SEO is Search Engine Optimization for the uninitiated. It’s both much more simple and way more complex than most publishers understand.
SEO isn’t something you build (though if the foundation is bad it definitely can screw things up, ensure our site is effective), it’s something you do. Publishers often say, “my website is built for SEO”. That’s kind of like saying my magazine is built for readership… because we use paper and ink. Paper and ink are clearly needed, if one or both aren’t present you have a serious problem, but just because both are present doesn’t mean that people will pick up your magazine and read it – or that advertisers will buy ads. It just means you’ve met the minimal requirement to be called a magazine.
I’d argue, that a site built poorly and thus breaks conventions required for SEO to be successful is not actually a website just like a magazine without ink isn’t a magazine – it’s just paper. So, if SEO isn’t something you can build what is it.
Well, like in print, content is king.
You need content, a lot of content, a lot of good content, a lot of good content that is relevant locally, a lot of good content that is relevant locally that people share, a lot of good content that is relevant locally that people share and that other sites link to… and you need to do it consistently.
Ok, so that’s a little redundant but it’s redundant because it’s so important and it also demonstrates how SEO builds on itself. SEO isn’t something that happens overnight and it isn’t something that just happens. It’s a snowball, like anything in business, that builds momentum or runs out of speed.
I also hear publishers talk about meta tags and Keywords. Meta tags are generally no longer of value for SEO purposes given how extensively they were abused early in the days of the commercial Internet. Yea, keywords are important since they are the words that people ‘key’ off when searching. But here’s the thing… you’re in the content business which means all words are key words – particularly those prefixed by some reference to your local geography or community. Coming up at the top of Google when someone searches for Acme Magazine isn’t impressive if your name is Acme Magazine. Coming up prominently on Google for dozens or hundreds of local businesses and events is impressive – it means people will find you when they are not explicitly searching for you… THAT IS SEO!
So, in a nutshell, to thrive your business needs an effective digital presence which requires killer SEO. So you’re asking yourself, how am I going to do this when I run a magazine with a skeleton crew?
Well, YOU are not going to do this. Rather, the right digital strategy and technology must be employed so that it can be done for you. Ok, so you need to be involved but the magic of the web is that people do what they enjoy and we know how to create an environment where they enjoy doing what you need done. When you’re ready to embrace your future we’d like to talk… I promise our educational webinar is not nearly this cryptic and by the end you’ll know why Locable is a good fit to help guide your business forward wherever the changing media landscape leads.
P.S. flash is an SEO no-no, completely unreadible by Google. PDFs are generally terrible for SEO as well so your digital editions are not doing you any favors. Images and videos need to be well described in their alt-text and should have good descriptive file names for Google to give you a little “Juice”
P.P.S. your page titles (and article titles) should be specific, concise and interesting for maximum juice and your content URLs (the links) should be readable by a human. If URLs look like mysite.com/articleid=4356?page.html then the URL is not helping your cause.