Search Engine & Social Media Optimization Strategies


SEO-OPTIMIZATION-3DStacked

photo c/o Bing Search, source unknown

Wouldn’t it be nice to see your website or blog show up in the Top 10 positioning on search engine results pages?

Top 10 is the ultimate gold when it comes to where our web pages are going to show up when people are searching for our products or services and if we want to see meaningful results for all of our tireless efforts to get our websites or blogs seen we need to make sure that the content we create for our sites will be highly visible to search engines.

That all seems pretty daunting and for many a frustrating part of online website marketing. The thing is that we simply cannot aimlessly practice online website content writing without including keywords and keyword phrases that will be recognized by search engines AND commonly used words and phrases that are most often used by people when they do online searches.

Online document and website content strategy is a critical part of increased reader engagement and web traffic. We may have the best products or services available today but if we don’t understand search engine optimization and social media optimization our sites will never be seen by the majority of those searching online. As equally important is writing high quality, clean, concise, informative and compelling content that will thoroughly interest and engage our readers and leave them with an immediate desire to find out more.

Search engine visibility and website or blog site ranking by the search engines is extremely important for anyone marketing their products, services or non-commercial sites online today. Without being an expert in SEO practices there are tools available online to help find the best words and phrases to use in our web content. Google continues to be the largest search engines by far and our ultimate goal is reaching that Top 10, page 1 search results positioning on Google as well as the other major search engines.

Google.com Webmaster Tools:
Start off by registering for Google tools and resources. I signed up for a Gmail account and have access to Google’s powerhouse webmaster tools that help guide website owners through their various tools and resources for search engine optimization and more.

Google Adwords Keyword Planner:
Once you have access to Google’s treasure chest of resources go the the Google Keyword Planner tool site linked here. If you want to use Google Adwords there is cost involved but to simply research keywords and keyword phrases the keyword planner tool itself is free. The tool landing page shows a number of options to choose from and you want to go to the first option provided which is “search for new keyword and ad groups ideas.”

Next you will see a search campaign box where you need to enter what product or service (or type of site content) you are offering. Think carefully about the commonly known names or phrases that most people would use to search for your site…never use highly technical jargon/language…keep it simple. Then enter your full website address ie http:www…  followed by entering your product, service or website/blog content category. Again, think in terms of the most commonly known terms for the category that would best describe what you offer on your site.

What follows those first three primary fields is ‘Targeting’ and ‘Customize Your Search’. In these two sections you want to focus carefully on geographic regions you are targeting an audience in, their language, search engine options and keyword search filters. There is a small question mark icon located just above these two fields for brief helpful information on what you need to focus on here.

Once this form is completed click “Get Ideas”. What you will see on the results page that follows are a series of keyword or keyword phrases which are the most commonly used terms used by people searching on the internet, a count of the number of searches made for each keyword or phrase, a competition rating and more.

Important: From the results described above, you want to choose keywords and keyword phrases that will serve your own objectives best. If you are a new business startup (just getting started with a new/first business) choose the keywords and phrases that are medium competition and number of searches.  Choosing higher competition ranking and the highest number of searches produces search results to highly established and ranked websites that place them in the Top 10 or 20 (Page 1 and 2) search results positions and even if you have a small search engine visibility, because of the much higher ranked sites for the chosen keywords/keyword phrases your site will never get seen (because your site is listed a multiple of pages deep in the search results). Remember that most people only click on sites listed on Page 1 of search results and a very small percentage will ever go into Page 2 results.

Keyword Density:
How many times you include keywords and keyword phrases (collectively) within each paragraph or web page is somewhat subjective but very close attention needs to be taken here. Google is frequently changing its methods and tolerances for acceptable use and volume of keywords within our content. If overused, and when identical keywords or phrases are repeated, Google now looks upon that practice in a very negative way, commonly referred to as “keyword stuffing” and you can expect that in doing so Google will penalize your site ranking heavily or render your site essentially invisible through poor ranking and search visibility.

