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5 Steps to SEO On Page Set Up

Published by Charles Brodeur

Ever wonder if the basics from grade school would come in handy in your business life?

Getting your website ranked best in internet search results uses all of that knowledge. Search engine results are based on those science, math and English courses. Internet technology is the science that allows "spiders" to comb the "web" for data applicable to a search inquiry. Search engines have unique mathematical algorithms that formulate your website's relevance to that inquiry. Finally, your English lesson is where writing the copy on your website can help tie all of that together for best results. In the following, you will get valuable tips on creating titles, copywriting advice, using graphics, and keywords to better place your website in search rankings.

1. Do Some Research

Do you know where your website ranks in search results for different key words or phrases compared to your competition? Check various search engines such as google.com, ask.com, msn.com, and yahoo.com. Take a look at your website to check how the homepage relates to a consumers search. Look at your competition and how they write their website content. Are they being found? Search for products or services that you're interested in and click those who rank high in the search results. Can you tell why?

2.Your Website's Title

Your website's title is what appears on the top bar at the top of a web browser. Although your homepage should be your focus, each page throughout your website should have unique titles. This opens a larger net to catch those searching for what you can offer them. A good title tells the reader what they can expect. This copy is critically important because it is also the same text that appears on the hyperlink in the search engine results. Your page titles should read like a compelling headline - it is what draws the reader in. The title should peak the readers curiosity and make them want to learn more. It is the first impression you give your potential customers. When a consumer searches, they are unconsciously making a decision to click or not click on a link based on the title of that link. Your title is a call-to-action and you can use about 50 characters (including spaces) to convince the consumer to click only your link. Tip: Use a couple key phrases in your page titles. Be Descriptive in Your Text Using specific words or phrases in your text sounds more confident and present more opportunities for search results. Use detailed examples in your text as opposed to general sentences. When consumers are searching for something it helps to highlight the fact that you can give them exactly what they want. Anywhere you can overcome generic phrases, take the opportunity. Being descriptive throughout will often help you seal the deal. See below for examples.
General vs Specific
Our Services vs  Our web design services
Our team vs  Our wedding caterers
Our inventory vs Our collection of vintage clothing
To contact us call or email... vs To contact us about special event catering call or email...
This spa offers many packages... vs This all inclusive day spa provides massages, facials, manicures...
Counseling services are available to help you... vs Family counselors, marriage counselors, child counselors are available to help you...
Site seeing packages, tourist activities, and dining discounts are available through us. vs  Site-see, plan family or romantic activities, and find discounted fine dining in historic downtown Charleston, SC through our beautiful Bed and Breakfast.

3.The Mighty Power of Keywords and Key Phrases

Writing powerful copy on your website for better search results is a challenge. Several issues need to be addressed, including: what key words or phrases to use, where, and how to use them. Keywords are what consumers would search for by one word, such as, "flowers." Key phrases are detailed versions of keywords, more likely to be searched, such as, "flower delivery services." Both are a necessity for your text. Remember key phrases are what will most likely make your business accessible. Four main areas to concentrate your keywords and phrases in are: your Headlines, Subheads, Main body of text, and the Call-to-action links. Less will be more: ideally you will have 2-3 key words and 3-4 key phrases within each page on your site. Headlines are the first thing consumers see when they visit your website. Believe it or not, you have about four seconds to prove your site relevant to their search or they will click the "back" button and find the next link. Your headlines, similar to your titles should immediately relate to your audience through keywords. This way, there is no question that they've found the site they're looking for and will stay at your site.
The subhead offers a little more flexibility in your copy. Longer than your main headline, the subhead is still a brief statement. Using key phrases will push the reader through the body text on your site. The limited space may make writing effectively seem difficult. Don't despair, be creative and play around with some variations, you'll find one that works.

In the main body of your text, keep in mind that longer text is a good thing. Use about 250 words as a benchmark. The longer text space makes it easier to include key phrases and be clear to the reader. This allows you to maintain your marketing message and provide more content for the search engines. Don't worry about the body text being too long, you're headline and subheads are what brought them here, they're ready to read on. The 250 word constraint provides more than enough space to relay a message and insert key phrases without over-saturating the reader. It can be well written with out just "sprinkling" key phrases around randomly.

*Hint for Google: Strategically word your text. Place exciting benefit statements near keywords in the main body of your text. On the search results page for Google, the related keywords show up, surrounded by nearby text.
The final place to keep in mind for the placement of key words and phrases is in your call-to-action links. These are the hyperlinks throughout your site that you want visitors to click. For example, switch "for more information, click here" to "for information on office supply ordering, click here" When a visitor reads these links and noticed the keywords; they are more willing to follow the link. It is a minute detail, but will improve your end results.
One more thing to consider when writing key words and phrases: vary types of use, including "ing" and plurals. Consumers search for the same thing in many different ways. Keeping this in mind prevents you from sounding repetitive. One person will search for "printing" while another will search for "printers." Cater to as many searches as you can think of and fit on your page without sacrificing well-written copy.

4. Be on the Lookout

As important as it is to know what to write it is equally important to know how not to present it. Most websites are designed to look attractive. While it is very important to be aesthetically pleasing, technology is not perfect. The "spiders" can't scan text that is part of a graphical element rendering key words in graphics useless. This goes for flash portions of your website and graphical headlines. This is not to say don't use them, but don't rely on key words in them for search engines. Bonus phrases are an insurance policy you can take out in text throughout your website. They are not necessarily your chosen key words but an extra way to pick up some search results, maybe not directly related to your business. It is a combination of being creative, descriptive and logical. Scan all of your text for an opportunity to use bonus phrases.

Example:

Business: New York City Helicopter Tours Copy: Empire City helicopter tours offer the most romantic way to see the most elegant woman, Lady Liberty.

Better Copy: Empire City helicopter tours offer a romantic view of The Stature of Liberty on Ellis Island.
Millions of people visit New York City every year, and it's not surprising that they search for The Statue of Liberty, but they aren't likely to search for "elegant woman, lady liberty."

Although the first copy is well written, it wouldn't capture an audience who isn't searching for helicopter tours. The second copy may snag a few people who search for The Statue of Liberty and find out they can take an aerial tour.

5.Wrapping it all up

After taking a look at your website, checking your search results and studying your website, do you know where you stand? Do you have separate page titles that are informative and relevant? Remember that being descriptive in your copy can make all the difference in the world. Straying away from general phrases will give better search results and a clearer understand of what your business has to offer. Being descriptive is never a bad idea. Use your keywords wisely and put a little more emphasis on key phrases as well. While writing your new copy, keep in mind that consumers search for different variations of words. You'll never be making a mistake if you understand that graphics are not searchable. Your website can still look great; just keep your key phrases out of the graphical elements.
Optimizing your website for the search engines is not an easy thing to do. Don't feel overwhelmed or frustrated if it takes some time to make it work. Most importantly don't rush into drastic changes. Find where your weaknesses are and use your strengths to back them up. This will not be a day or a week's project. Putting a little time and energy into looking at your site and tweaking will be worth it soon enough.

I hope this helps.

Charles Brodeur
eCommerce Consultant
BigTurns Professional Services Ltd 
Vancouver, BC V6E 4R1
info@BigTurns.com

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