If you build it, will they come?

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You know that a web presence is important in today’s digital world, so now you have a shiny, new website. That should do it, right?

Not unless you’ve taken a number of steps to be found online. A website is just a tool like a brochure is a tool—it’s only useful if you have the distribution channels to get it into the right hands. If you’re not actively helping customers find your website, it’s about as useful as a stack of brochures sitting on a storeroom shelf.

So what can you do?

There are two broad categories of search engine optimization (SEO) activities to help your site be found—on-site SEO and off-site digital presence management. This month, we’ll look at on-site SEO.

Keywords are key. Keywords describe the contents of a web page. Make a list of five to ten keywords or phrases, and use these throughout the site—in the copy, in headings and in behind-the-scenes HTML code. Not sure which keywords to choose? Think about how customers look for a business like yours. What search terms would they use? Competitors’ sites are another useful source for keyword research.

Each page of your website needs a unique meta description, a short summary of the page contents that shows up in search results. It’s entered in the backend of the site and should contain your most important keywords.

Image tags are vital to the success of the website. Search engines cannot read pictures—unless they are coded with an alt (image) tag that describes what the image shows. Alt tags help with SEO.

If your site is in a content management system such as WordPress, these are all tasks you can do yourself just as you can update copy. There are also more technical aspects of on-site SEO that require the help of a pro. With these on-site basics, you are on your way to ensuring your site is found.

Laura web smallLaura Tobin is the Vice President of Gallinghouse Marketing + Creative. She is a 25+ year veteran of the ad industry with regional and national experience in marketing. Gallinghouse is located at 409 W. 21st Ave., Covington. For more information call 985-893-7631 or visit gallinghouse.com



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