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SEO FAQs

I. How do you optimize a website?

This is a process that take more than simply submissions to the search engines. Like any big “win” you must first qualify for it.  Ask yourself, why should the search engines and other websites consider us an authority or the best at what we do/ sell?  Perhaps you are but you don’t have this information clearly displayed or organized on your website or within the social media networks?

We take careful steps in planning and strategizing your website optimization process by reviewing your website code, existing on-page and off-page content, your competitors, your social media outreach, keyword competitiveness factors and search results pages.

For the simple bare bones, do-it-yourself approach here are some important steps to consider:

  1. The first factor to consider when asking how to optimize a website is determining what the goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) are for your website. What would be a successful campaign? Being number 1 on Google is not a goal but rather increasing website traffic, getting more quality traffic, selling more green widgets, increasing conversion rate for email newsletter sign ups or improving engagement metrics.
  2. Next step would be to determine the terminology used by your audience. Do you know who your audience is, how they search and what words they use to describe and identify you?  It’s important to select keyword phrases that best suit your website and what it offers.  Your content should provide fresh and relevant information on what your website offers, and be accessible and easy for viewers to use.
  3. Once you organize and assign your keywords to your pages, the next steps include using your selected keywords to create optimized meta tags, image ALT tags, and on-page content.  Each of these elements are very important steps in how to optimize a website so that it will rank highly on search engine results pages (SERPs) and how “sticky” (like honey) the site is.  For most sites, improving engagement is one of the goals is to increase the average amount of time that viewers spend on the site and the number of pages that are clicked through.
  4. Creating good, “link loved” copy is important for various reasons.  The search engines use copy to determine what your website is all about, which is why blogs are so beloved.  By having content on your site that is interesting, relevant, and updated regularly, viewers are more likely to be loyal visitors and this increases the probability for getting found by search engine crawlers for additional keywords.  Also, search engine spiders (which are their little, analytical fingers) will come back to the site more often and check for new content to be indexed in their database.  All of this is part of the optimization process.  Creating a successful and fully optimized website is an ongoing process that takes advantage of new opportunities and never stagnates.
  5. The process doesn’t stop there. Other factors that affect your search engine rankings include internal site architecture, page redirects, Flash, link errors or dead links, deep links, image maps, messy or non-indexing code, slow website speed, and sometimes how your page rank is internally passed.  For more information about how to optimize your website specifically, contact a search engine marketing expert (like us!) for a free consultation.

II. What are some recommended SEO tools?

There are so many SEO tools available that the first thing to do is to decide which ones are advantageous for your site to use and which would not have a very high ROI.  It is always important to remember, just because various tools and resources are available, they won’t be relevant to every site.  Google Webmaster is an excellent tool to understand aspects of your site, but if you don’t understand the meaning of each report, you may focus too closely on something like the number of internal links when what might be more important is improving site speed.

In terms of free tools that are easy to use, Google has quite a few.  Google Analytics and the Google keyword research tool are great, free, resources.  Keyword research is always the first place you want to start when beginning your optimization.  To check for back links and pages indexed, use Yahoo Site Explorer.

For analytics reporting, in additional to Google there is a great tool called Juice Analytics that enhances reporting by offering numerous graphs and charts that make visualizing your metrics for keyword referrals and quality of keyword, social media usage, and other aspects easier.  There are a number of other recommended SEO tools that B Line marketing uses to determine things like page rank, number of internal and external links, website speed, and more. If you’d like some more recommended SEO tools, tips, advice, and ideas, sign up for our newsletter!

