Tag Archives: search engine optimization

SEO for Dummies

29 Jul

Maintaining a blog during grad school proved to be a lot more difficult than anticipated. Regardless of my excuses, I apologize (this will hopefully serve as a reminder to myself to be consistent with updates). ONWARD.

Ahhhhhhh!

My parents used to say I was on AIM too much when I was a kid. You’ve been staring at that screen for 2 hours! Who knew all those primarily “waz up”-based conversations would come in handy in the future?!

We all learned something from talking about homework assignments and boyz. I developed a freakish typing speed, the ability to navigate a website easily with minor clicks, and the now second nature ability to solve basic troubleshooting issues. This brings me to the theme of a topic very relevant to my life.

SEO

So what does that even stand for? Search Engine Optimization. It’s a fancy name for how high up a company falls in google search results. And why is this important? IT’S SO IMPORTANT. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I can’t stress enough how essential it is without the excessive use of capital letters so I’ll try to hold back.

WHY is SEO so important?

Easy. If no one can even find your website, how do you expect them to find you? The days when you could do business based on real live connections and offline marketing are long gone. You have to keep up to keep going (without of course neglecting the importance of maintaining powerful offline marketing).

Sooo…I’m sick of reading, where do I begin? 

Google–>Business Solutions–>Adwords–>Get keyword ideas.

BEST tool EVER.

In order to optimize your website, you need to know what people are searching. This tool minimizes the personalization of Google.

Google is a freakish search engine that personalizes every search by utilizing web history, IP address location, and other assorted privacy-diminishing tactics. I’d start with something basic. For example, let’s say you are just starting an auto parts business in San Diego. I would think of what someone might search when they are looking for auto parts in San Diego. Initially I’d start with something broad like “auto parts”.

Results

“Auto parts” results in 6,120,000 global monthly searches and 5,000,000 local monthly searches with a low-moderate competition level. This might sound ideal because many people are searching this topic monthly and it results in low to moderate competition. Wrong. This should not be one of your primary keywords. What is the benefit of global search results (outside of the U.S.)? Zilch. What’s the benefit of someone in New York finding your company? Eh…kind of helpful but not really. You can do further analysis by determining the interest of those keywords over time.

Let’s get more specific.

Since this company is primarily location-based, let’s focus on the greater San Diego/Southern California region. Search keywords “auto parts san diego” and “used auto parts san diego”. You can get even more specific by focusing on specific parts that someone might want. You can even combine the location with the specific part. And so on and so forth…

Eventually you’ll find the search patterns. You can also run each of these specific searches by deleting web history/personalization beforehand. Look at the “source” of each of the top search results and look for the pattern in keywords.

Source-Huh?

When on your own website, go to View–>View Source

View Source will result in your current Title and other assorted meta/alt tags that you currently have. The Title is the most important. “Keywords” and “Description” meta tags are close behind. There should be keywords within the title, meta tags, and alt tags.

I would use your top keywords in your

  1. Title
  2. Keywords & Description meta tages
  3. Alt tags for images
In addition, don’t forget about in-content keywords!

Soooo…how can you change your keywords?

Use a program like Adobe Contribute with your website admin login to change within-content keywords and meta tag keywords, meta tag description, alt tags, and title keywords to fully optimize your website.

Note: You must change in-content keywords as well in order to fully optimize your site. Bolded words have more weight. Headers have more weight. Italicized have more weight. Keep that in mind and try to fully utilize every image, header, etc.

And BEYOND!

More topics to look into that will help your SEO:

  • Google Places
  • Yahoo Local
  • Yahoo Business Solutions
  • Bing Local
  • RSS Feed
  • Backlinks
  • Youtube
  • LinkedIn/Yelp and social media sites
Good luck! 🙂
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