Differentiate Your Website, but Use What Works :
A common conundrum in SEO is whether to copy what works or create new inroads into search optimization. This is where the delicate balancing act comes in. Just by copying your competition’s tactics doesn’t mean that you will have greater success that they are (They’ve obviously been doing it longer than you have if you’re copying them, right?).
Granted, there are plenty of time-tested tactics for good SEO, and those should be utilized as best as your budget and ambition allow. But in the end, your website needs to be different than everyone else’s, and that’s what will ultimately put you at the top.
And to be different you have to be willing to try things that have never been done before. If we could just follow the wisdom of other SEO experts, every website would look the same. That’s why there is one thing that can never be copied by anyone else. That is: your voice. Your website should have your voice and your philosophy present in it somewhere. Your voice is your style, your commitment to your customers, your commitment to yourself made public.
If you run a company blog, not only does the content represent you, but the frequency with which you publish content, the length of each post, and the depth of the information all represent your voice.
What happens is that your voice becomes your brand’s value, and the more you put your voice out there the more value you put in your brand. This also means you’re putting more content out there, and that’s where it begins affecting your SEO (positively).
So how do you beat your competitor when you’re both playing the same game – be better at the game than they are. If they’re not being innovative or taking risks with SEO, then you should. If they’re limiting their voice on their site, then make yours heard loud and clear. It’s the most reliable way to win. Just balance what you know works with what you make work.
Google+, Page Rank and How It All Works :
Google Plus (+) has been out long enough for most people savvy to search to have either seen it or used it. Now the “+1” button is about as common as the Facebook “Share” button and the Twitter “Tweet” button. In other words, it’s a common way for people to share the content they discover with their friends. But what does Google+ do for a website’s SEO?
The +1 has an indirect effect on a website’s search ranking. Unfortunately, having lots of +1’s will not translate into a directly highly ranking in traditional search results, but it can help you. Here’s why. When a Google user +1’s a piece of content (web page, blog article, etc.) he/she finds useful it now shows up in Google’s new “Search plus Your World” functionality, where the first results given are personal if a person is signed into their Google account when searching.
Users are now seeing which search results have been “endorsed” by their friends, so those sites/articles/etc. that have been +1’d tend to have higher a CTR (Click Through Rate), and that is what then leads to that user sharing the content via their social media accounts and providing quality traffic. It is these two things that drive up a website’s ranking.
So while getting a ton of +1’s doesn’t factor directly into higher rankings, it will/should have an indirect effect on traffic volume and other social sharing, and that will help your SEO. So continue to encourage your customers and fans to +1 your content; just don’t expect it to bump you to the top of the search results immediately.
10 Signs of a Good Business Website :
SEM Media knows how to build good business websites. Here we put together 10 features that every good business website should have. If your website doesn’t have these, then talk to our professionals at SEM Media today.
1. A Clear Roadmap. Almost more important than aesthetics is that your business website is easily navigable. Plan out how your website will work before you type a drop of HTML. Then you can create a mock-up and test it out.
2. Complete Business Information. You would be surprised how many business websites fail to provide complete information about their business. From mission statements to what you sell, you must list what makes your business a business.
3. Contact Info. How can customer find you and buy from you if you fail to list good contact information, and we’re not talking about just an address. Provide all the links to your social media accounts and email addresses so people won’t have to work to get in touch with you.
4. A Navigation Strategy. Essentially your “call to action,” your navigation strategy should make your website easy to use and pleasing to the eye. Think about what your customers will want to know when visiting your website and make sure that information is easy to find.
5. Be Secure. If you run an e-commerce site you must invest in securing your site with an SSL certificate. Without good security, you’re a sitting duck.
6. Social Media Presence. As good as your website may be, you must have a voice in the world of social media. It will boost your SEO and help you connect directly with your customers.
7. Be Mobile-Ready. Smart phones are not the “wave of the future” – they are the reality of today. 70% of smart phone owners use them for simple and everyday tasks, like surfing the Internet. Make sure your site is ready for mobile traffic.
8. An FAQ. Don’t assume your customers won’t have questions. Gather the most frequently asked questions your customers have and create an online FAQ.
9. Reliable Hosting. Your site must be in good hands, 24/7. If your host goes down, it costs you money. Invest in the best web host you can.
10. What You Don’t Need. Your site does not need “bling,” so forgo the auto-play music, obnoxious Flash and anything else that might slow down your page load speed and otherwise risk annoying your customers.
If you have questions about your website, have a web professional at SEM Media take a look at your site.