientele professionally, rather than socially. More often than not, they don’t care about your personal life.

Visibility

Having an active social media presence also offers your business more exposure. Your business’s social media presence, makes it simpler for people to post comments. Although people can accomplish this whether your business has an online presence or not, your social media involvement will make it easy for you to respond to comments, start a discussion, or create a poll related to the issue.

Community

Finally, your business’s social media marketing should include a local component. A good start is to get in touch and build professional connections with businesses in your local community. They can be related products or services, establishments with the same marketing demographic, or even businesses that offer similar products and services. This can lead to mutually beneficial marketing opportunities like promotional events, while serving to increase awareness of your business.

Generally, social media provides a free resource for businesses, as well as individuals, to use. Don’t be fooled by articles about how the social media revolution has saved this or that business. Though you may be encouraged to create a Twitter account or Facebook page to start posting and marketing your business as soon as possible, be careful. Social media for local business is not the same as your personal social accounts. If you try to get in touch with your customers like you do your friends, you will very likely be unsuccessful. Likewise, if you try to use social media as a sales opportunity, it will quite simply not work.

Remember, by using social media, you are giving your customers a considerable amount of power and while the benefits may be forthcoming, so may the failures. To ensure this will not happen for your business, be certain you are making use of social media wisely.

Doing the Google Dance

Google has been doing lots of dancing the past ten years. The “Google Dance” refers to the numerous times Google has made a major update to their search algorithm and the changes in pagerank that always occur as a result. These search engine updates are as inevitable as death and taxes, but they don’t need to be as painful or everlasting.

The key is following sound, practical SEO practices that are instituted for the long haul, while closely following the intricacies of the “Google Dance” and making adjustments accordingly.

There’s a funny,informative and sobering post on the Level 343 blog that takes a look at the past dances, including a larger infographic of the one below.

Google Dance Infographic
Google Dance Infographic

Get New Customers Now!

What you need to know about local listings

How are potential customers finding you these days? Are they using telephone books and newspapers? Are they searching the streets, hunting for your particular business or service?

Today’s potential customers and clients are going to the major search engines, like Google, and typing in “exactly” what they are looking for. Continue reading “Get New Customers Now!”


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