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David Hoffman

This week’s post comes from David Hoffman of Search Smart Marketing. David recently provided our members with a very exciting update on effective internet search engine optimization and marketing techniques. Included here are seven rules to know when improving your website. Learn more at www.isearchsmart.com

Design Your Site for Humans, Not Search Engines. Search engines are designed to find what humans are looking for, so make sure your site is well-designed, has good content, intuitive navigation and clear calls to action.

Identify Keyword Targets. Use free tools such as Google’s free Keyword Tool (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal) to help identify pertinent search terms that should be incorporated into Page Titles, Headers and page copy. Select terms by relevance, not search volume. Widely searched terms (such as “design”) have broad usage; other phrases such as “home improvement” may be too competitive to attain ranking.

Geo-target Site Content. If you are a painter in Stamford, it’s unlikely your site will rank well for searches for “painter”. But you have an opportunity to rank for “Stamford painter” or “Fairfield County home painting”.

Content is King. Update site content as often as possible; all other things being equal, Google will rank the site that gets updated higher than a similar one that rarely adds new information.

Social Media. Social media is an extension of Search and has direct, beneficial effects. Determine which venue(s) best suit your interests and schedule and focus on that component. If you like to participate in discussions and networking, utilize Facebook or LinkedIn. If you like to write, maintain a blog.

Local directories. Be sure to own your listing and submit your site to free local directories such as Google Places, Bing Local, Yelp, YellowPages.com, and others. These products are getting higher visibility and will continue to grow as the mobile web is more widely adopted.

Be Wary of SEO Firms. Disreputable firms offer ranking promises and guarantees, often at fees just low enough to lock you in for six months or more. An SEO firm is a marketing partner, not a technology provider. Select one based on referrals and experience.

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