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Although ICS does not provide SEO services (SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and supplies better search results for your web page) to our customers, through our IT Support in Houston we always want to share information regarding how technology can improve your organization.
Over the last 6 months, ICS has been developing a new website. During this process, ICS has learned a lot about SEO and web page development. We would like to share some of this knowledge and tools that we utilized in our web page and SEO. Remember, SEO is an on-going process. ICS is still not finished with our website and we are continuing to improve our SEO.
It may sound simple, but many web developers do not optimize a website for SEO purposes. Like many of ICS’s IT Support in Houston, there are tools that can be utilized to ensure your web developer has created an SEO friendly website. The first tool we utilized is called Onpage.org. This website has several useful applications. One of those tools is the ability to “crawl” your website for errors. Now, your web development company will have a similar tool, but I found it useful to be able to crawl the website myself. This way I can get a different perspective on the errors. Furthermore, different crawling tools provide different errors. By having my own, ICS was able to work with our web developers to improve the functionality of our website.
Below you will find an example of a report during a certain time in our project. We simply went through the report and either fixed or explained why each error was there. There are some errors that do not need to be repaired. For example- the Internal Nonfollow Links were done on purpose. The SEO company convinced us these did not affect our SEO rankings. Also, the Indexable pages in the Sitemap proved to be an error in the reporting and nothing was actually wrong on the website. Regardless, it provides an open dialogue with your SEO company. Once you have your technical aspects handled, you can work on improving the score for your content and SEO aspects.
Once your website is cleared of technical issues and is SEO ready, you must identify the words you want to rank for. The best tool I found for this is in Google Adwords. If you do not already have access, your SEO or web company can set this up for you. With the proper login information, ICS’s IT Support in Houston could also help you get access.
Once you are logged in, go to “Tools” and then “Key Word Planner”. Simply type in the keyword you think you want to rank for. It will return that word and similar words. It will also return how often that word or phrase is searched for in your area.
From there, I simply exported to .cvs and now use these key words to drive more traffic to our website. Below is a screen shot of a keyword used in Google Adwords. Although I thought most people searched for Managed IT, I found that many more people search for IT support in Houston, technical support, computer services, IT Services and IT companies than they do Managed IT. If you add Houston to the verbiage, then it helps to determine the area they are searching in too.
SEO writing is different than standard writing. When developing content, you need to ensure it is SEO friendly. I use a plugin called Yoast SEO to edit our blogs in WordPress. It is a free plugin that evaluates your content for SEO friendliness and readability. There are lots of tools for this, but this is the free one we use.
As you can see below, we do not always go with the recommendations of Yoast. It is stating a technical document we released was not easy enough to read. Since it was technical, we knew it would have a smaller group of individuals who could understand the content. Still, it gives us an idea of best practices. If you are writing content that is not in your blog, simply create it in WordPress and then cut and paste it to your web developers.
Besides the above items and what they call back links, Content is the most important item for your website SEO. The more content and the more up to date that content is, the better your website will rank. Although you can outsource this to SEO companies, no one is going to know more about your industry and your company than you or one of your staff.
Make sure you add a blog in WordPress so you can easily add content to your website. This makes it easy for you to personally add content, check it for SEO compatibility and to push this out to Social Media. For example, even though ICS does not provide SEO services, this blog may attract people to our website. You will notice that this blog has content with our key words like IT Support in Houston, Computer Repair Houston, Managed IT Services Houston, IT Services Houston and Computer Service Houston. By fitting this naturally into the dialogue, we are able to drive more traffic to our website for people searching for these services!
There are also other small things you can do. Each time you add a picture, you can make the alternate text of that picture a key word. For example, the above pictures all have the alternate text attribute of IT Support in Houston. This helps drive key word search by hiding the key word from being in the text, but allowing Google to read it.
Just as important as a good website is a constant content push to your Social Media platforms. Once again, you can use a free plugin in WordPress to push your blogs out to Social Media. We use Blog2Social to take each blog and push it out to whatever platform we prefer. Those posts provide links back to our website driving more traffic. You can also use tools in Facebook (and other Social Media platforms) to very inexpensively promote your website and Contact Us pages. You only have to pay once they click on the link. If you mix this with great SEO and well thought out Google Ad campaign, you can drive a lot of traffic to your business.
Make it easy for people to share your blog and information. Once again, use a free Plugin in WordPress. We use Social Share Icons that posts icons to share our blog posts with a single button press. People can now easily promote what you say out to their preferred Social Media avenue. You will notice these share icons at the bottom of this blog post.
Okay, remember when I said ICS does not do SEO? Well, now you have to forgive me for my ignorance on backlinks when dealing with SEO. Backlinks are important and need to be managed. Since I feel my knowledge is not up to par in this subject, I am going to direct you to your SEO company. Make sure you listen. Also, make sure you are comfortable with what you are doing. If the practice sound shady, it most likely is and could get you blacklisted or hurt your rankings if you are not careful.
Try and continue your education on SEO. Reading this article is a great starting point. I also enjoyed this SEO article if you would like further reading. I also recommend finding solid partners for SEO, Web Development and IT Support in Houston. If you need to discuss any of these subjects with ICS, please feel free to Contact Us for further recommendations.