And a new white paper available for download
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help your company’s Web pages rise higher in the search engine results for specific keyword searches. Done correctly, SEO can help you attract motivated prospects to your Web site in real time as they search online for products and services like those you offer.
Engaging in some level of SEO will be of benefit to most companies. Your level of involvement depends on your goals, expertise and resources. Some simple yet effective SEO techniques can be performed with limited expertise and resources, while other, more complex techniques require SEO experts and technical skills.
Here are 10 SEO tips that most industrial marketers should be able to execute without too much strain on their resources.
1. Identify keywords
The first step in SEO is to identify the keywords and search terms most relevant to your company, products and services and that users are typing into search engines to look for products and services like yours. This way, you can tailor the content of your Web pages to include these keywords, helping your pages rank higher on search engines.
Here are some good techniques for discovering keywords:
- Conduct internal brainstorming sessions
- Ask customers how they describe your products and services
- Review competitor Web sites and the keywords they use
- Review Web server log files for search terms used to find your site
- Use commercially available keyword research tools, such as Wordtracker or the Google Keyword Tool
2. Integrate keywords into page copy
Once you have a list of keywords, weave them into the copy of your Web pages. A single page should be optimized only for one or two keywords. Use keywords in the headline of the page and in the first paragraph, and repeat them as appropriate on the page, but make sure the use of keywords is natural and the copy flows and reads easily. Otherwise, you will confuse or turn off readers who might abandon your site, which will defeat your SEO efforts.
3. Add internal links
Search engines use software programs called spiders that roam the Web and follow links to find pages to index in the search engine database. By adding links between the pages on your Web site, you make it easier for search engines to find and index your pages. When creating links between pages, use keywords for the text. Instead of “click here” or “more information,” try writing “centrifugal pumps” or “properties of oscillating pumps.”
4. Use metatags
Metatags appear in the HTML code of Web pages. The two important metatags for SEO are ‘title’ and ‘description.’ Each page on your Web site needs a unique title tag that describes the page content. Again, try to use keywords in the title tag and keep them under 20 words. The description metatag is often used by search engines as the text presented to users in search results pages. Write the description metatag to entice potential visitors to click on your search results.
5. Optimize URLs
A URL is the address of a Web page. Keep the URL as short as possible and include target keywords in the URL itself. For example: http://www.companyname.com/video-imaging-equipment.html. Search engines have a harder time following URLs that are dynamically generated based on database queries. Dynamically generated URLs typically include “?” followed by several parameters at the end of the address. If this applies to your Web pages, you may want to make static copies of the most important pages and give them simpler URLs.
6. Build a site map
A site map containing HTML links to all of the major pages on your Web site makes it easier for a search engine to find and index your Web pages in its database. A site map is also a great usability and navigation feature, helping visitors understand the breadth and depth of your Web site and find what they are looking for. Be sure to update your site map when you add or delete pages from your Web site.
7. Use HTML navigation
HTML navigation is another one of those internal linking techniques that make it easier for search engines to find and index your Web pages. Navigation based on images or drop-down navigation menus coded in Java script is difficult for search engines to follow. Re-programming navigation menus to straight HTML will take time and money. If you can’t do this, you should at least repeat the navigation as text links at the bottom of your Web pages in the footer area.
8. Seek incoming links to your site
Link popularity refers to the SEO technique of getting other relevant Web sites to link to yours. It is used by major search engines to determine the importance of a Web page, under the philosophy that the most important Web pages will have the most links pointing to them. Managing a link strategy can be resource intensive. It’s more important to get quality incoming links than a high quantity of irrelevant links. You can get links by submitting articles and press releases to industry directories and Web sites; asking partners, distributors and trade associations to link to your Web site; and commenting on industry blogs.
9. Keep Web content updated and relevant
The quality of the content on your Web site is important. The higher quality and more relevant your content, the more likely external Web sites will link to yours and search engines will find and index the fresh content. Write and publish articles and white papers on your Web site, post press releases, or start a blog.
10. Download the white paper: “Search Engine Optimization for the Industrial Marketer.”
This new white paper, written by GlobalSpec’s SEO experts, will help you understand how SEO can fit into your marketing strategy, describe in more detail various SEO techniques, and help you weigh an investment in SEO vs. other marketing programs ― helping you make the best use of your marketing budget to achieve your objectives. Before you launch or revise your SEO strategy, download your copy of “Search Engine Optimization for the Industrial Marketer.”