“Search engine optimization” is far more than just a buzzword. With more customers looking for products and services online (especially using smartphones), you simply aren’t going to reach your market if search engines can’t find you. Here are tips for search engine optimization.
If you’ve looked into SEO at all, you’ve heard of keywords. Well-chosen keywords can help Google, Bing and other search engines find your content, while bad keywords ensure you’ll end up buried on page 4 of the results. However, it’s important to include longtail keywords (keyword phrases with three or more words) in addition to “normal” keywords. These can help you target your specific geographical area or area of expertise. For example, “pool cleaning services in Chicago” can help bring you the kind of local customers a pool cleaning business would need, while “business card design services” might be a good longtail keyword for a graphic-design business focused on small business clients.
When you’re working on optimizing your web content, resist the temptation to focus exclusively on keywords. “Keyword stuffing” (too many keywords used in such a way that content appears poorly-written) are a turn-off to potential customers. They can also trip the “spam filters” of the major search engines, causing them filter out your website or blog. Instead, focus on providing useful information. Today’s customers are used to finding the information they want, for free, with a simple websearch. Think of the information you provide as a “free sample.” If they like the “taste” of what you’re giving them, they’ll pay for the whole package.
Length of Content
Length of content is often overlooked when it comes to SEO. You’ll need to ensure your content is a certain length. As a general rule, a blog post or other information-heavy page should be at least 300 words (any shorter and the search engines may flag it as advertising) but not more than 600 words (lest you risk triggering a “too long to read” response on the part of your customers).
Finally, you’ll need to make sure your content is well-written. Though it seems obvious, web developers who spend too much time focusing on keyword research often neglect the overall quality of their content. Spelling and grammatical areas give the impression that you’re lacking in intelligence, and choppy content annoys customers. A good copy editor is worth the price.