SEO is dead (mostly); some tips for more pageviews

1. Content Content Content

Create compelling content relative to your business. If you’re trying to draw views from local audiences, on your page and in your social media outlets, utilize content and links from local audiences, attractions, or happenings. Search engines more and more hone in on specifically the nature of what you write and what you connect to and who connects to you. Also (sadly unlike this site sometimes) keep up with content, create new content regularly with relevant keywords written in the posts and linking content to relevant sites.

2. Hone Your Message(s)

Want to bolster your site in search rankings without dropping a ton of change on Google Adwords/other online advertising, keep your message concise in a way that various search engines will see a clear pattern with what you’re saying. This gets back to your cross-linking as well, if search bots see a very concise pattern between the words you use, your social pages, and pages that link to you be they reviews, recommends, testimonials, or similar organizations in your industry, this will help your page ranking immeasurably. Know your message, repeat it in creative ways.

3. Links Matter

Can’t be repeated enough. Make sure you have links that are coming from relevant sources. Don’t just link to and/or accept links from anyone and everyone, accept and link only to those that stay on your message if you’re a business and ultimately you want to be found for a very specific niche. You can link from everyone but search engines are smarter than this, if you sell t-shirts and you accept a bunch of linkbacks from a company that makes chairs, that won’t necessarily help your ranking, in fact it probably will hurt it.

4. Use Only One Domain

I know it’s temping to have multiple sites for the same things but in 2012 search engines frown on this, it’s as played out as juicing meta data in the code in the old days. Search engines are built for people, people shouldn’t need to be duped to come to your site if you have only one that does all the business, resist creating a bunch of backdoors and push links. In fact some search engines will lower your ranking now if you use multiple similar ones that redirect. Less is more, it always is. Always.

5. Encourage Reviews

Search engines really like reviews, it usually will add word optimization for you to have a client or customer drop some facet of your business in a comment section, even if it’s negative, for page ranking it’ll still be a positive. And while I can’t condone it, at ALL, if you have to, ask people you know to review your product or service or whatever it is, maybe with a caveat, only if nobody has seen/gone to/reviewed your product or service yet so your reviews are a ghosttown. I don’t recommend deleting bad reviews on your site either, rather, answer them personally on the site, unless it’s someone trolling, actively engage your reviewer in the public on your site apologizing and saying you’ll try harder, it beats ignoring and is better than deleting a commenter who may take that as proof you’re just not a nice organization and will go tell others.

6. Use Titles on Pages

Most CMS systems are great as it’s built in. If for whatever reason they’re not, title the pages (if you don’t know, that’s those words at the top above your browser bar), create a title for each page that makes sense. Make those titles relevant to whatever your product, service, or what you do, and be consistent with them. If many use the same wording or of the same topic search engines recognize the pattern and will improve ranking and send views your way. Keep the naming simple though, try not to write a sentence.

7. Text and/or Alt Tagging is Still Your Friend

It’s not just for pictures, use alt-text tagging for video, audio, and if for some horrid reason you’re stuck putting some awful outmoded outdated bad idea on your site called Flash anywhere, alt tag/text it with a description. Search engines still read these and they still matter. [And note move as quickly as possible to kill all Flash anything anywhere on your site and move to something relevant to the internet since 2000 like jQuery or anything Javascript, HTML5 and CSS3+ compliant, your user-base and all who go to your site will thank you]

8. SEO of Yore May Be Dead, Keywords Aren’t [Quite Yet]

While search engines get smarter so SEO is snake oil unless it’s someone helping you craft actual relevant content an messages, aim for approximately three targeted keywords per page, which is to say, three words VERY relevant to what you do, who you are, and what’s your message.

9. Use Google Analytics

It’s free. And it can break down your site in ways where you can dig fairly deep to see how people are getting to you, where they’re going, how long they stay, and where they leave to. It’s not an exact science, however what you see that you’re not doing may tell you what you should be doing.

10. Don’t Stress Too Much About Page Ranking

You heard me. You can drive yourself batty thinking in 2012 with literally quadrillions of web pages out there and your site isn’t number one. Don’t buy into supposed “musts” or be sold a bill of goods by anyone saying they can increase your site to the top ten results, not unless they have a “or we’ll pay you one million dollars” guarantee. Search engines are always being tweaked and ultimately their mission is to return what the user most likely wants to see, not something that can be bought and sold, well, not by much. Keep doing whatever it is you’re doing, experiment, try, keep creating content be that on your page, your social media pages, stay engaged with your clients and customers, enjoy what you do, learn every day, and spend every day online actively seeking what works and what doesn’t.

If you run into any issues or need any of the above broken down or explained further, and/or you need professional help you can contact me, colin at colinnekritz dot com. Otherwise just keep doing what you’re doing, keep on message best you can, be real, be honest, and you’ll be doing better service than many on the internet. Best of luck.