SEO: The Cobbler’s Children Have New Shoes

It’s finally happened, I found the time to update my business website to a WordPress engine. WordPress is so easy to use and it’s architecture is SEO ready.

New Shoes (SEO)

My former “static” website was designed using Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver for a completely custom look but it was not easy to add content — it was static. My sales and marketing messages must adapt to a changing business environment. The static website made it challenging to evolve with the changes. It was difficult to add pages and put them into the menu structure. I also needed a blog to post new content and feed the search engines. I was able to reorganize my content and adapt the clean design of my static site to WordPress in about two days. Then things got fun as I added some dynamic components including a blog with social media commenting, social log-in, and site search.

With WordPress, content management is simple; now I can focus my efforts on SEO. The single best thing anyone can do to improve search engine rank is to create new content on a regular schedule. The second single thing anyone can do is implement a search engine friendly technology, like WordPress. I’ve been preaching this to clients for years but never took the time to do it myself. Now, the old saying, “the cobbler’s children have no shoes” no longer applies to this cobbler.

Repurpose Content for SEO

Since my business website did not have a blog, I was posting business content on my personal blog, but that is not where it belonged. Search engines would deliver traffic to my personal blog, people got the information they were seeking but there was little chance of converting them to a client. My business blogs belonged on my business site where visitors could quickly link to information about my business solutions. If the visitor wanted more information about the topic they should be able to find it on my site. If they wanted solutions to a problem, they should find service offering to address their needs. My personal blog is about what I’m thinking at the moment. It has no central purpose other than to voice my opinion or share an idea. It was the wrong place for my business blogs.

The good news is I had content. The bad news, it was in the wrong place. So, having already written good content it was easy to kick start my business blog. But just posting new content on a more focused website wasn’t going to deliver hot new prospects to my website. I needed to rewrite the content to include search phrases and key words. I needed to make the content SEO ready to provide meaningful results for key search terms.

Businesses write information briefs, white papers, news articles, commentaries, and technical studies, but they are rarely SEO ready. Most of the time, these articles are written to provide information to a cognitive, thinking person not for a search engine. As a result, the content may not have the appropriate density of SEO terms and will therefore rank low on the search pages. Additionally, there may be so much varied content on the website that the search engine can’t decide what the site is about causing a low ranking.

When I design a company website with a WordPress framework, I follow the principle “form follows function”. First, I establish goals that the company wants to achieve through SEO and Internet marketing. Next, I analyze the available content and organize it into “categories” or “information departments”. With an inventory of the content mapped against these goals, I rewrite and create new “keyword-rich” content. I might even suggest archiving “good content” that otherwise does not support the marketing and SEO strategy. Once the website is populated with a SEO balanced collection of content, a program can be implemented to grow content and expand the SEO keywords for each business function. For example, a law office that specializes in real estate may have several blogs about title insurance and deeds as well as one excellent “legal opinion” on Citizens United which is a controversial case in campaign reform. The law office does not practice campaign or election law so the article should not be on the website as it dilutes the content which is related to their business practice area of real estate law.

SEO Tricks

People always ask about “SEO tricks” to get on Page 1 of Google? There are a lot of technical tricks that web developers used to fool the search engines. Some of these tricks included filling the home page with invisible keyword text and trading for hundreds of meaningless back links to their website. What the tricksters don’t realize is the success of the search engines depends upon providing high-quality, relevant content. Search engines, like Google, are getting smarter every day. They strive to deliver meaningful content when people search. SEO tricks that fool the search engines into delivering irrelevant content hurt the provider’s reputation.? Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the other search engines are increasingly intolerant of “tricks” and continuously develop more complex algorithms that analyze entire websites as well as individual pages. Websites filled with “tricks” are quickly demoted in the search engine rankings.

Certain technology best practices can and should be used to help search engines read, navigate, and index your website. Sometimes the search engine will interpret a poor technical design as SEO tricks and the site gets demoted. Sites bloated with scripts, flash, and text images rank poorly with search engines. So it is time to ditch those walking, talking animation scripts and replace them with pertinent images containing accurate descriptions and meta-data. Additionally, all websites should have an automatically generated site map and a robots file.

The best way to improve search engine ranking is by providing good clean content readable to man and machine alike. That’s where a good SEO writer and SEO ready website come together to create excellent search engine rankings. With SEO architecture built into a WordPress installation, it’s easier to build search engine friendly content and improve your search engine rankings.

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