The SEO Process

The SEO Process
Credit: Pixabay

As a travel website, several "keywords" and "long-tail keywords" came to mind when maximizing search engine optimization (SEO). What I gleaned from this exercise was the "big picture." Meaning, not just placating my community or circle of friends, but creating a website that would generate as many consumers as possible in order to heighten exposure. Most of my efforts, so far, have gone towards "on-page" optimization. This is what the consumer sees when he or she interacts directly with the website. Alas, throughout this process, the word that kept coming to the forefront was optimization. How best could I optimize content? Repeatedly, at every step of the web building stage I found myself needing to incorporate key words at strategic points of the site, which I knew to be essential.

Optimization

While I continued to get feedback from target users, I kept track of the various terms that persisted during keyword searches. Thus far, and more to my surprise, I have seen countless travel-related websites so content optimization for me means keeping searchability simple and pertinent. I detailed four personas in an earlier post, each with distinct sets of needs. Because of this varied uniqueness, titles, headers and sub-headers will be extremely crucial in driving attention to the site. I learned, then, that I need to be diverse with my approach, as certain keywords may work with one group but may not be relevant with the other.

Best Practices

Of course, there are best practices when it comes to search engine optimization. Data scientists and others have detailed various methods in which web owners can attract users to their sites. In Chris Barr's Yahoo! Style Guide (p.395), there are seven (7) basic principles of good SEO for writers and editors. Some principles were touched on previously, such as having original and relevant content for your readers, as well as placing keywords strategically where they matter most (titles, headers, images etc). Also, linking to other sites (and having those sites link to yours) as well as encompassing links within your site is another good tactic for SEO. The belief here is that the more credible links one has, the greater the chance that a search engine views the subsequent page as being relevant. Barr has several points that hit home for me, but none more so than delivering on "the promise of your keywords." Meaning, don't entice users to your website with buzz words that don't portray your content correctly. Credibility will certainly be lost at that point. Nevertheless, having worked as a senior editorial director at one of the early pioneers of search engine optimization (Yahoo), one would think Barr should know the intricacies of what it takes to drive eyeballs to a website!

Social Media

Off-page optimization ties into areas for improvement, and is one that is challenging for me. Admittedly, my social media footprint is limited for various reasons. However, this part of the web-building process must improve in order for this endeavor to be successful. Since I have multiple target audiences within my site, there are opportunities to acquire reputable backlink sources. For instance, there are numerous destinations that cater to the solo traveler. These locales also offer cultural opportunities that can be linked to as well, with the aim that it would be reciprocated as the site becomes more popular, particularly through tools like search engine results pages (SERPs). The thinking, then, as search rankings increase, my web exposure should be visible with other sites.

Summary

In summation, what I took away in my research this week is that having a successful (i.e., high-trafficked) website is a tough business. There are countless websites on the internet and to get users to your site requires some work. Fortunately, there are tools to assist, such as Google Keyword Planner and SE Ranking. Along with these sites there are data scientists, marketers and several authors who have contributed to the theory of search engine optimization. Utilizing each of these methods will help in the success of my web-building process.

Calvin Green

Calvin Green

Calvin works as a Technical Writer for ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) creating tactical training programs for prospective law enforcement candidates. He loves to cook, travel and the outdoors.