III.  What are the top 10 SEO tips

Without giving away too much of our genius and proprietary process, here are a list of our top 10 SEO tips:

  1. Choose keywords that are most relevant for your site that you know you can create content for.  You don’t want to have the same keywords for each page of your site.  Each page should be fairly able to stand on its own, with fresh and relevant information that is easily accessible and understandable.
  2. Create optimized meta for each page on your site.  This will increase your page rank for keywords and as a whole improve your site’s rankings.
  3. Optimize on-page content using the keywords that have been selected for each page.  Each keyword should appear a certain number of times according to their relevancy.
  4. Hyperlinks, or anchor text, are excellent places to use keywords.  After developing relationships with bloggers and anyone else linking to your site, ask the writers to use specific keywords when creating hyperlinks.  This will go a long way towards improving your search engine results page rank.
  5. Link to deeper pages within your site.  Again, ask anyone linking to your site to do this.  While linking to the homepage is important, it is not always the best or most relevant page to link to.  If a blogger is writing about a specific topic covered on a deeper page within your site, rather than lining to the home page, the blogger should link directly to the deep page.  This should be kept in mind for article and press release writing as well.
  6. Use your keywords to create image ALT tags.
  7. Repurpose your content.  Images on your site can be used to create a Flickr gallery for link building, newsletters can be used as blog content, Twitter posts can be used on Facebook, testimonials (including recommendations from Linked In) can be arranged onto a new content page, videos can be hosted on a site like YouTube and embedded almost anywhere.
  8. Stay relevant.  Website content should be updated and added to as new information becomes available.  Your home page may have performed really well last year, but ask yourself if the content is still relevant today?
  9. Accessibility is key.  The design of your website will have a big impact on its crawl-ability regarding search engines but also in terms of usage.  Are your visitors able to find the information they’re looking for in 3 clicks?  Having a sitemap can make it easier for visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for.
  10. Before starting any new SEO efforts, always create a benchmark report.  Then use analytics and stats reporting to measure effectiveness and success.

These are just the top 10 SEO tips that B Line suggests.  We’ve got lots of great ideas and resources, contact us today to find out how we can help you maximize your site!

IV.  How to submit your website URL to a search engine.

For the most part, you don’t need to worry about how to get your website on a search engine; Google automatically crawls billions of pages monthly.  But, inevitably some sites are missed, in which case you’ll want to be sure to add your site.  There are a number of reasons why a site may not be crawled, including:

  • The site isn’t well connected through multiple links from other sites on the web
  • The site launched after Google’s most recent crawl was completed
  • The design of the site makes it difficult for Google to effectively crawl its content
  • The site was temporarily unavailable when Google tried to crawl it or Google received a server 404 error

It is easy enough to determine if your site has been crawled, type in to Google [ site:yourwebsite.com ].  If your site doesn’t come up then you’ll want to submit your URL on your own.  It’s fairly simple to add your site to a search engine, for Google simply follow this link: http://www.google.com/addurl/ and input your URL. It is also recommended to create and submit an XML site map through Google’s webmaster central.

If your site has not been crawled and is not indexed, you are missing out on revenue, exposure, and branding opportunities. B Line Marketing can help you not only submit your website URL to search engines for free, we can optimize your site so it has a higher chance of ranking on the first page of search results.

V. How to increase web traffic

When asking how to increase web traffic it is a good idea to first decide what your goal is, what do you want your new visitors to do?  There are different promotional methods through which traffic can be driven, and each one can serve a different purpose.  Wanting viewers to make a purchase is different from wanting viewers to view a book sample or read a blog.

After clarifying your goals, you can begin to increase web traffic through various different mediums.  A few more common ways include promoting your site through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon.  Write and optimize press releases to create awareness, include a frequently updated blog on your site to repurpose content and create new pages, and reciprocal linking with other sites is a great way to create link backs (external linking).  The possibilities are somewhat endless but where it should begin is fairly simply, choosing keywords and creating meta.  The best way to increase web traffic to your site is by making sure your meta and content are fresh, relevant, exciting, and valuable.

Trying to decide how to increase web traffic may seem like a daunting task, but there are actually a lot of ways to make the process simple, smooth, and painless.  Just remember to benchmark where your site currently is so that you can measure the effectiveness and success of your efforts and ROI.

