It’s the holiday season! It’s time to think about what you’re going to be doing on the web for the next year. Are you already happy with where your website is at in the rankings? And is that website getting all the traffic you want? Maybe even more important, are you getting calls or emails from the people that visit your site?
Let’s tackle this one at a time. Today, we’ll just focus on…
Where is your website in the rankings?
Ideally, you will know exactly the terms for which you wish to be found. People make me do my own version of Santa’s chuckle sometimes.
Identify your target Keywords
In order to hit a target, you need to be able to pinpoint that target. In this case, you will be targeting keywords and phrases. When there is more than one word involved, and there almost ALWAYS will be, these are referred to as “long-tail keywords.” Your website will likely be found for a number of keywords and long-tailed keywords, but some will be obviously more profitable than others. Some are “buying terms” and others are “informational terms.” There is a whole branch of marketing devoted to identifying these kinds of things. Usually it’s recommended that a website target buying terms in large part and support it with those informational terms. Good keyword research can help identify what terms may be the absolute best to try to optimize for a given website.
Something to keep in mind is that the more specific your target, the easier it is to rank for a keyword. If one of your target products happens to be a “blue widget with white spots”, it will be MUCH easier to be found for that term than the very generic term, “widget.” Provided of course that you word your pages correctly to optimize for the “blue widget with white spots.” Since we do this day in and day out, you also need to be aware that a majority of your competitors are ALSO frequently optimizing for the same words, so even with a good optimizing, there may yet be miles to go.
Figure Out Where You Are Now
In a perfect world, you would rank at the top of every search page for every search term you could possibly EVER dream of. But this isn’t a perfect world. And you will NOT rank at the top of every page for every term that you conjure up. We’ve seen (and even had) several sites that come close to that, but they are the exception, and not the rule. So you can start by just doing a manual check on where you appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for the desired terms. As you go boldy into the new year with your plan and/or SEO company, those selected keywords and phrases are what they will be pushing. If you get extra terms to rank as a result of that, then you should consider that “gravy.”
Make those Keywords Rank
Once the target is identified, then it’s time to start working on those terms in a variety of ways. Quality links from other sites are probably the single most valuable way to accomplish good rankings for your site. With the recent Google changes, and those rules are ALWAYS changing, strong social presence from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so many more can be a HUGE benefit to your rankings. If you are aware of any industry specific forums or chat areas that you can visit to leave comments, these are also effective. As long as you can leave a link to your website with anchor text, using the keywords you identified above as your anchor text, you are now creating effective “backlinks.”
Backlinks are the currency of website rankings. No matter how you slice it, links give a site its strength. You can have a beautiful site with no links – and you’ll have a site that only you will ever see. Don’t mistake graphical beauty with being a well ranking site. Some of the best ranking sites (and performing sites) that we have ever seen were only a step above dog ugly – but they got call after call. Obviously, there is a sweet spot there.
The more links FROM GOOD SOURCES, the better. A backlink from WRAL-TV for example is going to be far more powerful than a backlink from an obscure blog that only you and one other person know about. Additionally, if the blog or site from where you link also has similar content to your site, all the better.
Help Me – I don’t even know WHERE to start
Has all this got you seeing Christmas stars? Feeling like you’d just rather be away in a manger? Bad puns aside, it’s not really all that complicated when you have a great company to guide you through it. With many successful SEO clients in our Outside Raleigh area, we are well equipped to help you define your targets, help optimize your website(s), work with you on social media and GET RESULTS. Find out more information here about Outside Raleigh SEO.
We at Outside Raleigh wish everyone a happy and joyful holiday season!