Content is the words, pictures, text and media that you place on your web pages, web site, social media profile and landing pages. In order to be indexed in Google, Bing and other search engines; it helps to have content. In order to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs) vis-à-vis a given keyword phrase, your content needs to be relevant to the search phrase.
So, if you want to get found on Google, one of the first things you need to do is ensure that the content and keyword density on your web pages and social media profiles contain Content that is relevant to your intended target audience.
HTML, or Hyper Text Marketup Language, is the programming language that we use to enable us to display our web pages across the internet and for it to be seen in a way that we intended it to be seen through Web Browsers such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE), Google’s Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari.
Withing HTML, we have the ability to specify attributes, tags and elements that help to describe the data or content within our web pages. For example, every web page should have a unique and relevant <title> tag that describes the primary topic or subject of the page. The title tag carries a lot of weight with regard to the search engines. So, you need to make sure that the title tag not only describes your web page but also includes the key word search phrase that your intended target audience.
But code doesn’t stop at Title tags. Every image could have alternative text or ALT text to help describe the meaning or content of the image to people who cannot see or are visually impaired. Through the use of screen readers, blind people can surf the web using assistive technology. But, if you think about it … does Google have eyes? No, it doesn’t. Google is visually impaired as well. So, if you make your site Accessible for people with visual disabilities then you also make it more understandable to search engines as well.
There are dozens of coding opportunities to make your web pages more search engine friendly and crawlable. The best way to make your website crawlable is to avoid search engine roadblocks and obstacles such as:
- Flash intros (skip intro)
- 100% Flash websites
- Flash navigation
- Frame sets
- Robots nofollow
- Link nofollow
- Image headings
- Image sliced websites
- Powerpoint Presentations
- Old version PDFs
- AJAX menu navigation
- Navigation that requires a user to select options
- Navigation that requires more than one variable
- Parameter driven content
- Heavy/slow loading web pages
- Image intensive web pages
- Duplicate content
With millions of web sites competing for attention, search engines such as Google have very complex algorithms that try to determine the credibility, authenticity and integrity of web pages. One way that search engines do this is through trust algorithms. Just like in finance, lending agencies such as banks and credit card companies use a FICO score to determine a potential customer’s credibility. Likewise, Google uses it’s own algorithm called Page Rank or PR.
Page Rank is determined, in part, by the number of other web sites that link to or reference your site within their own pages. Think about academic journals and research papers. Often, we will site other publications within our research papers to backup our point or our thesis. Citing other publications not only adds credibility to our argument but it also adds credibility and authority to the publications we cite.
Likewise, when we reference other web pages from within our web pages, we are granting authority to these referenced sites. And, by linking out, we add credibility to our own pages. It’s like being the go-to guy or gal. You come to me with your questions, not necessarily because I can solve your problems, but because I know where you can go or whom you can ask to help solve your problem. A well-connected individual has credibility, influence and authority.
If I have one million followers on my Twitter profile then I wield quite a bit of influence. All I have to do is Tweet about one website, good or bad, and that website is going to get a ton of traffic. Same thing if I have a large following on MySpace and Facebook. The same could be true for blogs and web pages with high web traffic, readership and subscribers.
All these factors lend credibility to web pages and this credibility, or link juice, is like a firehose.
Conversation is the discussion between and among people online. The more conversation, or buzz, about your product, service, blog or web page, the more traffic you are likely to experience. Say for example that you run a blog on your website and your blog posts are very controversial. You are likely to get of a lot of comments on that topic from web visitors who either agree or disagree with your point.
The same thing can be said for Tweets on Twitter, status updates on Facebook and responses on YouTube. Usually, it is the polarizing or controversial topics or statements expressed across blogs, news sites and social media profiles that generate and dominate the conversations.
It’s one thing to drive traffic to your website, but what about your goals, objectives and the overall purpose of the website? What do you want your web visitors to do? Is there a Call to Action? If you want your website to be effective, if you want visitors to take action then you need to lead them to action. Your site should be a lead generator. It should have calls to action in the way of forms to complete, information to download, registration to complete, etc. Unless you want to simply give information, i.e., fire and forget, you need to somehow figure out how to convert web surfers into loyal clients, customers or subscribers.
There are a number of ways to encourage and measure conversion – or click through rates, including:
- Well written meta content=description tags
- Contact forms
- Sign up (register) forms
- PDFs to download
- Add to Wish List
- Add to Shopping Cart
- Check out
- Buy Now
If your web visitors don’t know what to do – if you haven’t told them what to do – then how do you expect them to do what you want? You need to lead them to the purpose or objective of the website with clear and distinct Calls to Action.
The Concept of Search Marketing Mix
So, if you want to get found on Google then it is important that you be cognizant of and leverage the Six C’s of Search Marketing: Content, Code, Credibility, Crawlability, Conversation and Conversion.
Make sure that your content is relevant, meaningful to the interests of your targeted web visitors. Make sure that you have leveraged every possible attribute and element within your web page code or social media profile. Work hard to produce material that works as link bait, concepts that people will want to reference or link to from their web pages, blogs and social media profiles. Finally, engage your subscribers, followers and fans in meaningful conversation. Go out on the limb with controversial topics, mention something polarizing, be the Devil’s advocate and see how much buzz and conversation you can generate.