I was a marketing professional who didn’t know SEO. There, I said it. After consulting the popular SEO sites like Copyblogger I thought I had it figured out. So when I began optimizing my first website, I thought I would rock it—after all, shouldn’t SEO be intuitive for a writer? When I saw my 2minuteSEO score of 53 percent (technical score of 5.5) I felt my cursory research like a half-baked egg on my face.
However, my company owns a full year subscription, so I could use the tool to implement changes over time. My first site’s score is now at a whopping 95 percent, with a technical score of 9.8. The result has been increased web traffic, e-mail and phone inquiries for the client—not to mention that they are now at the very top of Google’s rankings for their terms.
While I’m more of a savant now, the process of search engine optimizing my first site was slow, laborious and fraught with lessons, and I felt certain it shouldn’t be (and probably wasn’t) that way for everyone. So I thought back to that very first analysis to share three lessons that have stuck with me.
Give your SEO keywords a little TLC
Of course, I paid extra attention to those five keywords that set me apart from my competitors in my text, but I quickly figured out that a TLC approach was the best way to maximize on these little gems to launch me to the top of the rankings.
TLC stands for
- Then Content.
Or does it? Admittedly, meta keywords don’t really make a difference to search engines like Google any more, but having them on my page and ensuring they were reflected in the content was an exercise in reviewing my message to make sure it was on-message and revolved around my specific niche.
Optimized content is short and sweet
The tool (and many a reader) gives extra points for keeping pages short and sweet, inside 300 words per page, in order to allow search engine spiders to crawl them easily. Some blogs recommend up to 500 words, but from a journalist’s point of view, keeping the content tight, punchy and informative is the best way to make compelling content. I was able to boil down some of my pages’ 700 words to 300, and what was shaved off were the irrelevant and off-message facts that were diluting my message.
I do admit, my SEO journey was a lot more complex than these three little things—my web developer and I shaved off code, optimized alternative text, trifled over tooltips and pretty much ran the gauntlet to get our page into the top five for our search engine keywords (yes!). But these three little lessons, imparted by a simple (and free) tool, are the ones I’ll keep in my pocket as go-to fixes for any web page (or article) that I write.
Melissa Cessna is a community manager for ReviMedia. She has more than 5 years experience in journalism, public relations and online marketing. She has worked for local publications like the Monterey County Weekly, the Manhattan Mercury, and is currently a blogger and community manager for ReviMedia and Agro2. For more information visit www.revimedia.com or reach Melissa at Melissa@revimedia.com