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WHERE TO START?
You really want to improve your site ranking and build traffic to your website.
• But it all seems pretty overwhelming.
Where do you start?
GOAL IS TO GET NOTICED
It’s important to get noticed by both search engine “spiders” and people so that you can build traffic to your site, and convince visitors to stick around and find out more.
In this lesson, you’ll explore practical, easy-to implement tips you can use to help build traffic to your website and keep them there.
• You’ll identify actions you can do for a traffic-building website makeover that will impress “spiders” and human visitors.
THIS LESSON’S OBJECTIVES
Over the course of this lesson you’ll discover:
- 3 guidelines for including keywords in your web pages.
- 4 search-engine killers to avoid on your website
- And some ways to incorporate fresh content into your web pages
YOU CAN DO THIS!
Each lesson includes the three styles for adult learners with:
• An Audio File
• A Written Transcript
• And a Practice Guide to gives you “hands-on” training customized to your own business.
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
Is it possible to use too many keywords?
- Yes, it is.
Here are a couple examples of SEO techniques that can get you blocked from the search engines:
- “Keyword stuffing”
This includes using specific keywords to extreme excess in the text of the web pages.
- Use of white color text or very small font over and over in a web page.
This trick was not visible to the human eye, but was picked up the search engines as text.
DON’T GET PUNISHED BY GOOGLE
As a result of these abuses, Google and other search engines look for the frequency of keywords when they “crawl” web pages.
They will punish you by moving your site to the bottom of the list or even blocking it if you engage in these types of techniques.
- Don’t risk it!
It’s not worth it!
HERE’S A RULE OF THUMB
What is the right amount of keywords to use?
- Use enough to show what the page is about without being annoying to human readers.
Here are some good “rule of thumb” guidelines.
TAKE IT HIGHER
First, in the ideal situation, the primary keywords should be in the headline, or title of your page.
- The primary keywords should also be repeated once in the first paragraph or so after the title.
If your text is longer than 200 words, you may include one primary keyword phrase about every 100 words, but not more than that.
Let’s look at an example of what that would look like.
EXAMPLE: INTERNET MARKETING
My keywords are “internet marketing.”
The title of my page is:
- “How to Avoid an Internet Marketing Disaster”
The first paragraph says “The first time you sit down to plan internet marketing for your new business can be overwhelming. Here are two tips to avoid an online promotion catastrophe.”
Notice that I included the keywords “internet marketing” only two times, but used synonyms such as “online” and “promotion” to convey the same meaning.
PLACE IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE
Next, put the primary keywords in the highest level of the page, where possible.
- In other words, keywords in the body text are OK.
But keywords in bullets or bolded are better.
Keywords in sub-headlines improve on the ones in lists.
And keywords in the title or main headline out-shine the rest.
- But…make sure the words still makes sense for human readers.
MAKE SURE IT’S STILL READABLE
Don’t get too carried away with putting lots of keywords into every page, post, and article.
- It’s easy to lose the forest for the trees.
Remember, the first goal of your website is to help people understand what you are about and how you can help them.
- Write with an engaging style that gets people wanting to read more.
- Include your keywords in the natural flow of conversation with your site visitors without sounding forced.
That’s how you get attention from both “spiders” and people.
4 SEO KILLERS
Now let’s look at 4 search-engine killers to avoid on your website.
- Too many images
- Too little text
- Too much unformatted text
- And inefficient use of images
MORE THAN A PRETTY PICTURE
Remember how search engines “crawl” web pages looking for relevant words to connect with searchers?
- Images are not text.
A visually beautiful site with little to no text will not build traffic well because you are not giving the search engines anything to read.
A balance of images and text is what draws attention from both humans and search engines.
GIVE GOOGLE SOMETHING TO WORK WITH
Next, for many people, writing is akin to having a “root canal.”
- Therefore, they put as little text in their web pages as they “think” they can get away with.
You are not writing an essay, but you need to have enough text to:
- Be pleasing to human readers
- And tell search engines there is something of substance on your website.
Shoot for at least 200-300 words on most of your pages.
Of course some pages, like contact us, may not lend itself to that much text, but most pages can.
Then, there are the pages that have lots of text, almost too much text.
- And it’s all in one big block.
No headlines, sub-headlines, bullet points or other techniques that make text on the web more readable.
Breaking up the text and formatting into nicely readable blocks with headlines, bulleted lists and sub-headlines serves two purposes.
IS IT SCANNABLE?
First, the fact is people read differently on the web.
- They want “scannable” content.
That means they can browse through it easily by checking out the headlines and deciding if they want to read further.
Next, search engines decide what the most important parts of the text are looking at the placement and emphasis on the keywords.
- Plain old text is at the bottom of the list.
- Big, solid blocks of text make it hard for them to decide which words are the most important.
Well-formatted “scannable” text grabs the attention of search engines and keeps the attention of human visitors.
GET IMAGES NOTICED BY SEARCH ENGINES
Finally, as indicated before search engines can’t read images because they aren’t text.
- But there are some things that you can do to increase the effectiveness of those images.
Most images allow editing to put a name and alternate text in the image file.
- Edit these fields to include text with keywords where appropriate.
These text fields can be read by search engines.
Next, if you include things such as a downloadable.pdf newsletter, or special report, consider also including a web page with the same information.
- Just like images, search engines can’t read the text in the .pdf file, but they will read a web page full of text
KEEP IT FRESH
Lastly, let’s look at some ways to incorporate fresh content into your web pages.
Did you think you could just get your website up, kickback and watch it shoot to the number one spot?
- Oh, if only it was that easy!
The fact is a component of the search engine ranking algorithm is the age of the content.
IS YOUR SITE STALE?
This means that things need to be updated from time to time for both humans and search engines.
If you’ve ever been to a site that hasn’t updated their blog in 4 years, you definitely have a different impression of that site’s usefulness than a site that is constantly updating with valuable content.
So here are a couple suggestions.
BLOGS MEAN FRESH CONTENT
First, if you don’t have a blog, get one.
If you have a blog, post on a regular schedule that you can live with and use those keywords.
- It’s pretty simple.
The reason blogging is all the rage is that is an easy way to get fresh content into your site.
- Do people comment on your posts?
Visible comments and feedback are also ways to get fresh content on your site.
- Be a bit careful in your settings, as un-moderated comments are an invitation for spammers.
MEET AUDIENCE EXPECTATIONS
Finally, live up to the expectations of your audience.
If you are a news or information site, people expect frequently updated content.
It hurts you with both search engines and humans if you don’t deliver what they are looking for.
TIME TO TAKE ACTION!
In this lesson’s Practice Guide you’ll find a checklist for evaluating the pages in your website “makeover” to get attention from both search engines and humans.
When you are ready, let’s move on to some truths about building traffic online with our lesson on: Two Types of Online Traffic: Spending Your Time and Money.