The Mysteries of SEO

WebWith the possible exception of overall marketing, search engine optimization is probably the topic most written and speculated about online.  Carefully guarded by the search engines themselves, and changing all the time, there is clearly an evolution taking place that includes social media and attempts to interpret what we’re looking for beyond the keywords we actually use to search.  (Read more about Google’s Semantic Search here).

The best overall advice I can provide is to think organically – and remember what a web looks like:  the more connections you have, the stronger and more staying power you have (why do you think we picked this as part of our logo).

Basic SEO tips:

  1. Consider the search engines as well as name recognition as you choose your domain
  2. Add links to (and from) your blog/website everywhere you can – this should include all your social media pages, your email signatures, blogs you comment or guest post on, and all printed media – anywhere you can
  3. Use alternate text for all images to increase keyword density (as well as keeping your site available for the site impaired)
  4. Create listings and submit your website with all the search engines:  getlisted.org
  5. Create a listing with DMOZLearn more about DMOZ
  6. Keep information current – blog posts are a great way to do this
  7. Add (valuable) resources

SEO Resources:

SEO Checklist

Google Adwords Keyword Tool – free tool to research Google keyword usage

Domains: How Do You Choose?

DomainsConfused about selecting a domain? Consider that you want more than one.

Just because you want your name and/or your business name recognizable, neither of these may convey what you actually do to the search engines – a key factor.  So consider using a domain that does just exactly that for your main domain and hosting (for the search engines) and then forward (and use) other domains (your name and/or your business name) for marketing and name recognition.

Totally confused?  Let me give you an example:  my friend and color expert, Luanne Stovall, just began the web journey for her color business.  She purchased www.fieldguidetocolor.com as the main domain/hosting for the search engines (to tell what she does overall) as well as www.luannestovall.com (for name recognition) and www.meetingroygbiv.com (her blog title) for marketing purposes.  You may or may not ever see www.fieldguidetocolor.com “publicly” – however, the search engines will love it.

Tips for domain selection:

  1. Pick more than one (see above)
  2. Never use hyphens or combinations of numbers and letters that are difficult to convey – remember you’ll be saying this over and over again – don’t make it difficult for you or them
  3. Short is almost always better than long
  4. Easy to remember is good too

Weborization recommends Godaddy or Hostgator for domains and Hostgator for hosting – (the Hatchling Hosting Plan is perfect for most of what you’ll do)

Oh Yeah, Color!

ColorFirst of all, allow me to say that the real color resource I can hardly wait to introduce you to is color expert, Luanne Stovall (coming soon!).

And in the meantime, color is another important facet of your site that you’ll want to consider carefully – both in how colors are perceived overall and – more importantly – how they resonate with you.  As an example, as I moved toward completing the rebranding of Weborization, my logo had been a deep red color.  And in a string of synchronistic events, the beautiful, deep orange (lava flow – captured from this stunning video) color you see today so resonated with me that there was no other choice.  And – this is important – when you love the color palette you’ve chosen, you’ll want people to see it.

Color meanings from the Ultimate Non-Designers Guide to Branding:

  • White: Clean. Pure. Clarity. Simplicity. Innocent. Silent. Airy.
  • Black: Mystery. Powerful. Dramatic. Elegant. Expensive. Strength.
  • Red: Excitement. Energy. Danger. Sexy. Aggressive. Hot. Stimulating.
  • Pink: Romantic. Soft. Tender. Cute. Delicate (Light Pinks) Exciting. Happy. Youthful. Spirited. Trendy. (Bright Pinks)
  • Orange: Playful. Happy. Gregarious. Childlike. Vibrant. Whimsical. Friendly.
  • Yellow: Warmth. Enlightenment. Cheerful. Mellow. Alert. Rich. Comforting.
  • Brown: Stability. Earthly. Wholesome. Organic. Masculine. Woodsy. Warm. Durable.
  • Blue: Trustworthy. Reliable. Committed. Confident. Calming. Serene.
  • Green: Nature. Healing. Refreshing. Prestige. Healthy. Quiet. Traditional.
  • Purple: Creative. Spiritual. Sensual. Sophistication. Royalty.
  • Neutrals: Timeless. Solid. Enduring. Quality.

Color Scheme Resources:

Kuler by Adobe

ColourLovers

Great Free Graphics Resources:

Photoshop Tricks You Can Do Without Buying Photoshop

GIMP Image Manipulation Progam (free)

Inkscape Open Source vector graphics editor (free)

Fotor Online Photo Editing (free)

Our Stock Image Site Recommendations:

Getting Started

Getting started with a new business/website/web presence can be daunting.  Where do you begin?  Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, in the video below, shares compelling examples of the importance of knowing your “why”.

Some points to consider:

  1. What is your WHY?  (Need help with this?  Weborization recommends Jenny Magic with Better Way to Say It – here is a presentation she did recently for All Content Matters
  2. What sets your business/organization apart from others like it?
  3. What role do you want your website/presence to fulfill, i.e. brochure, sell online, etc.?
  4. Remember that we don’t buy what you do/sell, we buy why and the benefits to us
  5. Less is more – don’t add pages/content that is fluff – show us the juice, and nothing but the juice