keyword: Search Engine Optimization (Chapter 19)

Posted on July 15, 2011

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It would sort of be akin to the age-old question, “If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound?”  If you have the best, most informative website or blog in the world, but not one sees it, does it make a difference?  Everything discussed in The Social Media Bible so far is really null and void without proper search engine optimization.  People need to be able to find you first and foremost before any of the other tips/tricks come into play.  Search engine optimization sounds pretty important, wouldn’t you agree?

Neither of my blogs garnered any results when I checked whether or not they are being linked to on other sites.  The Boys Town website, on-the-other-hand, has close to 300 links.  I guess it is obvious which website would be more reputable and trusted by search engine “algorithms.”  Honestly, it seems as if hiring someone to help with SEO might be the best practice.  Getting it wrong could be detrimental.  If going at it alone, though, there were a few tips that really seemed to stand out.

First of all, it seems to be important to update your website and keep it current.  As Safko suggests, this can be done easily by integrating a blog into your web site and adding to it consistently.  Secondly, keywords need to be included in your meta description and those keywords should actually exist on your website.  As Safko said, don’t try to fool the spider.  I was surprised to learn that websites are penalized for trying to cheat algorithms and can even be banned.  It definitely would not be worth the risk.  Finally, it seems as if the rule of thumb is the more, the better.  Participate in social media sites and link them to your page.  Make sure to make it easy for others to “share.”  Link to other sites and get other sites to link to yours.  Comment on other blogs, articles, etc.  The key seems to be to get your name/website out there often!

How do you pick the right keywords?  That is probably a class in and of itself, but a recent blog on seodesk.com addressed the surface of that issue.  According to author Ajeet Khurana, keywords should include phrases and not just single words as there is much more competition for single words  (http://seodesk.org/keywords-are-at-the-heart-of-internet-marketing-use-them-well/).  Also, think like a customer and know keyword statistics.  Many of the top 10 keywords last year were social media sites, so making sure that people can reach you through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter is imperative.

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