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10 Ways to Enhance Your Website for SEO - Part 2

Last month we sent out part 1 of the article -10 ways to enhance your website for SEO. We also had a guest speaker at our webinar from Sean Roylance. You can view the article and webinar right here. I want to thank everyone that came to the webinar. Here is the continuation of the article with a couple of bonus ideas to help your SEO Search Engine Optimization helps increase your visibility on the web. Here are some helpful tips and resources that can optimize your website, and raise your company from obscurity in the process.

Google Places:

At no expense, Google Places offers a venue where business owners can advertise their business. All you have to do is claim your allotted space. Google probably has your business on Google Places already, but only with basic information found through Yellow Pages and other suppliers. Claim your business so you can provide your own accurate information. Once you’ve claimed your business, you can upload photos, make sure the links are correct, and put in the right contact information. This also will help you to be found on Google and Google Maps with greater ease. To claim your business on Google Places, follow this link. For more information about Google Places, follow this link.

Page Titles:

To illustrate the importance of placing keywords in the Page Title, think of it this way: the regular words of a webpage are the peasants, the bolded words are lawyers and businessmen, the headings are like dukes, and the Page Titles are like kings and queens. The Page Title of your webpage is simply another spot for keywords, but one that commands the most respect from Google. Knowing this, the natural tendency is to cram keywords into this spot, but don’t do it; the Page Title is a highly visible place to pack all your dynamite. When people run a Google search, the blue, underlined words are made from the Page Title of that particular webpage. If the link that comes up on Google doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t matter if it’s popping up on Google all the time. A bed and breakfast searcher most likely won’t click on “Bed and Breakfast-Vacation-Austin, Texas- Affordable.” It doesn’t look professional either, because whatever words you choose for your Page Title are also displayed at the top of Internet Explorer’s browser window. Make your Page Title directly relevant to the specific page listed. When creating the perfect Page Title, any longer Page Title is cropped at the 64 characters mark. Just don’t pass up this opportunity to get the king of keywords to put in a good word for your business, and above all, do not leave any pages unnamed. For more information and guidance on how to decide on Page Titles, click here.

Google Analytics:

When people peruse the pages of your website, they leave their fingerprints with every click of the mouse. Google tracks where all your clicks are coming from, where viewers go on your website and which page is viewed the most. Google also keeps track of your bounce rate, or the number of times viewers find your website, but leave immediately. Through Google Analytics, this data is open for you to use. You can see what appeals to your customers, what drives them away, and where your high traffic areas are.  You no longer have to guess what your viewers are doing, and it’s free to use. You can create a friendlier website, people will stay longer, and wouldn’t you know it, Google keeps track of that too. When people stay on your website longer, you go higher up in the rankings.

Website Growth:

Google is a lot like a botanist. It likes living, growing things, rather than the unchanging cliffs and mountains of the internet’s landscape. There are a few different ways to make your website a growing, changing entity:
  1. Social Media: By properly linking social media like blogging, Facebook and twitter to your website, new posts that are made in any of these places will count as updates to your website. There are even ways to set up these outlets so that if you write on your blog, it will push out to Facebook and twitter.
  2. Adding New Pages: As you continue to add new pages to your website, Google (the botanist) sees your website growing, and decides you must be pretty important.
  3. Updating your Website Often: The Internet is all about the “right now” in the world. By updating the information on your website periodically and keeping things current, your business will be seen as much more important.*

Inbound Links:

Getting links from different websites, especially authoritative sites, can really boost your Search Engine Optimization. If other websites decide you’re important enough to link to, Google will think you’re pretty important too. Simply ask other businesses if they would be willing to link to you. If there is a golf course nearby, they would benefit if a golfer stayed at a Bed and Breakfast nearby. Ask for a link. For 40$ a month, Trip Advisor will link to you. By providing relevant information, more people will link to you. In the past, linking to your friend as long as they link to you used to be a common way to go up in SEO. Google got wise, so now, link-swapping does little or no good for SEO.

Claiming your business on Yelp, or Destination Nexus, etc:

The more places that have your links back to your website, the better. It’s a lot like setting up a bunch of different signs that point toward a garage sale. If a viewer finds you on Yelp, Destination Nexus, or Trip Advisor, they find your website. Also, having links from a variety of places helps SEO. So claim your business on Yelp, Destination Nexus, or Trip Advisor. It’s there, it’s free, why not?

Google AdWords:

So far, all the mentioned SEO techniques have been thrifty, but “Google Adwords” bears mentioning. If you need to get to the top quickly, and you have a few cartridges of cash in your pocket, plain and simple, you can pay for it. With the proper selection of keywords, you can blast through the opposition, tricks and maneuvering aside. Google is a business, and it will favor those who pay; throw some cash at them for certain words, and when those words are searched for, your website will come up near the top. It can be expensive, but it’s effective. Just make sure the profit is worth the expenditure, or this technique can blow up in your face. *

The Goal:

The Reservation Button is the focal point. In creating your website, you should have one goal in mind: to make a reservation. That’s what all your efforts should be working towards. If a viewer of your website can’t figure out how to book a room, all is a waste. By putting a highly visible Reservation Button on every page, you make it easy to understand, and easy to do. Just like grocery stores don’t put the check-out behind the bathrooms, your customers need to know exactly where to go if they want to make a reservation. All the Search Engine Optimization in the world doesn’t help if customers don’t know where to buy.
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