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seo getting found online mike coleman blog

Getting found online is key to your success if you are depending on your website, social media, and other online collateral to help market your business. Unfortunately, when it comes to creating a web presence that is search engine friendly, it can seem like you are trying to hit a moving target.

But if you follow a few simple rules, you can hit your target and win the game of SEO. Here are seven for your consideration:

1.  Create great content on your website. Google is always looking for “relevant” content, and a lot of it, so when someone searches on a keyword phrase, your site is found to be more relevant than your competition. This will also decrease your bounce rate, which is another key factor in your ranking. Change your content periodically and have a blog on your website that you update on a regular basis.

2.  Create profiles on the main social media channels – Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest. Make sure you place your domain name in each of your profiles.

3.  Place short (less than one minute) how-to, instructional, or informational videos on YouTube and Vimeo. Place your URL as the first thing in your video description and write a good description using your keywords. Also, use your keywords in the title of your video.

4.  Use your keywords in your domain name and in the title of your blog posts.

5.  Optimize your images. Use image editing software, such as Photoshop Elements or Gimp, to decrease the size of your images. This will also decrease the load times of your web pages.
Make use of and populate the “ALT=” tag on your images.

6.  Promote your website, both online and offline, on all your materials – business cards, store signage, networking events, direct mail, your social media channels, etc. Something as simple as driving more people to your site can improve your SEO.

7.  Use Google Analytics and Google  Webmaster Tools to track your progress and monitor your results.

Doing the things listed above will not “guarantee” your success, but doing all of them will increase your chances of being on the first page of the major search engines when someone searches for your business.

There are many other elements to developing a good SEO strategy for your website, such as link-building, but the steps listed above are a great place to start.

Remember, it does take time to develop an SEO strategy, so don’t get discouraged if in a couple of months you are still not on the first page of Google or Bing. There are a lot of factors involved, and it takes consistent, ongoing effort to make it work.

mike coleman seo online marketing nashville tn

Creating quality content is a key component of your overall online marketing mix. And if that’s all it took to get people to your website, then it would be easy. Unfortunately, having quality content and keywords and all the other things that go into creating a solid SEO strategy are not enough.

And that is where off page SEO strategies come in. By “off page” SEO strategies, I mean anything you use that is outside of your website, such as video, social media, etc.

Let’s talk about a few of those now.

Video is one of the driving forces of online marketing today. YouTube, Vimeo, Metacafe, DailyMotion are just a few of the places where you can post videos. Post short 2 minute (or less) video clips of you talking about your area of expertise. You do not need a huge production studio. A simple home video camera or even your smart phone will suffice to get started.

Social media is one of the best places to share information about your industry. The key to making this work is to post shareable content, such as article links, video links, new trends in your industry, your thoughts on industry trends, etc. Just ask yourself this question before you post something – “Is this information something my followers will want to share with their friends and peers?”

Creating a newsletter is a great way to start building one of the most valuable assets in your business – your list (or database). Communicating with your list on a regular basis will help you maintain top of mind presence with your target market and drive visitors to your website if you are consistently producing quality content that your readership wants to receive and share. Constant Contact is a great place to get started.

Article sites, such as ezinearticles.com provide a valuable outlet for you to share your expertise by writing articles that are pertinent to the people you want to serve. It’s great for search engine optimization (SEO).

Press releases – both online and offline – are a great way to drive traffic to your website. Check out onlineprnews.com and helpareporterout.com (HARO). Do a search for online press release sites and you will find both free and paid versions.

Also, contact your local newspaper. For example, if you are having a seminar in your local area, contact the local newspaper to let them know. See if they would be interested in covering the event. I did this for one of my seminars and a reporter from the paper actually attended. It was local front page news.

Just remember, you need a good mix of both online and offline strategies to market effectively.

Think you have the Google algorithm figured out? Did you think you had the Panda trained and it would be nothing to handling the Penguin? Think again!

For those of you who are wondering what the %$(#$ I’m talking about, Panda and Penguin are updates to the Google algorithm. Panda came before Penguin. Penguin is the latest in a series of updates done by Google over the past year.

The thing about SEO (search engine optimization) is it takes constant research and reevaluating your website to stay on top of all the changes taking place and to rank well in the major search engines.

Many websites were impacted negatively by the series of Panda updates and there are some being impacted by the Penguin updates.

So, what do you do? First, don’t panic. It’s really not a big deal. Nobody knows everything Google is doing now, but there are a few things you can do to decrease your chances of being impacted by these updates.

According to Google’s Matt Cutts, if you focus on creating a high quality website that creates a good user experience, then you have no worries.

In other words, if you are a legitimate business delivering high value content either through your website, your blog, or whatever online methods you choose to use, then don’t sweat these updates.

If you are using keyword stuffing (using your keywords excessively on your site or in your HTML) or using shady link building tactics, then you should probably worry. But if you have the right keyword density on your site and the backlinks you have that point to your site are quality links, then you should be okay.

Another thing to be aware of, and this is nothing new, is having duplicate content. Don’t create pages or other domains/websites with substantial duplicate content. With the Penguin update, this is something that should be addressed again with all your sites to make sure this is not happening.

Duplicate content also applies to your blog, social media, and other pages you are using to promote your business. A lot of people repurpose their content from their newsletter to their blog and then to article submission sites or into their social media. Make sure all this content is not duplicated across these platforms. Make sure your content is unique on each of these platforms.

There is a lot more I could write on the impact of the Google updates but this should give you a high level overview of things to be aware of when performing SEO for your site.

SEO, (or search engine optimization, to increase their chances of being found in the search engines, but there is a lot of confusion as to how Google reads a web page.

If you read what Google has to say about the topic, it is relatively simple. When you do a search, Google reads thetag first. This is the line above the URL of your web page.

The second thing Google does is read the meta description tag located in thearea of your HTML. The meta description is a brief description of what your page is about. Google has said they no longer read the meta keywords tag, but they do still read the meta description tag.

Then the search engine will check the images fortags. This tag contains a decription of the image. Google cannot read images but they read the ALT tag instead.

The other things that can impact your Google ranking are your keywords and your navigation. Think about how someone would find your site. What keywords would they use? And use these words on your page. Make sure you check your keyword density. You want to keep it around 2% – 5%. This means for every 100 words of copy, you want to use your keywords 2 – 5 times.

The navigation should be very well planned and you want the user to click as few times as possible to get to the page they are looking for. Generally 2 – 3 clicks from the main navigation bar.

Another thing you can do to help your search results is to create great content. Remember to write for humans first and then write for the search engines. Your content should make sense and clearly describe what the page is about.

Backlinks are a huge factor in how your page ranks in the search results and social media is playing more of a role. But that is a topic for a future article.

If you do all of these things, you should start seeing your search engine rankings improve. Of course, this is an extremely simplified version of the big picture for SEO, but it will give you a good start.

What I just gave you is the tip of the iceberg. It takes constant research to keep up with the latest SEO strategies because Google and Bing are constantly changing their algorithm. There are new things to learn about SEO almost everyday, so it takes a considerable time commitment.

Keyword research and all the other tasks attached to improving your SEO are very time consuming and require very intense research to do properly. But with a little patience and a lot of time, you will see results.