SEO (3 of 4) – Optimizing the Content on Your Page

September 15, 2010

Continuing to highlight the Search Engine Optimization presentation from Alliance Day, we now turn our attention to designing a SEO-friendly web page. Here is an example of a perfectly optimized web page for the keyword “chocolate donuts.” 

Google views certain content on the page as more important based on where you place it.  The items with a higher weight are page title, headings, and URL.  So you want to make sure in particular that your keywords are at this level. 

Page title

It is also sometimes called the title tag.  A HTML tag is a code surrounded by brackets that denotes format, hyperlinks or information for the bot. The page title or title tag shows up in a couple of places.  It is visible at the top of the browser.  It is also the clickable link in the search engine results.  Here it is “Chocolate Donuts |Mary’s Bakery.” It includes the keyword and also lets users know who is selling the donuts. 

Meta Tags

Meta is a type of HTML tag that gives information about the page.  The bot can see this information in the HTML, but the user can’t see it on the page.  Users can see it on the search engine results page below the clickable link.  Here’s what that looks like.  It is not a factor in determining your rankings, but can help persuade users to click on your link versus another one on the first page. 

Headings

It also, includes our keyword “chocolate donuts.”  Google recognizes the HTML tag “H” and then the number, such as H1 or H2 as the heading tag.  This is the one you want to use in the HTML when you build your page. 

Page Text

You’ll notice the keyword is also sprinkled throughout the body content, with a few variations to allow for users variations in the query and for natural writing.  The keyword is also included in the image file name and alt attribute. 

Alt Tag

The alt attribute, or alt tag, specifies alternative text when the element to which it is applied cannot be rendered.  So if an image can’t load in my browser, I will see this text.  It’s not going to provide the same weight as text, but it is how Google can read your images.

SEO (4 of 4) – Promoting Content Off-Page

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Five Most Important Marketing Investments

August 17, 2010

TREW Marketing, a full services marketing firm that focuses specifically on engineering and scientific companies, gave a great session on Alliance Day sharing straightforward, actionable ideas for Alliance Partners. In preparation for their presentation, TREW Marketing worked with NI to survey Alliance Partners about their marketing activities. From this, they formulated the 5 highest priorities:

1. Your Web Site

Your website is your single most important marketing investment. 80% of Alliance Partners believe that their web site is very to critically important. Yet, over 2/3rd of Alliance Partners believe their web site is weak or even detrimental to their business. TREW Marketing advices you to focus on 3 things:

  • Clean navigation – Make sure that users can easily navigate your site. For instance, don’t clutter your home page with lots of text. Instead, use navigation bars and links to make content easily accessible.
  • Clear, tight content –See more in #2.
  • Engaging visitors – After providing the user with a short explanation, give them the option to download a white paper, article, or datasheet for more information.

2. Content and Collateral

Despite customers interest in technical content and case studies, less than 1/4th of Alliance Partners believe that they provide an adequate breadth and variety of content on their website. Your content should be fresh, engaging, educational and actionable. Specific recommendations included:

  • Quality not quantity – Work hard to keep your content concise. In general headlines should be short and text on a page kept to a paragraph or two.

  • Customer testimonials – Case studies and customer quotes are always effective at building confidence of your prospects.
  • Re-use – Take advantage of content that you are creating for customer proposals, events, …. For instance, make a video of a tradeshow demonstration or a customer application and use it as content on your web site.

I’ll summarize the tips 3-5 from TREW Marketing next week.