By Nancy Wigal
Search Engine Academy Washington DC
In the world of search engine optimization (SEO), I take comfort in knowing that there is one single thing I can count on—that the processes, techniques, and strategies are constantly evolving, and what Google and other search engines look for on websites today most likely won’t be what they are looking for a few months from now.
While this may seem unnerving to some, the truth is that this constant shifting and morphing in the industry helps Web-surfers find the best results they are hunting for.
Think of it as the Zen of the Internet.
If any of you are familiar with Buddhism, you know that trying to stay in the moment, while knowing that change is imminent, is the key. It’s the same with search engine optimization.
Believe it or not, every day I check the search engine Webmaster blogs to see what’s changed overnight. I need to advise my clients on switching tactics and I have to update my SEO course materials to deliver on my promise that I will train you in the most up-to-date SEO techniques and principles to get your Web pages to show up higher in search results.
So, what’s new in SEO?
Google announced another change to its search engine formula, or algorithm, last month that it is rewarding sites that feature content that is relevant and recent. Click here for details.
I think this is good news, because those who are experts in their fields, are good writers, and have a consistent following will get a boost over their competitors.
Indeed, I have said it before, and I’ll say it again—websites that offer valuable and useful content that informs, educates, and inspires Web visitors to take action are the sites that will always be optimized and land on the first pages of search engine results.
Here are some SEO rules of thumb:
- 1. Be compelling.* How? Write interesting, unique, original articles that will help you earn trust and ultimately establish a relationship with your readers. By sharing what you know freely, without hard-selling the visitor, you are providing a service that ultimately will be worth buying.
2. Find and share relevant content. For some, it’s a challenge to keep coming up with new things to tell and teach your readers. So become a reliable source by scanning the news and other blogs for items about your industry, and related events. Quote other experts. Link to their websites and blogs, and ask them to do the same. It will build your reputation as a team player, and that’s a good thing to be when it comes to SEO.
3. Do keyword research. From time to time, check out the keywords you would use to find your own website. Do you pop up on top? If not, this will inform you of current search trends and help you find new ways to leverage what you are doing. It also may inspire you to write new content. To learn more, review Google Insights for Search, which offers keywords that are trending high, or are in great demand.
4. Put those keywords into action. Just last week, I sent a client 10 of the most in-demand keyword phrases about the topic of her business (she trains managers and executives on how to eliminate harassment in their companies). She started adding these keyword phrases to her articles and documents online, and is already seeing the benefits in terms of hits and unique visitors who are coming to her website.
5. Make it easy-peasy to contact you. When the visitor is ready to take the action, be sure your site clearly provides your contract information. Don’t make visitors hunt for it. Provide your e-mail, phone number, and—if you are retail establishment—your address, so that potential customers can get in touch with you in a flash.
6. Embrace change. As your friendly SEO consultant, I challenge you to welcome the changes that benefit your website. After all, if you diligently optimize your site for the best search results, but your competition doesn’t, you’ll get more qualified visitors seeking your business solutions.
About Nancy E. Wigal
Nancy Wigal owns and operates Search Engine Academy Washington DC, an organization that trains and certifies anyone with a website on the search-engine optimization (SEO) techniques necessary to have their pages show up higher in Internet search results.
With two-, three-, and five-day SEO training and certification courses, as well as customized SEO-training packages ranging from four hours to two days, you and your team will learn the latest and most comprehensive ways to increase traffic to your website.
For more information, call 202.725.1422 to see what SEO training is right for your organization, and visit www.search-engine-academy-washington-dc.com online for course offerings and registration information.