There was a period of time where volume of keywording on a website was acceptable but NOT anymore…do so at your own peril. Search engines establish ‘algorithms’ for search ranking and visibility criteria which are essentially the rules that must be followed if we want people to be able to find us in search queries. Ignoring such rules is very risky and will most likely eliminate any chance we have of getting noticed, gaining a following, achieving reader engagement and ultimately our targeted new clients, customers and sales.

Keyword Density Target:  
To ensure that your website stays in the ‘safe’ zone for search engine visibility and ranking you should target a keyword density of approximately 1% – 3% of your total article/web page content. In other words, for every 100 words of content, use a maximum of 3 keyword or keyword phrase applications. To easily calculate this density, while your MS Word document is open, look in the lower left area of your system tray at the bottom of your monitor screen. You will see a page count ie ‘Page 1 of…’ and then ‘Words‘ which tells you how many words there are in your open article.

To calculate the percentage of keywords and phrases that occur in the article, count those keywords/phrases in total and then divide that count number by the total number of words in the article. If you have more than the recommended 1% – 3% keyword density, remove some of those keywords (or other content reworded) until you are back to the density limit suggested.

There is more to website ranking and search engine optimization for increasing search visibility and website traffic results than can reasonably be covered in this article but the essentials outlined above will give you a good start at improving how visible your website or blog will be in search engine queries and help those sites begin to establish ranking by the search engines. The key to establishing best results is to make sure you stay current on the methods best applied for your site as time passes and search engines change their algorithms and rules of engagement.

Test Your Search Results and Ranking:
Remember to frequently monitor your website/blog search results by running your own organic searches on Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. For myself, I would use search terms like “website editing, Peachland, BC” or “document proofreading in Peachland, BC” or “social media optimization in Peachland, BC”. When you see your own site search results placed on Page 3 or higher you know you’re on the right track. Always use ‘organic’ search terms like I have illustrated here for my own searches. Don’t use your site title as the vast majority of people searching don’t know you or your site title and they won’t get results that include your site. Keep tweaking your keywords and phrases and other relevant content wording until you succeed in Top 10, Page 1 search results position…and celebrate! Now you’re talking!!

Social Media Optimization:
Similar keyword and phrase practices apply to social media posts. It’s easy to forget keyword content in social media site posts (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LiveJournal, Tumblr, Pinterest etc.) and professional networks like LinkedIn but optimizing our social media content is equally important for generating website and blog traffic. Also make sure that your profile on each of those networks has keywording because it helps users of those networks to find you (and your related website/other locations) in their searches online. When you connect or get followers make sure you interest with them individually through post comments, sharing, Tweeting and private messaging.

Resources:
As a website or blog owner or administrator/marketer, make sure you do research on all aspects of writing website and online document content by doing internet searches. Find the experts online that can help guide you through the processes. Emulate success…do what successful people do. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Find others who are successful on the internet, learn their methods and apply those successful methods for best results.

For years I have consistently referred to two highly successful websites to learn current best practices and I have seen very positive results with my own website, blog and social media presence. SiteProNews is an excellent resource for breaking technology, social media and search engine news. SocialMediaExaminer is an outstanding resource for social media marketing, newsletters, events, networking tips and resources and live podcasts hosting interviews with many of the social media and business marketing giants of today who share how they have achieved lofty heights and their methods. Practice what these successful folks have done and you will save yourself an awful lot of wasted time attempting to get it right.

Ultimately you need to decide whether to apply keyword and keyword phrase content on your website or blog yourself or hire an expert in that service discipline to do it for you. It will take some time to achieve best results on your own. Remain patient and focused! Monitor your website or blog data through analytics as you make changes to keywording to see what positive or negative affect new (or eliminated/updated) keywords have on your website’s visitor traffic and engagement and search visibility. 

Most important of all….always focus on reaching that treasured Top 10 page 1 of search results! That is when the most significant results begin to happen! – See more at: http://lastingimpressionsediting.weebly.com/key-word-blog/search-engine-social-media-optimization-strategies#sthash.0NwJVCMp.dpuf

 

By Don MacIver, Owner, Editor, Writer, Author
© Lasting Impressions 2016

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