Archive for the ‘Google’ Tag

Tag – you’re it!

Unless you’re going to invest a lot of money in advertising and promotions, the only way is to somehow manipulate how your customers find you.

We’ve all heard of SEO consultants who promise number one Google rankings. Lesson number one: Guaranteed rankings are a myth! Search engine crawl rates and algorithms are so different and unpredictable, making guarantees is irresponsible and misleading. However, there are ways to help get higher rankings than you already have, and this multi-part article will give you some insight into these. So don’t forget to come back and learn a little bit more.

A little insight
Anybody can build a nice looking website. But a lot of designers aren’t concerned about, or know how to build a site that drives business. Unless these pages are optimized correctly, you might as well take them offline, because nobody will be able to find them unless YOU tell them the url, and who can afford to do that without big ad budgets? Try optimizing for search engines. It’s cheaper than using media advertising, and it works!

Some stats to think about
During a recent survey on user attitudes, 56 percent use search engines on a daily basis. 35 percent of those do at least one search per day, 21 percent search four or more times a day. Only one percent say they never use search engines. Note: everyone surveyed was an Internet user. 57 percent use the same search engine. 30.5 percent used several search engines, and 13 percent used different search engines for different types of searches. By far, Google led the way with 66 percent, followed by Yahoo at 55 percent, MSN at 54 percent and AOL at 49 percent.

91 percent of those surveyed, said they’d search differently if the initial search failed to find a suitable match within the first three pages. A survey two years ago prior found the figure to be 71 percent. 26 percent said they’d give up a search if they didn’t find a match on the first two pages. Searchers are becoming increasingly discriminate due to the seemingly endless pages of matches. Women more so than men. 44 percent of women don’t go past the first page. Only 37 percent of men agreed.

What does this mean to you and your site?
Web surfers use these search engines and directories to find web sites by typing a particular search phrase. How they write the phrase is determined by how ‘search savvy’ they are. The more focussed and targeted the phrase, the better. Higher ranking web sites leverage the way the search engines perceive a site based on the user’s search phrase.

For example, in your Google search field, type in ‘direct marketing toronto’. Down the middle of page one, you will see the following match:

Mystique Creative: website design Toronto, graphic design Toronto …
Some business owners tend to overlook direct marketing as a useful tool in a … 2008 mystique creative – marketing strategies and solutions – toronto … – 11k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this

Mystique Creative: Toronto website design firm offering graphic …
A Toronto firm providing website design, web development, graphic design, market research, and direct marketing strategies. – 10k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this

The whole tag and nothing but the tag
Start by building your site the right way. Sure throw in the pretty pictures and text that match your brand, add backwards navigation so the viewer will know what page they’re on, but that’s not enough. It’s what you don’t see that’s important – the HTML code. It looks like gibberish to the untrained eye, but each line of code is governed by ‘tags’, and that is what makes your web page tick.

A lot of you have heard of Head Tags and Meta Tags, but what are they and what are they for?

A typical web page is split into two parts, the Head and the Body. ‘Natch. The Head contains Meta Tags that search engines use and scan to figure out the basic content of a page, and if done correctly, will categorize the site by ranking. It also contains link tags to style sheets and other scripts that control the look of the page. The Body contains formatting tags that help to structure the page as you would like to see it. Some of these tags also help echo the importance of the Head tags.

The three most important Head tags are the Title tag, the Meta description tag and the Meta keyword tag, and in a nutshell, here’s what they do:

The Title tag is exactly what it says. It is the title of your page and the way it is written can help with your site’s rankings. It should define who you are in as few words as possible.

Next is the Meta description tag. This is a descriptive text that appears on search engine results and just as important as the Title tag. This tag contains concise text that any searcher will understand as to what you have to offer and contains key words used by the search phrase.

Finally, the Meta keyword tag. Every pertinent word on that web page MUST appear here. These words cannot be arbitrary words. They have to be considered very carefully, as they are the words used by a searcher in their search phrase. Researching the best keywords is an artform in itself, as the SEO practitioner must consider the many different search phrase possibilities that any one web user will input.

All three of these tags used together help to target your viewers in their search for your web site. This is only the beginning.

Coming soon:
Google loves content-rich web sites
Other important page tags
Linking, both internal and external
Site submissions and the importance of Blogs, RSS feeds, Link Exchange, etc.

Frank Beecham
Mystique Creative