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4 SEO Tips

December 6, 2012

Today’s post is courtesy of Julie Cunningham, an account executive at Rhino Public Relations. Questions or comments? Julie can be reached at Julie@rhinopr.com or on Twitter at @RhinoPR_Julie.

SEOSearch engine optimizer. If that title sounds like some made-up term like “flux capacitor” from the movie “Back to the Future,” you’ve come to the right blog.

I recently had the chance to learn a little more about the very real benefits of search engine optimization (SEO) and how to help your company by becoming an ‘optimizer.’

On Nov. 16, I attended a workshop on low-cost PR and marketing tips at the Architecture Boston Expo (ABX). In the interest of full disclosure, it was led by Rhino PR founder and principal Susan Shelby, FSMPS, CPSM. Joining Susan were Joan McQuaid, Corporate Marketing Manager at TRC, and Barbara Hicks, Director of Marketing and Media at Margulies Perruzzi Architects.

Barbara spoke about SEO and social media. Because most of us can already tweet, post and pin with the best of them, SEO is the focus here. To reap the biggest benefits from a SEO campaign, your best bet is to hire a specialist who better understands the algorithms of search engines and can make full-site recommendations. But for those of us who are a bit budget-constrained these days, here are some of Barbara’s easy (and free) tips for making your site better optimized.

1. Understand what SEO is and why you should take advantage of it.

Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing the pages of your website to be recognizable in search engines like Google or Bing. As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO helps your company’s website come up higher in the list of results that are returned when someone types in relevant key words.

Think about the way YOU search for something on the internet. After you type in your search term, you probably click on one of the first five links that appear. Your potential clients do the same thing. SEO can help ensure your firm is one of those first five.

2. Establish your key words.

This is your game plan for any SEO effort. Any changes you make to your website will be based on these important key words, and establishing them up front will prevent confusion later. If you’re having trouble getting started, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you want to be known for?
  • What are your services?
  • What will your potential clients type into a search engine to find you?

3. Make on-site changes: edit your website’s content to include key words.

You’ll want to use these words all over your site, but remember: relevance is important. Don’t use the same words on every page. Keywords in these three main areas are most important; they work together to help improve your search rank:

  • Page content: the actual text on the pages of your website
  • Title tags: that text in the top of your browser
  • Meta tags: The sentence-long sneak previews that search engines provide underneath links.

4. Promote your site by backlinking from other websites.

This is one of the most important things to remember when it comes to improving your ranking in search engine results: make sure links to your web pages exist elsewhere on the internet. One way to achieve this is to comment on blogs with similar keywords. Social media is a great method of backlinking!

One more free resource is Hubspot’s Marketing Grader Report, which will assess your website’s current SEO effectiveness. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be on your way to improving your company’s website and its profile.

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