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SEO Tip Series – Tip#4: Go Long
As Paid Search Advertising becomes more popular (and therefore more competitive, complicated and, at times, expensive), more small business owners are turning their attention to Search Engine Optimization or SEO. After doing few searches for “SEO” on Google, many business owners quickly become overwhelmed at the breadth and depth of information available – where do you begin?
If you’re a “do it yourself” type and you’re just getting started with SEO, one of the best things you can do to see quick (relatively speaking) results is to optimize your site for very specific keyword phrases – also known as “long tail keywords.” But how do you do this?
The first step is to create several new pages on your website. If you designed and created your website, this process is simple – just clone a standard “sub-page” and add new content optimized around 1-2 long tail keywords. There’s more to proper page optimization than just content, but that’s beyond the scope of this posting.
But, what if you did not build your own website? Don’t panic (yet). Most small business owners have someone else in charge of their website. Contact that person or company and explain to them what you want to do. If you don’t have a web person, you can always find one or contact us.
There is one situation that we are seeing more and more often and it is cause for [major] concern – If the Yellow Pages or any outside organization built your website, it is important to determine who actually owns the following:
– Your domain name – www.YourBusiness.com
– Your files – every webpage is a file – who actually owns these files?
– Who is responsible for things like renewing your domain name (see above)?
– Do you have direct access to your site (also called FTP access)
Given your website’s importance to your business, you want to make sure that you own/control each of the aforementioned. It’s okay to have an outside company take out a domain name for you or to pay someone to build you a website – Just make sure you read the fine print. We have see companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars branding a website and driving traffic to it – only to find out later that they don’t actually own or control the site. This is a disaster you want to avoid at all costs.
So, get some sub-pages developed and then optimize the content on each around 1-2 long tailed keywords. Using this strategy, you can effectively generate a decent amount of organic search traffic in a matter of weeks and months (instead of quarters and years).
There is really no limit to the number of sub-pages or long tailed keywords – it only comes down to your time and return on investment. It makes no sense to get ranking for keyword phrases that generate no traffic, but if you pick a keyword phrase that is too general, you’ll have a difficult time getting organic rankings on the first page of larger search engines such as Google.
Here’s an example of one we did recently for a client:
Property management is an extremely competitive industry. Our client already has a Paid Search Advertising campaign, but is main website has never enjoyed any organic search rankings – not even for his primary business. We created a sub-site specifically for his property management business and to attract organic traffic. In doing this, we also created sub-pages optimized around very specific phrases – like the one above.
In summary – a quick way to get started with SEO is to create new pages for your website that are optimized around 1-2 very specific or long tailed keyword phrases. It is important to understand that by “optimization” we are not suggesting you simply fill a webpage with poor content that contains the same keyword over and over. Actions like this are more likely to get you banned from the search engines altogether.
Your goal should be to use your expertise in your industry to create compelling, unique and interesting content – content that someone considering your product and service would actually enjoy reading and find helpful. Don’t regurgitate what your competitors have already said or scrape content from one site and paste it onto yours.
Organic clicks might not cost money on a per click basis, but like everything – the quality of your results depend on the quality of work you put into it.
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