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Full Impact Website Design, SEO & Internet Marketing Blog

In case you're wondering, yes, I do love coffee. If you ask anyone who knows me, they would tell you that they rarely ever see me without a cup nearby, as a matter of fact, I'm drinking one right now. I even once went into a store that I have frequented regularly for years and forgot to take my "To-Go" cup in with me and three people asked me how I was doing and where was my coffee cup at. So, when I ran across the image on the left, I couldn't resist. I guess it's a good thing I didn't decide to put up a "healthy living" blog. Anyway, on to the meat of the matter.

Publishing a blog on your website is one of the easiest and most effective forms of Internet marketing and it's also a major factor in site optimization - SEO. What could be better? They are fun to maintain, only take a few minutes a post, help drive traffic to your site, and help move your site up in search engine rankings. Once its set up, all you have to do is just post and respond.

Search engines give preference to sites that regularly publish "fresh" content. Publishing a blog on your site is a good way to add fresh content on a regular basis. If you are really good at writing relevant articles, another site may grab your blogs RSS feed and publish it on their site which will provide links back to your site. This will increase SEO visibility even further. We have three examples of using other sites feeds to show you how this works. One eMarketing feed, one Web Design feed, and one SEO feed.

The reason I decided to put up this blog, in addition to SEO of course, is to help educate clients who don't know a lot about web design, SEO and Internet marketing, but would like to, just to be able to have a better understanding of what's going on so they can plan their direction more effectively and make better informed decisions. I don't think that's too much to ask. They just don't want to have to deal with someone "talking down" to them. This is singularly the most common complaint I hear from clients. "Oh, I would tell you, but it's too technical." "Oh, you want trained on this, well, that will be extra." or my favorite one after the website is up and running, "Oh, you want SEO, that will be extra." If you hear any of these things from your developer, my advice would be to cut your losses and run! They are either incompetent and trying to hide it from you, or, trying to jack up the price on the back end. Either way, it's unethical at best and they definitely don't have your best interest at heart. I hope this blog helps.

Basic SEO Part 1 - Meta Tags

Point 1: "Title"

This appears at the very top of your web browser. If you look up now, you should see "Web Design SEO and Internet Marketing Tips Blog | Full Impact Web Design, Ft Collins, CO." because that's the "Title" on this blog page.

Point 2: "Meta Tags"

Meta Tags appear in the Head of your document. Basic Meta Tags include: Title, Content-Type, Copyright, Author, Robots, Description and Keywords. You can "right-click" on this page and select "View Source" (Internet Explorer & Safari), or "View Page Source" (Firefox), or just look at the image below to see how they appear.

Point 3: "Indexing Algorithms"

Although this sounds like rocket science, and kind of is, here is an easy way to understand it. Search Engines use Meta Tags in their indexing algorithms, especially "Title" and "Description". Think of it like this, search engines spider all of the content on your page, looking at where certain terms appear and how they are used. They then apply a "weighting" method. In this scenario, the "Title" would be assigned a weight of around 12. The "Description" would be assigned a weight of around 5. Random occurrences throughout the content would be assigned a weight of 1 each. There are also other instances that will be assigned weights between 1 and 10, but for brevity, we'll stop here. From this example, you should be able to understand the importance of correctly optimizing these tags. Having keywords appear in the "Title" and "Description" have the combined weight of 16-17 random occurrences in your remaining site content.

Image Showing Meta Tags, Title & Description

But I Thought Mata Tags Aren't That Important Anymore

One of the things that really irks me is when I see someone's website and the Title is simply "Home", or just the company's name. Let me explain. Let's say that you are a sculptor and you are selling bronze sculptures and would like people who are simply searching for "Bronze Sculptures" to find you. Let's further say that the name of your business is "Jesse Ventura's Creations". We can see in this scenario that your business name does not contain any of the desired search terms that reflect what you do and the word "Home", contains even less. Reminds me of the Richard Jenny routine about the Lint Sucking Stumps: "We had less than nothing, and we were grateful." (I guess you had to be there.) Anyway, back to the subject.

Good SEO starts in the source code (HTML) of your document, so it's best to build it in from the very beginning and "Meta Tags" are arguably one of the most important things to consider in SEO, especially "Title" and "Description". I know, I know, you have probably heard that Meta Tags are not that important any more, and many so called SEO consultants will tell you the same. Well, I can tell you from experience that this is a crock.

Case in point, my wife has a computer service business and she hired me, of course, to do her website. Since she does most of her work "On-site", she wanted this term to score high in search results. I came up with a way of optimizing her site to score high using either term, "Computer Service" or "Onsite Computer Service". Later, she noticed that the term "Onsite" did not appear in the "Title", so she added it, and immediately, the site dropped 7 places on a search for just "Computer Service". So don't tell me that "Meta Tags don't matter anymore" Just adding one word cost 7 places in search results. This dropped the site from a first page ranking to page 2.

While you want to get your name out there, unless a consumer is searching specifically for your company name, the site will most likely not come up in search results unless the keywords and phrases that "describe" your business appear in the "Title" & "Description". Since we are all looking for "new" customers or clients, doesn't it make sense to make it easier for them to find us? After all, if they already know your company name, they are not new, are they?