Contact B Line Marketing for a free evaluation of your site and get an idea of how we can help you!
VI.  How to get your site higher on search engine results pages

Yes, the million dollar question!  Improving your ranking on the search engine results page (SERP) starts with a solid plan for search engine optimization.  There are several small details involved in the process which can be time-consuming but when done right you achieve higher rankings.  It’s important that you stay focused and try not to rank or target too many keyword terms. Choosing the best keywords for each page of your site is step one.  Once you have keywords you can create optimized meta, improve anchor text for hyperlinks, write optimized on page content, and much more.

Things to keep in mind are competition and the bigger pictures.  If your site is sells red Velcro shoes for girls ages 4-10 years old, the search term “red shoes” is relevant but much too broad.  Your site is specific, and the search term is very general.  This is an instance where you would not want to focus on your ranking results for that specific term.  Rather, terms like “red shoes for girls” or “red Velcro shoes” are much more relevant, drive a higher conversion rate and are likely to be less competitive.  As a results or narrowing your focus, you have a much better chance of getting your site ranked highly on search engine results pages.

You also want to spread out.  Don’t limit your site to just its URL, take advantage of the many opportunities to use social media.  The larger your online presence, the higher on search engine results pages you’ll score.  The algorithms for scoring websites, for Google, has about 200 contributing factors- everything from the newly included site speed to the number of external links.  So, reciprocal linking, crawl-ability, usability, relevance, and popularity are all important.  There is no one good answer for how to get your site higher on search engine results pages but there are many ways to get started.


VII.  How to increase traffic to blog

Increasing traffic to a blog is very similar to increasing traffic to any other type of site.  However, there are differences.  Some of the main ones are that blogs are purely social, so you definitely want to be present on other social networking sites.  Promote your blog through Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon, use reciprocal linking with other bloggers.  Here are some great tips that will help increase traffic to your blog:

  • Blog about current events
  • Try to include a picture that’s representative of your message or blog post
  • Sync your blog with all of your social networks, so when you add a new post your audience on Linked In, Twitter and Facebook are notified
  • Use an RSS widget so people can subscribe to it
  • Include multiple tags in each post that are similar to your meta tag

Most blog platforms will also allow you to input your own meta for the blog’s home page and individual meta for each post.  If you don’t want to create meta for each post, always be sure to include at least 5 tags.  This helps not only with organization of your blog, it will also improve your ranking in search engines.  The first steps towards how to increase traffic to a blog are content and relevance.

If you blog about a niche market, it’s fairly likely that you can earn loyal readers who will visit often, link back to you, and promote your blog among friends and family.  Reaching out to other bloggers for reciprocal linking is a great way to gain viewers that are looking for your content but don’t know you’re out there.  Reach out to fellow bloggers, develop relationships, and see where it takes you! Learn more about our blog optimization services and get an audit of your blog.
VIII.  How to add pictures in search engine

As they say, an image can be worth a 1000 or more words. This can also be true online if you employ proper image optimization techniques.  Content may be King but images can easily be Princes. Optimizing your site’s images and including them in search engine results pages can be a great alternate source of traffic.  Google’s second most popular search engine is Google Images, so it makes sense to want to have your images well indexed.

The following are a few ways to add pictures into a search engine results pages:

* Make sure the text surrounding the image uses your targeted keywords, same goes for image captions and ALT tags.
* Use descriptive image filenames.  If your image is of a blue boat on the Mississippi River, call it something like blue-boat-on-mississippi-river.jpg rather than IMG-521.jpg.
* Use a 7-8 word description for the ALT and title tag.
* Write a short 8-10 word description for the image subtitle.  Many places will let you create hyperlinks here, use this as an opportunity to use keywords and link back to your site.
* When possible, wrap text around your image that describes the context of your image.
* For galleries that don’t allow text descriptions, use the title and meta tags to include keywords that will clue the viewer and search engines in as to what the image is.

