I just love learning more to help my business and help my clients! This week I took a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) class at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Their Computer Education Center classes are great and I’ve taken various classes there over the years!Google and SEO

According to the instructor, “SEO is equal parts art and fortune as it is science”, and man is that a great way to explain it! There’s a lot that goes into improving your SEO and to get you found online.

Questions to consider:

  • What’s the purpose of my site?
  • How is my audience looking for me?
  • What makes me different?
  • How can I add value to offer?
  • Who is my audience?

The main idea is to make your website useful to your audience.  This is done by offering valuable and quality content. You want your content to be for the sake of the users – NOT GOOGLE! If it looks like you are trying to game the system to get higher rankings, that no longer works and you will be penalized.

Keyword stuffing is no longer effective and Google doesn’t like it. Plus, let’s be honest, when looking at a website that is stuffed with keywords, it’s pretty obvious what they are doing and it’s not appealing to the user either.

So let’s be pro-active and have fun!  Here’s what you can do to improve your SEO:

  • Have a natural language. This is actually part of your branding too! Use those words that sound like you in your content! (It seems like my language is !) Read my post about Word Clouds to get inspired about ways to find out your natural language!
  • Be useful to the audience, not Google, by providing interesting and useful content. Even free downloadable documents or white papers are great!
  • Short sentences and paragraphs that are focused and to the point creating a visually aesthetic site with lots of white space makes it easy for the visitor to scan.
  • Blogging, cross linking within your site with previous blog posts (erm, see my first point, ha!)
  • Description meta tags unique for each page
  • For page URLs use words that describe the page
  • Participate in your community on the web! Facebook and LinkedIn groups, Twitter, blog posts, forums, etc. Have a consistent image so you are recognizable. And be transparent and real – that’s your personality and brand which builds trust and credibility!
  • Don’t hang out in those communities just to link to your site. BE USEFUL and dialog to build relationships.
  • BLOG! By providing regular new content on your site you are giving away new information and giving readers a reason to come back.
  • Links from other sites pointing back to your site is probably the best way to help your SEO! This can be from other websites, social media sites, blog cross linking, articles, etc. Set up a useful mix of content others will want to link to.

Just be visible to those you want to find you! Be genuine, helpful, consistent, and be you!

So, some of these things I already knew but I was still leaning back on the “old way” of SEO. This new (and ever changing) way will actually be more fun to incorporate. So now I have some to-do’s after taking this class. Time for a little face-lift to my site, consistent blogging, upcoming interesting downloadables, and increasing my social activity.

Need help with your SEO? Let me help!