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6 Tips for Optimizing Your Site for Search

Oct
02
2011

Agency

6 Tips for Optimizing Your Site for Search

Courtney Rodgers, Interactive Strategist

Online search has become the staple information-gathering tactic for everything from funny cat videos to recommendations on products. A good Search Engine Optimization plan will make sure that your website is returned as a result when a potential customer searches for a problem that your product can solve.

Unfortunately, Google’s ever changing algorithm and constantly evolving competitive content means that there is no one-time quick fix to optimize your site. Successful SEO requires a great upfront strategy, a schedule for monitoring progress, and periodic tweaks and updates. Here are six tips to consider when implementing your SEO plan: 

1. Know Where You’re Starting

Before you begin, review your site’s analytics to see what terms are already driving traffic to your site. These results should be used as baseline to track progress after the initial optimizations have been made. The findings can also be used to kick start your keyword brainstorming. 

2. Exercise Empathy

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes when you’re brainstorming keywords. How would they speak about your product or uses for your product? Don’t include internal jargon or terms that are too generic to apply specifically to your product. 

Examples:

  • Keyword phrase with Jargon: Malus domestica
  • Jargon-free keyword phrase: Honeycrisp Apple 
  • Generic Keyword Phrase: Plant
  • Specific Keyword Phrase: Honeycrisp Apple 

3. Your Product is a Solution to a Problem

Some potential customers may be searching for your product by name, but you have the most to gain by showing up in search results for those who don’t. As you brainstorm keywords, think about the problems a potential customer may be having that your product can solve.

Example:

Problem-Solution Oriented Keywords for a Chiropractor: back pain, whiplash, neck pain 

4. Do Your Research

After you’ve completed your initial keyword brainstorm, use a keyword search volume tool (like Google’s Keyword Tool) to prioritize your list and explore keyword variations. The plural form of a word is a different keyword than the singular version and knowing which your target audience is using most is important to maximizing your SEO work.

 keyword 

5. Create Content 

Content is the single most important component to Search Engine Optimization. If your keyword brainstorming and analysis lead to keywords that don’t fit on the existing pages of your site, create new pages with content specific to those words.  

6. Monitor and Optimize

A true SEO plan is never complete. It is important to monitor your site to see if your work is performing as expected. Even when good results are achieved, you need to make sure you maintain your standing. As resources allow, you should continue to update and modify your content to maintain and increase your standings. 

When done well, Search Engine Optimization is great tactic to increase both the reach and relevance of your website’s content. To be successful, you must take time to choose keywords that fit your business goals and your customers needs, create content that is specific to the keywords you want to optimize for, and monitor your SEO progress and optimize when needed.