Haley Burkhead, digital media strategist at Think Idea Studio of Searcy, Arkansas, spoke to my public relations tactics class on Thursday afternoon about what SEO is and how to make it a successful aspect of your organization’s communication plan.
Haley offered six key components in scoring some brownie points with Google.
It’s the name of the game. Site speed is exactly what you think it is. It’s how fast your site loads based on content and layout. Site speed is important because no one wants to wait on a website that is going to take forever to load. They’ll just move on to the next search result. Check your site speed here and makes adjustments accordingly: www.testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com. (Thanks, Google, for the free tools!)
What do you type in the search bar when you’re looking for a great place to eat on your vacation to the Big Apple? You might think those words in the search bar mean nothing, but you are wrong, my friend. They mean everything. Those words are what connect websites and audiences. For communications professionals, those little words are the world. Optimize your site so that the keywords are relevant and accurate.
Quality is the new SEO:
Of course, things are going to go better for you if you have a website that is well-versed in SEO, but the content you’re putting on that website is just as important. Bad quality and unprofessional photos are sure to drive away viewers, but easy-to-find stock photos might make the world of difference.
Take a couple of minutes to replace your low-quality content with some high-quality game changers. A glowing recommendation of free stock photos from Haley: www.pexels.com.
Permalinks are the URLs that you didn’t know existed. When you navigate away from the homepage, your URL will change to something like http://www.mywebsite.com/blog. Make sure it doesn’t say http://www.mywebsite.com/pagenumber2. Those permalinks matter when it comes to your website popping up in Google search results.
Image file name:
Make sure your file names for documents and photos are not just some made up number or name. Make them relevant to your site. Instead of naming your photo of free stock photos “001.jpg,” name it “free-stock-photos.jpg.” File names count as keywords, and you want all the keyword points you can get.
This one is a no-brainer. Hello! It’s 2017! If your website isn’t mobile responsive, you’re doing it all wrong SimilarWeb’s State of Mobile Web US 2015 report found that 56 percent of consumer traffic to leading U.S. websites is now from mobile devices. If your site isn’t mobile responsive, Google doesn’t want it. And neither does Yahoo or all of those other search engines that everyone forgets about.
SEO is an important key to a successful communications strategy. Make sure your organization is on board. Thanks for the advice, Haley.