SEO insights

SEO insights

newsletter of social squidsSEO (search engine optimization) remains a mystery to many entrepreneurs and website owners. In truth, it’s rather simple. Search engine optimization is a way to help Google, Bing Yahoo and others find and classify your website.

By improving your SEO, your website can rise in the rankings. Without paying attention to it, your site may sink like a rock.

Using social media

You can help your SEO by adding a link to your site in your social media posts, e-zines, emails and newsletters. Make your social media content searchable by using hashtags and keywords in your posts.

Add your location and/or a map on your social media pages to let people know where you are. This is especially important for companies that have a local target audience.

SEO on your website

Make use of an SEO plugin for wordpress sites, or the the SEO feature on your web builder. Follow the guidelines the software suggests and your site will start to make positive moves.

Be sure to use your location in the keywords. Google and other search engines are used more by mobile devices than desktop computers now. Having your location will make you show up in the search when someone is nearby.

Make your blogs at least 300 words. It might sound like a lot, but search engines don’t bother much with pages that have little content. If the blog is really long, cut it in half and make it either two blogs or continue it on another page. If someone is interested in reading more, they will click to see the next page.

Use google analytics or some other tracking software to see where your page visitors originate. Do they come from your emailed newsletter? Social media? Searches? Or did they just type in the name when you gave someone your card? Once you know this information, you can make adjustments.

Blogs

Adding subheadings for your blog and pages is good for SEO.

Keyword density should be 5-7% for your page to be optimal. A construction company’s page might have “construction” or “building” as a keyword. Using a keyword in the first sentence and a few times on the page will make search engines happy.

Links, links and more links!

Get backlinks from relevant sites. For example, for your construction company, get your suppliers or clients to link back to your site. Search engines love backlinks.

Link within your site in your blogs and pages. If you mention a topic covered on a previous blog, link to it. If you want people to get in touch for more information, add a link to your contact page.

Link to other websites. If you are talking about making donations to a charity, provide a link.

SEO insights Social Squids

Images

Use alt tags for your images. If you use wordpress, go to the media library, click on an image and you can see where to add this tag. People looking at your website can’t see the alt tag, but it is in the code. If you have a photo on your site called Img_2005.jpg, search engines have no idea if that image even relates to your site. Adding an alt tag that says, “Baltimore area construction,” is more descriptive and helps SEO.

You can change the name of the image. Using Img_2005.jpg is not as good as new_construction.jpg. Add a description of your photo that is seen by the search engines and a caption that is visible on the site. You can do all of those things, but use different wording in each place.

Looking for a good SEO plugin for your WordPress site? I recommend Yoast SEO.  If this has gone completely over your head or beyond your abilities, you can contact me for additional information or a consultation.

Infographics on the rise

infographics-for-business-growthInfographics, like the one on this page, are gaining ground on regular photos for marketing. Why not? Take your subject matter and turn it into something that is a little more entertaining than a boring photo or mere words. You do not have much time to either get someone’s attention or lose him. Having interesting artwork can make the difference.

As memes have become more popular, infographics followed along with B2B (business to business) messages. At a glance, a person can see the article’s subject matter. Then, he can make the decision to read or to move along to something else. Because my background is in graphics, I find the use of infographics a fun way to get my message to others. Because the graphic work is a jpg or gif file, the image can be pinned on Pinterest.

Often times, I take some base clipart and add my own spin. I’ve always been a huge fan of collage and taking pieces of art and putting them together in a graphic is a little collage-y. I didn’t realize I was such a trendsetter until I started reading about infographics in the news lately.

Since the beginning of this blog, I’ve been custom designing little graphics to make my point. Who knew? What I thought was a quick little flourish on my blog, is now becoming a serious marketing technique. Without getting an advanced degree in graphics, you should be able to find some clipart (I subscribe to a service) and then embellish it to illustrate your content. If not, I’m available for consultation at a reasonable price.

As You Tube, Pinterest, Instagram and memes are snowballing in popularity, the visual media is nearly as important as the written words. Make sure if you are using artwork in anything you do, like your website or blog, that you have permission or pay for the art you use. If not, you can get yourself into trouble with copyright infringements. Better yet, draw your own images or take your own photos.

It seems like every day the social media possibilities are changing or growing. As a B2B owner, freelancer or subcontractor, you have to change with the times. You only have a couple seconds to get someone’s attention or they will click on to the next item. If you have read all the way to this point – thank you!

Instagram for fun and profit

instagram for business growthWhile I’ve been an avid user of many social media sites, I only recently started using Instagram. As a rival to Pinterest, businesses can take advantage of this very visual medium to spread the word of their brand. Unlike Pinterest, users can edit their photos.

Last night I went to a happy hour event to say goodbye to a friend who is moving out of town. It just so happened there was a big rally for the Ravens going on at the same time. I snapped a photo of a car – Ravens purple – on display. Not bad, right?

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, take advantage and start posting. Whether you have photos of people, movie stars, athletes, food pics, crafting projects, flowers or whatever – you can spread a message visually. Use this free service to grow your business. Think of all the images that define who you are and what you do. Then go take some pictures.

Just about everyone has a camera on his/her phone. With Instagram, you can add a little flair to your pics and make them look old-timey or change the warmth of the photo. Essentially, you can make fairly awful pictures look pretty good – or at least make them look artsy!

Instagram started gaining popularity as a business tool with chefs showing off their delicious food. If you have ever taken a photo of food, it generally looks terrible – unless you have professional equipment and great lighting. Using the various tools on Instagram, you can make your dinner plate look much more appetizing.

Just like with Twitter and Pinterest, you can add hashtags to keywords in your descriptions. You should use descriptions of the photos when using Instagram for business purposes to help people find you when they search keywords or terms.

WordPress and other websites have Instagram widgets that can add up to 20 photos onto your web page. This keeps your site ever-changing as you regularly update photos. We all know how much people love to see new content. It gives your clients a reason to keep checking back with your site or your Instagram page.