As a young CEO and one that has come of age during the computer era, having your pulse on how to best utilize search engine optimization (SEO) to your site’s advantage is critical.
Use SEO marketing the right way and you can drive significant amounts of traffic to your site. Use it the wrong way and you can not only be missing out on potential traffic, but your return on investment (ROI) can suffer as well.
With the year halfway in the record books, now is as good a time as any to review your SEO efforts, what has and has not been working, and what needs to be done to finish the second half of 2012 on the up side.
Starting out with the importance of SEO to your business, keep in mind that the bottom line with search engine optimization is that it allows you to better the ranking of your site when it comes to Internet search results.
The key here is ranking higher in organic search results, those results where Web sites rank in relevance to the search terms used to find them. Those Web sites that reach a strong organic ranking will most often take in more impressions and traffic, meaning users have more trust in them.
In order to most benefit from SEO, take under consideration:
* Targeted keywords – The targeted keywords you go after is critical to driving traffic to the site. Make sure the targeted keywords tie in to the products and/or services that your company has available. If you are running an insurance agency that sells auto insurance, some of the targeted keyword phrases you should be utilizing include auto insurance, auto insurance quotes, auto insurance premiums and auto insurance sales to name a few. Make sure you review the targeted keywords on a regular basis to see which ones are clicking, which ones are doing so-so, and which ones need an immediate change;
* Proper usage of keywords – Whether you are running content on your site or guest blogging on someone’s site regarding your company, make sure you use the proper amount of keywords. The one cardinal sin to stay away from is keyword stuffing. The key here is to use the targeted keywords anywhere from say one to three times throughout the post. Do not have every other sentence featuring a keyword to the point where you have stuffed the article full of keywords. Not only does it reek of spamming, but it also will not gain favorable reviews from the search engines;
* Use proper headings – Along with working targeted keywords into your copy, make sure you use sch terms with your headlines. Remember, headlines are the first thing that someone sees when they come to content on your page, so don’t waste the opportunity with headlines that have no relevancy to your keyword targeting;
* Tag imagery – If it is safe to assume that you have a decent amount of imagery on your site, those pictures need to have alt tags. The tags should have wording that relates to the photo and utilizes targeted keywords. As an example, if you have a picture of someone selling auto insurance on your site, do not label the photo “man selling something” rather tag it “auto insurance sales.” Remember, that was one of the targeted keyword terms mentioned earlier in this piece;
* Go far with your links – Make sure you are also deep linking with your content. That simply means linking the most useful content via the homepage and setting up links within your internal web pages. With deep links, you get ranked on search engine result pages, meaning your authority grows in this area. Deep links also expose consumers coming to your site to older content you have written, meaning they are more likely to spend added time on the site researching information on your business;
* Utilize off-site optimization – Lastly, you want to zero in on what is known as “off-page optimization.” The more sites that are linking back to your site, the better you are viewed by search engines. Among the best ways to achieve such optimization is through social media, directories, blog articles and more. I always encourage clients to link to shares, tweets and more of relevant sites so that you establish a relationship with others. In essence, you are taking part in online networking.
When all is said and done, there is much to learn about SEO, especially for those that are just getting their feet wet in the subject matter.
As a young CEO, you have plenty on your plate to keep you busy; having a dedicated person or team focused on SEO is critical in today’s Internet age, the same age that you have grown up in.
Miguel Salcido has been a professional SEO consultant for over 9 years, holding Director and VP positions at large agencies. He now offers consulting services through his site, OrganicSEOConsultant.com.