How to Search Engine Optimize Your Online Marketing Efforts


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Learn how to keword research, write web copy that supports SEO, improve your on-page optimization, use a corporate blog to improve SEO.

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How to Search Engine Optimize Your Online Marketing Efforts

  1. 1. How to Search Engine Optimize Your Online Marketing Efforts Anna Marie Ricciardi • How-to Do Keyword Research • How-to Write Web Copy That Supports SEO • How-to Improve On-page Optimization • How-to Use a Corporate Blog to Improve SEOShare this e-book | 440.449.6800 | 6685 Beta Drive Mayfield Village, OH 44143
  2. 2. 01IntroductionSearch Engine Optimization (SEO). A lot of people have heard of it. But, not many people really understand how it works.When Internet users “surf the web,” chances are they’re going to click on one of the first websites that shows up in therankings. (I’m guilty of it — I bet you are, too.) It’s only natural that, as a business, you to want those Internet users to comeacross your business’s website when they are in need of your service or product. However, your website isn’t going to rank#1 for those types of products or services, just because. There are very specific things that you need to do, to ensure yourwebsite is as visible online as you want it to be.What are the things you need to do to make sure that your website can be found higher up in the rankings?I’m glad you asked. In this e-book I hope to help you better understand what you can be doing to improve your website’s SEO,with some simple “how-to” instructions, including:❍❍ How-to do Keyword Research❍❍ How-to Write Web Copy That Supports SEO❍❍ How-to Improve On-page Optimization❍❍ How-to Use a Corporate Blog to Improve SEOAbout the AuthorAnna Marie Ricciardi, Marketing CoordinatorWhat I DoI’m responsible for managing the moving pieces and parts of our clients’ marketingprojects; making sure that they are delivered a high-quality product that is withinthe scope of the budget, and finished in the time they need it.These projects include branding, creative services, e-communications, paid search,social media, visual marketing, website design and development, and, of course,search engine optimization.Outside of Work, You Can Find Me...Volunteering as president of New Partners of Cleveland Hearing & Speech Centerand as a member of CHSC’s marketing committee. I also really enjoy staying active.I play rec-league football, volleyball, basketball and softball. And, I also love hikingand running, and spending time with my family, friends and dog, Jessie.Share this e-book
  3. 3. 02How-to Do Keyword ResearchKeyword research is one of the most important steps of search engine optimization. By researching and figuring out how yourpotential customers are talking about your services, you gain valuable insight into how you should optimize your site.How do you start the keyword research process?First, you need to choose a program that will provide you with basic search traffic results. Although there is software youcan purchase that will help keep track of your efforts and provide you with helpful reports, for the beginning SEO’er, thereare plenty of free tools that give you just the right amount of information on search traffic to get you started. My favorite freekeyword research program belongs to the search master itself – Google.Using Google Keyword Tool (and similar programs), you can find out, exactly, how people are searching for your services and,from that, select keywords that are relevant to your services and worth targeting.How to use Google Keyword ToolNo two tools will work exactly the same. But, most tools will use similar terminology when showing search traffic results. So,if you have a basic understanding of keyword research terms, you should be able to make sense of the results your keywordresearch tool uses. As an example, I’m going to use Google Keyword Tool.Sample Keyword ResearchLet’s to say you’re in the business of selling hooded sweatshirts online. By typing the phrase “hooded sweatshirt” into theWord or Phrase box at the top of the page, you’ll be provided with relevant information on that search term.Here’s what you’ll see at the top of the results:Click here for a free SEO report for your | 440-449-6800
  4. 4. 03How-to do Keyword Research (cont.)In the results, you’ll notice three columns: 1. Competition: This measures, on a relative scale, how many other companies are competing for this same keyword or search phrase. 2. Global Monthly Searches: This shows the number of searches, worldwide, occurring each month for this term. Depending on your industry/market, you could find value in this global results column. 3. Local Monthly Searches: This defaults to number of U.S. searches, but you can customize to other geographic regions with the “Locations” option on the page.What do I do with the suggested keywords?When you type in your search term, you’ll notice that you are, not only, given information on your selected keywords, but youare also provided the same information for related or suggested keywords. In this case, there are more than 800 keyword ideasfor the search term “hooded sweatshirt.”Sorting this list by Competition or Local Monthly Searches can help you find additional keywords that you might want to target,and that you may not have initially considered. Sorting this particular list by Local Monthly Searches will quickly reveal that theterm “hoodie” is actually searched more often than “hooded sweatshirt,” yet it has a lower competition factor. This may makea good keyword to target, instead of “hooded sweatshirt.”Reviewing this list and spotting opportunities (the list can be downloaded into Excel to help with sorting) is a key tactic tostarting your search engine optimization plan.Share this e-book
