Tips for Improving Your Online Presence
by Deltina Hay
Few of us have the time to do everything the experts recommend when it comes to improving our online presence. Nor do we have the money to pay them to do it for us.
Luckily, we can do almost everything ourselves, a little at a time.
Here are some tactics and tools you can utilize quickly and easily with content you probably already have on hand. I’ll provide others in upcoming issues of the Independent.
Use Google Tools to Make Your Own Keyword List
Since good key terms or keywords are vital to a healthy presence online, you want to create a key term list to use throughout your entire Web presence—your Web site, blog, social networking profiles, and more.
Here are two Google keyword tools you can use to build your list:
Google Keyword Tool (adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal). Best used for new sites that are already populated with information.
Google Search Based Keyword Tool (google.com/sktool). Best used for established Web sites.
Key terms should be one-, two-, or three-word terms, and some of them should include your name, your business name, and the name of your book.
Every place you are online matters to your overall placement on the Web, so once you have your list, use elements of it everywhere, including:
• in the meta-title, meta-description, and meta-keyword sections of every page on your Web site
• within the content of your Web site
• within your blog posts
• within all your online profiles and bios
• within titles, descriptions, and tags of images, documents, and other shared media
Give Your Web Content a Makeover
People tend to scan online content rather than read it in depth. You can make your content more user-friendly by following these Web content guidelines:
• Be clear—read your content out loud before finalizing and publishing.
• Use bulleted lists; people love them.
• Use boldface and italics, but only for emphasis.
• Use short paragraphs and sentences.
• Break longer blog posts into a series of shorter posts (but not shorter than 300 words apiece).
• Make subheads explanatory, not clever.
• Try not to make readers scroll (use “Read more” links).
• Use active language.
• Edit, edit, edit!
Get More Relevant Incoming Links
Incoming links are important to search-engine placement, but not all of them will benefit you. The more relevant an incoming link is to your site’s content, the more valuable it is.
You can get more relevant incoming links through:
• Article submissions (e-zines, Article Base, etc.).
• Guest blogging on relevant sites.
• Using key terms effectively in your incoming links. This means making the links text that includes key terms (for example: “Learn more about the social and search-optimized Web site service”), rather than making the links source URLs (for example, don’t do this: “Learn more at http://plumbwebsolutions.com”).
• Link exchanging; make certain that sites you exchange with are relevant to your own site.
See It Now
All these tips—and those I’ll be offering in future issues—should help you improve your online presence, but you don’t have to use them all to reap benefits, and you certainly don’t have to use them all at once. As you think about implementing these ideas, you may want to check out videos that serve as examples at my YouTube channel: youtube.com/deltinahay.
Deltina Hay is an author, publisher, developer, and educator who has been programming in one form or another for more than 25 years. A regular contributor to Technorati and SocialMedia.biz, she is the professor of Drury University’s online graduate social media certificate course. Her Social Media Survival Guide is now out in its second edition, and she has launched the search, social, semantic, and mobile Web site optimization service PLUMBWebSolutions.com. To learn more, visit Deltina.com.