I have a quote hanging on my wall for a saying attributed to Buddha (no, I’m not Buddhist, but thanks for asking).
“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to good search engine results; not going all the way and not starting.”
In the first place, I find it amazing that Buddha was already talking about search engines all those years ago. (Ok, ok, so he said “truth” instead of “good search engine results,” but I thought I’d bring it current.)
In the second place, I’m concerned about only one of those two mistakes today, namely, “not starting.” I think most of my clients are like me, if something seems to complex or overwhelming, we’re likely to make the big mistake of not even starting.
So I wanted to break down this whole search engine optimization challenge into something that is simple enough that anyone with a MOM can do (i.e. Modicum Of Motivation).
Let’s keep this super simple (yes, I’ll leave out a lot of subtlety and detail, but you wouldn’t finish reading this if I put it in…well, maybe you already stopped, in which case…oh, never mind).
Select a keyword phrase you want to target. I’m going to use us as an example. I think we should target “Grand Junction Web Developers.”
Check the term on Google’s free keyword tool to make sure you’re not too far off-base on your choice. In this case I’m going to change to “Grand Junction Web Design” because it gets significantly more searches yet the competition is not very stiff (this is a very rough tool, but it’s better than nothing).
I need to make sure I have a page on my Website that I can modify to target this phrase. Either add a page, or use an existing page. In my case I’m going to target the home page.
Now, go through this checklist for the page you’ve selected:
- Keyword phrase or close variant in Title Tag?
- Keyword phrase or close variant used in the headline (H1 Tag) of the page?
- Keyword phrase or close variant used in the text on the page? Use boldface or bullet points if you can, but don’t go crazy on this…it has to make sense to a human visitor.
- Keyword phrase or close variant used in an outgoing link?
- Keyword phrase or close variant, plus a compelling reason to visit, in the Meta Description tag.
Anyone with a MOM can do this, as long as your Web Developer cooperates. And if you have an full-featured content management system, you can do it yourself in less than an hour. If you do this for 3-6 keyword phrases on your site, you will immediately be doing more than 95% of your competition, I guarantee it. Is this the perfect plan for your Website? Maybe not. But don’t make the search for perfection keep you from doing what is simple and good right now.