The terms “know, like and trust,” are on the tips of many marketers tongues. And rightly so. Customers want to know, like, and trust you before they do business with you.
Well, guess what? The search engines want to trust you too.
As digital strategist Don Schindler put it, “The search engine algorithms are based on “trust” and search engine language. They want to trust your web site, they want to trust that what you say you are is what you really are. They want to trust your relevance on the subject the searcher cares about. . . . When it comes to trust – the age of your site is important as well.”
When writing or speaking about the relevancy of Web sites, I’ve always advised business professionals that the longevity of their site is important. After all, if your site has been around a long time it’s an indication that yours is a viable, credible business, not a “fly-by-night” operation that is here today & gone tomorrow.
“If the URL is new to search engines, it is not trusted as much,” Schindler continues. “If it is older and has had content on it for a long time, then the search engines trust the site more than new. . . Old content does not help drive SEO unless it is very meaningful to the audience.”
Meaningful is important here. Meaningful equals relevancy.
Relevancy has always been a key for achieving better rankings in the search engines. Of course, with algorithms changing all the time, no one really knows how each of the search engines work. However, some of the basics regarding your content have remained the same and are worth repeating.
For your Web site to be considered relevant, incorporate these 4 basic tips on your Web site:
1. Remember, content is king. Be sure your copywriter incorporates keywords phrases into your page content. So, if your keyword phrase is “cowboy boots,” a photo of cowboy boots is not enough. The phrase should be in your actual page content (i.e. headlines, subheads, paragraphs, etc.). I still get queries from site owners who are puzzled as to why their site doesn’t rank well. They tell me a few of their keyword phrases and I visit their site only to find that those keywords are no where to be found within their actual page content. TIP: Don’t “stuff” your content with keywords. Write so it makes sense without overdoing it.
2. Don’t forget your page title. Many Web developers/designers forget this step. They design a lovely site, but when you view the page title it may say “untitled” or just your company name. It’s also possible that every page title is the same. The page title (different than the headline) is a prime piece of keyword real estate. Be sure to incorporate keywords here. And, don’t use the same title on every page. Use descriptive titles for different pages. The keyword phrases used in your Web copy should match those used in your titles – that’s what makes them relevant.
3. Use keywords in the meta description. When your site shows up on the search engines, the description is what prospects see. It’s what encourages them to click on your link and visit your site. As with your page titles, each page can have a unique description as well.
4. Search engines don’t read images, they read content. When using images, don’t forget a descriptive, keyword enhanced alt tag (in the HTML code) that describes it.
There are many more tips to be covered for search engine optimization – from maximizing external links to incorporating social media. However, as a copywriter, for the purpose of this post, I’m sticking to what I know best and that’s writing keyword enhanced copy.
Take a quick review of your Web site and each of its pages. Are you covering the basics? Let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.