Website Veggies: Tips for Boosting Your Organic Search Engine Results

Go organic in your search engine results!Just like your body, your website is a reflection of what you put into it: crap in, crap out.

And then there’s the other side of the coin: fill yourself up with too much of the good stuff and you still get fat, not fit.

So Erika – where’s the happy medium?

As I discussed awhile ago (I Have a Website, I Have No Traffic – WTF?) there are fundamental components of website design that can completely screw you if you’re not savvy. Today, we’re going to talk about the grunt work of getting those coveted organic search engine rankings. I’ve been getting this question a lot from my followers on Twitter as well as my clients this week, and it’s an issue I deal with daily as InvestorLoft‘s Director of Communications & Content.

How do I get my website to that first page…even first POSITION in Google?

Straight-up: if I KNEW the answer to that question, I’d be rich beyond belief and living on some tropical isle with a herd of cabana boys fanning me and keeping me in mojitos  or Twisted Pine Billy’s Chilies 24/7. I’m not a search engine specialist, nor will I ever claim to be. I do, however, write the copy for a shitload of websites and find myself explaining a whole lot about keywords, meta data, backlinks….and…..(snore)….

What I can tell you is that there are several things you can do in order to increase your traffic and your page rank. Both of these factors contribute highly to your position on any search engine and when you pair them with linkbuilding, increasing all puts you well on your way to better rankings built over time.

We’re heading to Whole Website Market(ing), so grab your reuseable cgi-bin and let’s get going.

  1. Examine your keyword strategy. When’s the last time you looked at your on-page keywords and meta data (page descriptions, page titles and meta keywords in your code)? Have a look and make sure that they’re still consistent with your target audience. I have many clients tell me, ” I don’t show up in Google for Arizona Real Estate Investing.” Many times it’s because that phrase is nowhere to be found on their pages at all (crazy, I know). What you THINK you should be ranking for and what your website is TELLING the search engines you should be ranking for are sometimes two entirely different things. Get your stories straight and then move on.
  2. Start a blog. Not a self-serving gratuitous bullshit blog, folks. A solid informational source about topics of interest to your potential clients and customers. This blog should be hosted on your website and if you missed why, read this before your become a WordPress whore. Blogs are excellent linkbait and another tool that search engines can index in oder to help you build rankings, traffic and interest from your audience.
  3. Catalog Your Website & Blog. Directories with decent page rank (and I consider a Google Page Rank of 4+ decent for directories) that link bck to your blog can only help you in search engine rankings. Many are free and many are paid – start with the free ones or even use a directory submission service to minimize your energy expenditure. Here is a starter list of blog directories. If you use a directory submission service, make sure they provide you with a report of sites submitted. You’re never guaranteed acceptance and many have reciprocal link requirements. Understand the terms before you submit.
  4. Article Marketing – It’s Not a One-Shot Deal. One of the keys to highly successful websites is the consistent generation of new content. Your blog will contribute to this as will new articles both on your website and externally that link back to you. Article Marketing through such sites a eZineArticles, GoArticles, iSnare and others not only generate backlinks to your site (most often through your author bio/footer), but also position you as an authority on your chosen subject matter. However (a BIG however), you need to establish a schedule for regular submission of articles.  Most article marketing sites will also require that they have exclusivity on the content you submit (this means one article can’t go to 3 sites). Instead of “spinning” content, contemplate how to address your subject matter from a complimentary angle. For example, the article “Self-Directed IRAs: 10 Reasons to Start One Today” can lend itself to “How Do I Set Up a Self-Directed IRA?” and “Self-Directed IRAs: Pros and Cons.” (ya catch my drift?)
  5. Maintain a Blog Comment Campaign. First of all, if you spam my blog – I WILL remember you and blacklist you. I have no mercy. Don’t pump someone’s thoughtful blog full of your bullshit, marketing-only comments that are just poor excuses for backlinks. Engage in conversations. Find blogs in a related industry that your target demographic is likely to read and leave thoughtful comments (not that you just “liked the post and will check back often”). Real conversations develop on blogs, and I’ve earned clients from them.

This is just one short list of five ideas to get you started. I’ll encourage readers to leave their thoughts on additional strategies below and enlighten everyone in the process. It’s definitely possible to feed your website with good vittles like these and boost your organic search results in the process. As a conversation I just had with someone extolling the virtues of a frozen box of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies – they taste good as hell but ultimately do nothing for your bottom line.

16 comments
Don Ball
Don Ball

Erika, As a copychopper who frequently scratches his head about search engine rankings (or the lack of them), I found this article to be a good refresher. In the way that a slap in the face is refreshing. Now I've got some work to do! Cheers, don

Don Ball
Don Ball

Erika, As a copychopper who frequently scratches his head about search engine rankings (or the lack of them), I found this article to be a good refresher. In the way that a slap in the face is refreshing. Now I've got some work to do! Cheers, don

Bob Lewis
Bob Lewis

I would love to see you do an article on www.Linkedin.com , I joined awhile back and was barraged with buy this, join that, our seminar….etc every morning in my emails. It was nothing but a bunch of self serving marketing crap every day. I had to mark them as spam, and take down my post. Maybe you could do a short article on how to use LinkedIn, or why it’s worth using. You have an Informative and interesting blog and website, you customers are lucky to have you. Thanks, Bob Lewis , President http://www.abc123.com in Denver CO PS. We really enjoy your post on Twitter@RedheadWriting keep up the great work!

