“SEO is Simply A Marketing Tool.”
– Quote by: Duane Forrester, Senior Product Manager with Bing’s Webmaster Tools Program
Note: This is a summary of information provided from the video, “Learn the Basics of Search Engine Optimization” with Duane Forrester.
Using SEO as a marketing tool will help to improve a website to make it more relevant for both the searcher and search engines. This is accomplished by providing quality content (including keywords and/or phrases) on a webpage and by utilizing <title> tags, <meta> descriptions and alt text for images that correspond with your content to provide information or answer the question a searcher has asked.
Keyword Research and On-Page SEO
Keyword research will help give you an idea of what people are searching for and help you focus on what is your most important content. For example, a person searching for information typically starts with a “general” search phrase such as “Digital Cameras” and then narrows down to something more specific such as “Nikon Digital Camera.” They may possibly even add a model number once their research has been done and they are ready to make a purchase. Utilizing the tools and information (please see “Useful Links” in the sidebar) available for Keyword research will help you determine the types of words or phrases that are most valuable for your page or site.
Once you decide upon your keywords, the keywords you are targeting should appear in your <title> and <meta> description tags. This is very important since the title and description will display as result of a search. You can also add a call to action in your <meta> description such as “click here to learn more.”
Pages should all contain “crawlable” text utilizing your keyword(s) or keyword phrase(s) that search engines can “see” as well as title tags (<h1>, <h2>, etc.), alt text to describe images and anchor text that use your target keyword(s) to navigate to additional internal pages.
Sitemaps provide a list of pages or an overview of a website to help users and search engines navigate the site. Your website should always include a sitemap which should be kept current. Information on sitemaps can be found at Sitemap Protocol – www.sitemaps.org
Social media helps to organically build your reputation and increase your number of followers or fans. Posts on social media sites and such as FaceBook, YouTube, or tweets on Twitter, etc. should include links back to your website or page(s). This helps to build your credibility with the search engines. Sharing useful information on a regular basis will help you to become the “Go-to-Resource” for your community.
Content / Searching for Trends
Content should be unique and useful. Your content should provide the answer to what a person is searching for. Search for a niche area where you can become relevant and an authority on your subject. Once you receive a response(s) to something you have shared, consider what made this post different from others to elicit a response. Try to continue the conversation until you can become an authority on the subject.
A Few Technical Aspects
- Make Sure Your Domain is not labeled as “Spam”
Internet Archive Wayback Machine, http://web.archive.org currently has more the 284 billion web pages that it has saved. You can simply enter a URL and a summary will be provided showing snapshots of various pages that have been saved at specific times so you can see how that domain has been used. If a domain has been used to promote different content numerous times, this domain may have been flagged as spam and should be avoided.
- Page Load Times should be fast across desktop and mobile.
- Responsive Design – make sure layout is consistent across devices for readability.
- Internal and External Links
Make sure internal and external links are in alignment with your keyword(s) and phrase(s) and that the anchor text is relevant to the target page – not a generic phrase like, “click here.”
Use schema.org to help mark up your content to better serve the searchers by providing images and/or additional information relating to your content.
Paid SEO Strategies / Options
Numerous opportunities exist to increase the visibility of your website or page(s) through the use of paid advertising. You can develop a paid search campaign through Google or Bing or create advertisements placed on relevant sites that can help drive traffic to your site. Social media platforms such as FaceBook, also offer ways to advertise your content to your followers or the FaceBook community based upon the criteria you enter.
Much, Much, More…
This is just a very small part of the information provided in Duane’s video. I have chosen to focus on some of the basic steps you can utilize without having to pay for advertising. Some “free” options to help increase the visibility of your website are to make sure that you have “Google My Business” and “Bing Places” pages set up. You can also submit your site to directories such as Yelp, create a page for your business on FaceBook and make sure you are listed on sites like LinkedIn.
For more information on using SEO as a marking tool for your website, I encourage you to view the entire video.
Below are useful links on Keyword Research Tools and information. Note – for Bing & Google, you must first create an account:
Bing Webmaster Tools: