An Ounce of Prevention - 16 SEO Tips
We all know the expression "An Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure." What this
means to your standard small to medium business is that having your web designers and
developers use SEO principles when designing your site in the first place can often get
you the search engine rankings your business needs to survive without having to resort to
the "pound of cure" of expensive SEO Companies.
Below find 16 SEO tips. One tip for every ounce in a pound.
1. Identify your niche. What makes you different from the other companies out
there doing similar things to you? For instance, if you are a landscaping company, do you
engage in design⁄build projects and really excel at water installations? If so, focus on
this! It's the root of your future success. There will be something that differentiates
you from the others. Find it, know it and embrace it. You can be the 40th copy center in
town but if say you're the one closest to downtown then there's your competitive edge.
2. Analyze the competition. Chances are high that not only do you have
competitors but also that those competitors are doing the web thing right. Even if they
are NOT doing the web thing right, take a good long look at their sites. Figure out what
their strategy is. Try to see what they are doing right. Analyze too what they are doing
wrong. And then see if you or your design and marketing team can come up with any ideas on
how to do it all better.
3. Make juicy content. Provide content that is engaging and worth reading. If
the written content of your site - the copy - is interesting then the visitor will
actually spend time reading them. They will remember your site and quite possibly even
return. If you are a small to medium business and have no one on staff who can write well
then it is important to find someone who can. Ask friends and colleagues if they know a
copy writer. Check your network. If you need to, hire out for that content: having good
content is an essential part of your SEO strategy.
4. Make the site feel user friendly. People coming to your site will make up
their minds like that (snapping fingers sound) about whether your site is worth the time
to look at. If your site is cluttered, confusing, difficult to navigate or (ahem) ugly,
then it is going to do a wonderful job of alienating potential site visitors.
Make your site nicely designed, usable and well organized. If you don't have your own
designers, then find a local web design firm that can do the job for you. You will want to
use a company that knows SEO. Try a search string like "web design location" with your
town or city's name in the location string. Look through the results on the first page and
see if there is a firm that looks: a) within budget b) professional c) savvy with SEO site
building (they will already know many of the steps listed in this article).
A hint: don't take them at their word. Ask them for examples of sites they have worked
on that will back up their claims of being good at designing sites with SEO in mind. If
they say for instance that they are responsible for number 1 results for search strings like
"pool restoration Calgary" or "well diggers Adelaide" substantiate those claims. See if
the number 1 site has a "designed by ____" tag at the bottom. The proof will be in the pudding.
5. Identify your key search strings. How are people going to be using Bing or
Google to find you? What are people going to write in that search bar? It will sometimes
not be what you suspect it's going to be.
Tie this in with point number 1, above: think of your niche specialization when
identifying your key search phrases because that can be what gives you the competitive
edge with your SEO strategy.
There's some valuable help for you provided by Google. Look at Google Insights. There
is a lot of help here not only to understand how saturated your key search string may be
but also what some alternatives there are out there that you can target. For instance if
you are focusing on "cabin rental Ontario" the Insights result shows you not only similar
terms but also "Rising Searches:" dramatically shifting trends in related search strings.