Bob Lewis
Bob Lewis

I would love to see you do an article on www.Linkedin.com , I joined awhile back and was barraged with buy this, join that, our seminar….etc every morning in my emails. It was nothing but a bunch of self serving marketing crap every day. I had to mark them as spam, and take down my post. Maybe you could do a short article on how to use LinkedIn, or why it’s worth using. You have an Informative and interesting blog and website, you customers are lucky to have you. Thanks, Bob Lewis , President http://www.abc123.com in Denver CO PS. We really enjoy your post on Twitter@RedheadWriting keep up the great work!

Jeremy
Jeremy

Great list. I am working on turning my photoblog into a full blown photography website and the information you touch on is extremely helpful - especially the keyword strategy. Thanks! (Oh and by the way - the ice in Utah is great right now! Santaquin Canyon south of Provo is the shit!)

Jeremy
Jeremy

Great list. I am working on turning my photoblog into a full blown photography website and the information you touch on is extremely helpful - especially the keyword strategy. Thanks! (Oh and by the way - the ice in Utah is great right now! Santaquin Canyon south of Provo is the shit!)

Bob Lewis
Bob Lewis

Never doubt the power of a blog! " Denver Painting contractors" is page one in Google organic search, we have a lot more like that, we're waiting for another post here! Thanks, Bob Lewis

Lisa
Lisa

I have SO much to learn. I'm new to this whole blogging thing, and finding blogs like yours with all this great information is a huge help. Thanks! Of course, now I'm going to have to reconsider my "whoring" for Word Press.

Lisa
Lisa

I have SO much to learn. I'm new to this whole blogging thing, and finding blogs like yours with all this great information is a huge help. Thanks! Of course, now I'm going to have to reconsider my "whoring" for Word Press.

Bob Lewis
Bob Lewis

Sorry, forgot to ask these questions about Twitter... 1. I have people from wherever trying to join us. There on the other side of the world, or one of those, WE”LL MAKE YOU FRIGGIN RICH OVER NIGHT!!!!!!!! Some of them have thousands of other WE”LL MAKE YOU FRIGGIN RICH OVER NIGHT!!!!!!!! People following them, Can we just let them follow us and not follow them. 2. Does that make us look better to have people with a big following, follow us? 3. I have a person from Spain, that I followed and she followed us, and she fills the pages up with crap constantly, I mean the whole page. I stopped following her and she sent me a note saying Blah, Blah, you quit following me and let me follow you, Blah, blah. So I reconnected because I thought she might call the Twitter police or something, and I can’t stand her crap all over the page! Should I send her a note and say, it’s been grand but I’ve had all I can stand, or what? 4. If these are dumb questions, we have an expression in flying, “the dumbest question is the one not asked” it will kill you! Thanks, you know who....

Bob Lewis
Bob Lewis

Sorry, forgot to ask these questions about Twitter... 1. I have people from wherever trying to join us. There on the other side of the world, or one of those, WE”LL MAKE YOU FRIGGIN RICH OVER NIGHT!!!!!!!! Some of them have thousands of other WE”LL MAKE YOU FRIGGIN RICH OVER NIGHT!!!!!!!! People following them, Can we just let them follow us and not follow them. 2. Does that make us look better to have people with a big following, follow us? 3. I have a person from Spain, that I followed and she followed us, and she fills the pages up with crap constantly, I mean the whole page. I stopped following her and she sent me a note saying Blah, Blah, you quit following me and let me follow you, Blah, blah. So I reconnected because I thought she might call the Twitter police or something, and I can’t stand her crap all over the page! Should I send her a note and say, it’s been grand but I’ve had all I can stand, or what? 4. If these are dumb questions, we have an expression in flying, “the dumbest question is the one not asked” it will kill you! Thanks, you know who....

drvikram
drvikram

i liked your article, and want to put it on my blog with credit giving to your site, may i put it if you give permission to me

drvikram
drvikram

i liked your article, and want to put it on my blog with credit giving to your site, may i put it if you give permission to me

Matt Pellegrini
Matt Pellegrini

This is a great resource, particularly for those of us who, like me, are beginners to the world of websites, SEO, etc.

Matt Pellegrini
Matt Pellegrini

This is a great resource, particularly for those of us who, like me, are beginners to the world of websites, SEO, etc.

Ben Curnett
Ben Curnett

Erika, thanks for the post. I like how you've invited further conversation in the comments- it's a problem I'm in the blog I'm using. I'm writing for low- and no- level users (most of our clients) about content; I don't know exactly how to invite someone with zero blogging experience to share about it. Thoughts? Good list. Thanks... Ben