The weekend of April 20-22 we spent our days at the West Kootenay Trade Show. As usual it was a very good time where we got to meet interesting people and of course - have lots of intriguing conversations. One of those was a conversation with a man who owned a small business and had a homemade website but was struggling to get his website noticed in google. He told us that he had heard that all it would take to get his website ranked in google was to add a video. That if he would just add a video his site would shoot to number 1 in google.

Sounds good doesn’t it? Well not really…. and here’s why. The logic is inherently flawed. You see google lists only 10 organic listings on each page. This means that what ever you search in google, you will see only 10 organic results on the first page of google of that listing. So what if there are 10 other small business owners with the same type of business as yours? And what if all 10 of them add a video on their site to make the first page of google? Well now, including you, there are 11 websites competing for that first page using the same method you did… one of you has to lose.  Bottom line… there are no magic formulas to get onto the first page of google!

So how DO you get notice by Google? Here are our tips for effective SEO.

This chart from Ascend2 shows the top 2 effective SEO tactics are Content, Keywords and link building.

1. Content is King.  We have said this before, but when it comes to SEO this is true. When we say this, we don’t just mean having lot’s of content. Having less content that is formatted correctly can be better than having lots of content that is ignored by search bots. What do we mean when we say this?

  • Make sure key words exist in your content. Key words means that you have words on your site that people are actually search for. If you want people to search for your plumbing business in Calgary, then key words you may want would be “plumbing” and “Calgary”. Having properly constructed pages that include keywords is extremely important. Even more important on than this is focusing on effective topics…. more on this in point 5.
  • Content needs to change. Google loves new content. Your website needs fresh content on it on a regular basis. A blog is a great way to get new and changing content on your site. For more information on this, check out our post HERE. Having content change on your website is important - but make sure the content is relevant both to your products or services and to what people are looking for. Find fun and interesting ways to blog about things that your readers will want to read.

2. Link Building. Link to other sources that are relevant. Find other sources on the web that have content relevant to what you have on your site and link to it. But link building is about more than linking to other sites - it is far more about getting links back to your site. Find creative ways to get other sites to link back to you.  MOZ has a great article on how to launch a link building campaign. You can read it here. Link building is a slow process that takes time to build.

3. Social Media Sharing.  It is really important to understand that it is not about the quantity of Facebook shares, but it is all about the links that are generated through those shares. The more your site or blog are referenced on social media the better. It is really about being where people are… and they are on social media. Get good content there and they will share it and it will generate leads back to your site. Search Engine Journal has a great article that will expound on this more. It is worth having a read.

4. Speed Maters. Speed is in important factor to your SEO rankings. If you manage your own hosting, make sure your site loads quickly and be quick to address the factors that slow it down. If you use managed hosting, make sure that your host checks this regularly. Google has stated that speed is measured in their algorithm.  If google measures it, you should pay attention to it. One important way to reduce speed is to avoid using redirects.  According to MOZ “Each time a page redirects to another page, your visitor faces additional time waiting for the HTTP request-response cycle to complete. For example, if your mobile redirect pattern looks like this: “example.com -> www.example.com -> m.example.com -> m.example.com/home,” each of those two additional redirects makes your page load slower.” Bottom line - keep your site running fast.

5. Focus Less on Keywords and More on Topics. This sounds like a blatant contradiction to our first point, but read on. Google and their algorithm are always changing and evolving. Gone are the days where keywords are the most important factor. So how do you do this? According to Singlegrain.com there are 2 things to consider:

A. Know Your Target Audience

What kind of content you’ll create will depend on your audience. The better you know them—their location, age, and likes—the better the content you’ll create (and the better your SEO). For example, suppose your keyword tool shows that “android” has a lot of search volume. People searching for it could fall into several categories:

i. Mobile users searching for Android help
ii. Star Wars fans looking for droids
iii. Robotics enthusiasts looking for information about androids

Without knowing your target audience, you might end up creating content for all these topics, which would win you neither readers nor good rankings. By building a detailed buyer persona, you’ll be better able  to zero in on topics that matter to your readers.

B) Organize Content into “Themes”
Instead of focusing on standalone keywords, organize all your content into different “themes.”

For example, if you run a website about WordPress, you might have three types of readers:

i. Casual bloggers who are taking the first steps with using WordPress
ii. Experienced users who want to learn WordPress tips and tricks
iii. Entrepreneurs who want to use WordPress to build their businesses

To target each of these types of readers, you can organize your content into different themes that cover multiple topics, such as:

i. How to Use WordPress for Business (topics: WordPress marketing plugins, marketing advice, etc.)
ii. How to Optimize WordPress (topics: WordPress customization, WordPress development, etc.).
iii. How to Build Your First WordPress Blog (topics: Installing WordPress, essential WordPress plugins, etc.).
This is far more reader-friendly than simply creating content for specific keywords.

For the record, we are not saying don’t use keywords - we touched on this in the first point. But, it is important to construct them into effective topics that people are interested in and searching for.

Bottom line… adding a video will not put you on the first page of google. It is all about the process and taking the time to monitor your site and do what is required to get you there. With SEO… slow and steady wins the race. If you are not the primary “care-giver” of your website - make sure the person or company that is monitors your SEO and the factors that affect it.

 

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