  5. 5. 04How-to do Keyword Research (cont.)How do you pick the right keywords out of that list?Of course, there is strategy to selecting keywords from that list of over 800 search terms. Most everyone would love to rank #1for a word that gets 10 Million searches per month. But, realistically, it is harder to conquer the top spots for extremely popularand vague terms, with such high search volumes and competition.It makes much more sense to target keywords and search terms that 1) actually make meaningful sense to the actual services/products you provide, and 2) have a moderate level of very targeted traffic and competition. These are the keywords that willrealistically bring in the most profit.Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, this could be a good long-tail keyword to target:Now that you understand how to select your keywords, let’s talk about what to do with them to improve your website’srankings.Share this e-book
  6. 6. 05How-to Write Web Copy That Supports SEOTaking those keywords and putting them to good use is the next important step to SEO. Creatively written copy, that uses theright keywords, (and that doesn’t sound like a robot wrote it), can be a daunting task. But, when done correctly, it can becomeone of the most important pieces to your online marketing efforts.One of the most common mistakes that we find in client websites is not having separate pages for each product/serviceoffering. Creating a website with separate and specific service pages gives you the opportunity to optimize each individualpage for very specific and targeted keywords (the ones you found doing your keyword research).For example, if you had one page for “Marketing Services” and you offer 10 different marketing services at your company, youwould have a hard time choosing the words you want to focus on for that page. Creating separate pages for each of those 10services, (these could include pages for SEO Services, Public Relations Services, Pay-Per-Click Services, Visual MarketingServices, etc.) allows you to select the proper amount of keywords for each of those individual services for each respectivepage.How many keywords should you focus on for each web page? “Creatively written copy, that uses the rightWe suggest using about two or three targeted keywords per-page.And, in writing the copy, you should find a way to use those keywords keywords, (and that doesn’t sound like ain a way that is reader-friendly, and that allows your top one or two robot wrote it), can be a daunting task.”targeted keywords to appear about three times on that page.What else should you do with the keywords you’re targeting?On the next page, we’ll discuss some additional on-page optimization tactics that go beyond the web copy. Before we do that,though, here are some things that, even though they might not help your SEO, are considered “good practice” when writingweb copy:❍❍ Speak in a language that is inviting. Too often, when people search optimize web copy, they throw in keywords wherever and however they can. Next thing you know, your copy doesn’t sound human anymore.❍❍ Keep your target audience in mind as you write. Web copy is also often written by the company and for the company. Visitors don’t want to read about you tooting your own horn. They want to hear about how your services can help them.❍❍ Keep your pages short and sweet. People are in a hurry these days. They want their answers...yesterday. Keep your copy short so you don’t bore your reader and lose their interest.❍❍ Use bullets and sub-headings as much as possible. Similarly, a lot of people don’t read full pages of copy anymore, they scan. By separating your copy with clear and concise headlines and sub-heads, you can get the main gist of your content across quickly and easily to those who don’t read the entire page.Click here for a free SEO report for your | 440-449-6800
  7. 7. 06How-to Improve On-page OptimizationNow that you know how to write web copy to support your website’s SEO, you’re ready optimize your web pages even further.On-page optimization is all about using your targeted keywords strategically. To this point, we’ve discussed the importance ofdoing keyword research, and the importance of using your top targeted keywords two-to-three times throughout the copy. But,believe it or not, your keywords should be found in more places than just in the web copy.By taking that web copy and adding in simple some on-page optimization tactics, you’ll be able to tell search engines exactlywhat topics your web pages cover, and which keywords are most important on each individual web page.Here are a handful of how-tos to improve your on-page optimization and take your website and SEO to the next level:Headlines – This is probably the most obvious of the tips I’m going to cover. Your web page’s headline should become, as it’scalled in the web world, the H1 within that page. When text is put into a website and accompanied with that H1 tag, searchengines automatically know that is the main topic discussed on that web page. Using your most important targeted keywordsor search phrases in the headline ensures that search engines know which words you want to rank well for on each individualpage.Title tags – Title tags are also one of the most important ways to tell search engines what topics are covered on individual webpages. You’ve probably noticed title tags before, even if you didn’t