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Top Organic Search Engine Results Position Is the Harvest of Great SEO Strategies

Mon, May 9, 2011

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By: Bonnie Worthington

Search Engine Optimization is the ongoing task of “optimizing” your website so you can rank well In the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).  You can look at your organic search engine optimization much like a farmer looks at growing and harvesting an organic garden or commodities crop. Many of the practices are the same for both the organic gardener and the SEO practitioner going for productive organic search results.

  1. Keywords and content are the rich soil in which a healthy website strategy garden grows.  In the same way soil is the foundation of any garden, keywords are the foundation of your website.  Like any crop or garden, keywords must be planned and well thought out. A farmer wouldn’t cast a bag of unknown seeds onto his land not knowing what he wanted to grow.  So it is with your website.  Think about what terms (both long-tail—long search term–and short) that you want to cultivate and rank for when your customers search for the products and services you provide.  Use a keyword research tool like the free Google keyword tool to be sure you have found the terms that have high relevance for you and your website but are not all highly competitive.
  2. Content management is akin to weeding a garden. Someone has to take care of the tedious, time-consuming, but very necessary work of optimizing the website.  Removing or updating the unwanted or old content on your site is a recurring process.  As your site ages, content needs to be refreshed, recycled, or removed.  Search engines thrive on fresh content.  If you don’t tend your site it will stagnate and begin get choked out by other sites containing fresher, healthier content in the same way weeds can choke out a crop if not culled. Adding fresh content is like adding fertilizer.  Blogging, adding reviews, adding new products, adding videos, or optimizing photos are all ways of adding delicious nutrition to your website and cause it to grow in stature in relation to the SERPS and eventually out rank your competition.
  3. Page speed, like percolation rates add to or take away from your SERPS. While percolation rate (how fast water penetrates the ground) is very important for gardeners in order to produce a healthy crop, page speed (how fast your site loads for your visitor) is now an important factor in how well your site shows up in the SERPS. Ground that is slow for water to penetrate needs attention, so if your website is slow to load, bogged down by too much animation, flash, or graphics, you will not place as well.  This is a condition that needs examination and correction.  Google has a wonderful tool to help webmasters increase page-speed.  The use of css and php is also very helpful in speeding up load time.
  4. Good website design works like the sun. No garden grows without sun, and your website needs the warmth of a good design to increase your conversions.   I recommend Tim Ash’s book called Landing Page Optimization to help website designers understand what turns visitors into “hot leads” that convert and follow your website’s call to action.  If your site emanates the light of trust and ease of use, your visitors will convert at a higher rate.

Search engine optimization and website optimization ongoing endeavors.  You can’t engage in it once or twice, and then leave your site alone.  Although that is better than doing nothing at all, the results you attain wont be sustained.  If you don’t have the time or knowledge to optimize your site yourself, it is worth the investment to find someone who can direct your SEO campaign. Your site needs regular intervals of optimization as your time or budget allows so that your website yields the harvest of search position and customer conversions you need to meet your website goals.

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