Creating galleries in sites like Flickr and Picassa, and having them listed as public, creates more instances where your images appear on the web.  Just like a site, an image gains weight with popularity.  Be sure to properly optimize your images with relevant keywords that you are likely to rank for. Contact us to learn about our image optimization services.


IX.  How to write SEO articles

How to write SEO articles again comes back to keywords.  Content is key and even if your content is the best available, without keyword-rich text it is content wasted.  After you’ve chosen 5 or so keywords, they should be sprinkled throughout your content and should appear organic in the text.

Here are some great pointers for how to write SEO articles to best benefit your site:

  • Focus on about 5 keywords
  • Each page of your site should have content that is a minimum of 350 words
  • Use hyperlinks to break up long paragraphs of text – using keywords as your anchor text
  • Write for your audience– know what they are looking for and provide easily understood information
  • Update your content– don’t leave your home page promoting a contest that ended last month, or even last week
  • Make sure your text is easy to scan by including headlines and subheadlines

In order to stay relevant ask yourself a tough but necessary question– Who cares? What can people take away from your articles that will stay with them?  What’s in it for them?  When you site down to write SEO articles, have a purpose.  Don’t reiterate what someone else has already said, provide fresh information that matters.

Write for the people, not for yourself.  Leave the fancy words behind and keep it short and sweet.  Most people will skim, so put the relevant information at the top and sum it all up at the end.  Lists are a great way to get information across simply and quickly, and always give your lists headlines.  When you start to write SEO articles for you site remember that less is more and simple is better.
X.  10 ways web design factors into effective internet marketing

There are many ways that web design impacts SEO efforts, the following are just 10 ways web design factors into effective internet marketing.

  1. Freedom of information.  Undoubtably you’ve been to sites where finding “Contact Us” information is completely impossible.  Provide contact information where viewers can reach you to ask questions, leave feedback, etc.
  2. URL structure.  Organize your content so that URLs are logical and intelligible.  Rather than http://www.url.com/index.php?id_526=463phqw, use something like http://www.url.com/about-us.  URLs that make sense are also easier for people to remember, making it more likely they’ll return to your site.  You may also want to try a URL shortener like www.bit.ly.
  3. Include a sitemap.  Sitemaps are a good idea for a number of reasons.  They make it easier for search engines to crawl your site (which improves rankings) and they make it easier for viewers to find exactly what they’re looking for.
  4. Broken links.  Internal site linking is only effective if the links go to actual pages.  Be sure your site doesn’t include 302 redirects or dead pages.  If someone clicks through a hyperlink it’s because they wanted information, if you can’t produce that information the result is a dissatisfied visitor.
  5. Include images.  Images are a great way to convey a message, capture attention, and engage viewers.  They’re also an opportunity to include keyword-rich ALT tags, titles, descriptions, and captions.
  6. Images are a great additions to your pages, but be sure you’re not using too much Flash.  Flash is not mobile or smart phone friendly and it is not crawl-able for search engines so use it sparingly.
  7. Aesthetics.  You want your site to be user-friendly, this often means having it be aesthetically pleasing.  An all black background conveys a gaming or adult website. Being creative with font colors is not recommended. Follow good usability practices and opt for light backgrounds with dark color text that’s easy to read.
  8. Content.  The number one goal should be to provide fresh, relevant, exciting, valuable content that will make your site sticky.  The more information you provide that your viewers are looking for, the longer they’ll stay on the site and the more they’ll come back to it.
  9. Reciprocity.  Don’t limit your site to information that only you provide.  Link out to other expert sites, things you think your viewers will enjoy.  Then you may want to ask those sites to link back to you and this increases your external links.
  10. Our last instance of how web design factors into effective marketing is the most important:  accessibility.  If viewers can’t navigate your site easily they will abandon it all together.  The general rule of thumb is that any viewer should be able to find the information they are looking for in 3 clicks.

Hopefully some of this information is helpful to you. Learn more about how to optimize your website through our blog or contact us for a free consultation.

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