Experimenting With SEO

/ Tuesday, May 12, 2009 /
Today I'm going to be crafting a bit of an experiment for my topic. I met earlier today with my buddy Aaron for nuggets at our favorite Tuesday afternoon lunch spot and we got to talking about a number of things. One of those things happened to be our business and finding our business' website through search engines.

The problem as we discussed revolves around the fact that our business website is not searchable... meaning it cannot be found on the web unless you know the company name and or web address in the first place. Now this has been on my mind for some time and until recently I didn't have the time to devote to it anyway so it didn't really bother me too much. Well, it did bother me, I just didn't lose sleep over it. Anyway, since my classes ended last week I've had some free time on my hands and I've generally been in a more ambitious mood so I've been reading up quite a bit on the concepts of SEO or search engine optimization.

What is SEO
The concept of SEO is all about crafting your website with the Googlers of the world in mind. Most sites, ours included, have been crafted in the interest of passing product and service information along to viewers and less about the drawing of the viewers in in the first place. This is a big deal. Consider this. Most people that know about our business know it by name and what we do. Because they know of us they have probably no need for our business or have already used it's services. If they meet either of these two qualifications then they already can find our site without or with little help from Google.

Take another situation for a spin. Let's say you are a budding bride living in San Diego and you've always wanted a local wedding on the beach. How would you find a videographer if you wanted one but didn't know of any off the top of your head? You would probably pop onto Google and type in some like 'San Diego Wedding Video' or something like that and go down the list one-by-one. Well, the people making these kinds of searches are the one's that actually need our services and they are actually the ones that have money to spend. These are the people we want to bring to the website and when they can't find it through Google then we're not going to be meeting these brides anytime soon.

This is my dilemma, I want people to find the site; so how do we go about making the site optimized for search? To try to answer that question I decided to try some experiments here on my blog based on some solid information I've picked up from around the web.

Search Optimization Experiment
This website, my blog, has traffic monitoring code built into it so that I can track who's visiting the site, how often, what pages they look at, and how they got here. Most sites have similar code working on them and it's there for good reason. It should help me decide how to drive more traffic to the site by simply analyzing what is coming in already.

According to my stats, my blog's most popular page is HCB 150 - I Want One! Over the past 13 days this page has been hit 19 times by random visitors via search engines. After recently reading a fair amount of literature on SEO, I'm going to see if I can get this page's traffic to go even higher through various techniques. If these techniques work I think I can then use some of the same techniques to start building up searchability within the Google system.

The post above is a post about the hands-free car speakerphone that I blogged about last Spring. I wanted it for two reason. First, because it was cool, and second, because California was legally going to require driver's to have a hands-free device to use a phone while driving. In the end I got one, though I only got the next model down, and I've enjoyed it but since then this post continues to drive more traffic than any other post on my blog... and I have nearly 400 posts on this bad boy.

Filtering my stats down further I can see that the most frequent method that people find this post is by Googling 'HCB 150 review'. If you Google this phrase you'll find that this post is in the number one position. However if you take 'review' off and try any other word combination I'm not anywhere to be found.

The reason for this can be attributable to any number of things but mostly it is probably due a few things. First, the page does not contain many other words that are related to phrases that people might search for when looking up this device. Second, the pictures on the page are not labeled with descriptive text in the 'alt' tags. And third, there is no webpage out there linking directly to this original post of mine. General SEO knowledge says that when pages link to something search engines place greater importance on the destination of the link. Additionally the words used for the link, otherwise known as the anchor text, correlate directly to the words used in the actual search box. Meaning if I want people to find my business website I should link to it not by saying 'click here'. I should say: view my San Diego Wedding Video business website; you won't be disappointed. :)

So aside from plugging my business I will take some time in this post to plug my most popular webpage on this site with an anchored link of descriptive key words. Click through to take a look at the Hands Free Bluetooth Car Speakerphone that I wanted to buy last Spring, which also happens to be the most popular webpage on my blog.

When on the page you'll also notice that I expanded the post a bit today (what, you don't remember what it looked like originally?) to include more related text that people might search for, heading tags around headings, as well as an actual (albeit small) review of the device, which was never actually on the page in the first place. Ironic, I know.

To state my goal here one more time, I'll say that this is an experiment so we'll see how this works out. The last 13 days this page got 19 hits through Google so over then 13 days we'll see if the number goes up. I guess I'll check back in again on this topic on around the 25th of May. See you then!


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