know what they were. In the image below, you can see thetitle tags listed across the very top of the screen in the title bar, as well as in the tab within the browser.With title tags, you get a little more flexibility and variation than with headlines. For this web page talking about social mediaservices, as shown in the above example, we did our keyword research to find similar and related words and phrases toinclude. The headline reads “Social Media Services.” But, the title tags include: “Cleveland Social Media Agency | SocialMedia Management Services.” These words are directly related to the topics on that page and, using keyword research, weknow that these words have a search volume that is realistic and worth targeting. In addition, we use title tags as a way toinclude a company’s location in the page, telling search engine exactly where your services are offered.Share this e-book
  8. 8. 07How-to Improve On-page Optimization (cont.)Alt tags – So, you’ve picked out the perfect picture to go along with your web copy. Did you know that a picture can help yourkeyword rank for that page, as well? This is only true if you attach an alt tag to the picture to tell search engines what is shown.As search engines crawl and index your webpages, they don’t have eyes to see the pictures, but they can read the text thatyou attach to the image. Be sure to tell those search engines what they should be seeing.Links to other pages on and off the site – Linking within text to other pages within your website encourages your visitors tocontinue looking deeper into your site. You don’t want them to leave right away, do you? Beyond that, linking within the textto pages that are outside of your website sends your visitors to places where they will have access to more resources andinformation on the topics they’re already interested in. Putting links within your web copy, and making your targeted keywordsthe link itself, and linking to pages with related information, builds credibility for your site with search engines. You can see anexample of one of our webpages that shares relevant links to other pages below.You should, by this point, understand some easy ways to improve your website’s SEO. There are things that you can be doingoff of your website that can help your SEO, too. We’ll discuss those on the next page.Share this e-bookClick here for a free SEO report for your | 440-449-6800
  9. 9. 08How-to Use a Corporate Blog to Improve SEOBlogging can become an incredibly successful piece of your SEO efforts. In fact, when done correctly, blogging can be agreat (and cost-effective) way to supplement your business goals, overall. Unfortunately, a lot of companies have yet to adoptblogging, because they don’t understand the value it can bring to their organization.Here are some how-tos that explain what you be doing to optimize your corporate blog for online searches, and will help yourcompany get the most value from blogging:Do your keyword research. Using free tools like Google Keyword Tool, as we’ve already discussed, you can easily find out howpeople are searching for your services and products. And, using that knowledge, you can write blog articles about topics thatare related to your services that you now know people are actually searching for. When blogging, use these targeted keywordsin the headline, in the body copy, as alt tags in photos/videos, etc. to optimize the blog.Answer the questions that your clients ask you all the time. Everyone has seen Q&A sections on websites. It’s a greatconcept. Provide the answers to questions you know your customers are asking. You probably already know what a lot ofthem are. Ask yourself those questions, and then type up detailed answers. Chances are, other people are asking those samequestions and, now, they can find you and your company when they find their answer.Add videos and photos. As I mentioned before, adding videos and photos to a web page can help you show up in searches, butonly if you use alt tags to tell search engines what is shown. Plus, it just makes reading the blog a little more interesting.Share your blogs on social media accounts and in e-newsletter campaigns. These links might not help your SEO directly, but itdoes encourage readers to visit your blog. Also, you should make sure your blogs can be easily shared via social media, (usingshare buttons when possible), so that readers can share your blogs with their online community for you.Share this e-book
  10. 10. 09How-to Use a Corporate Blog to Improve SEO (cont.)Put together a content calendar and blog regularly. Not only is it good for SEO, but regularly-released blogs also increaseyour visibility to your blogging community, your social media followers and your e-newsletter subscribers. Plus, when youput together a calendar that allows you to tackle blogging as a team, it spreads responsibility among several people, whicheliminates the fear of time commitment among bloggers.Close your blog with a question, a link and your contact information. By doing all this, you will be encouraging readers tointeract and follow-up with you. You should provide an appropriate link to your website, so they can read about that specificproduct or service. And, if they want to contact you with further questions, or to seek out your product or service, you’veprovided them with the information they need to do that.For more information on our search engine optimization services, including a free SEO report, (sample report included below)please feel free to contact me: Anna Marie Ricciardi Marketing Coordinator Skoda Minotti Strategic Marketing 440-449-6800Share this e-book