Search engines get their page ranking
data by sending out “bots,” which act similarly to the Roomba sweepers people buy
to clean their carpets—they wander
around in a pattern blindly picking up
what they can from websites to report
back at the home base. If you post every
Friday like clockwork, you train the bots
to stop by every Friday, rather like a stray
dog making the neighborhood rounds
seeking out treats. Some magazines are
crawled (e.g. visited) as often as five times
a day; large newspapers can get crawled
five times a minute.
Why does this timing and predictability
matter? “Let’s say you add a new page to
your website. If you’re crawled every day,
it will get into the index a lot quicker, and
that’s good because if a story breaks on
Friday, people will start looking for those
details on Friday,” says Carolyn Selby,
founder of Cshell consulting firm in the
Chicago area. “You don’t want to wait a
week or more for the search engines to pick
it up. Or worse, you don’t want some other
website to talk about your news, have them
get crawled first and have them get the
original authority credit for it.”
ESTABLISH YOUR SEO GOALS
Higher rankings in search results
More visitors to the website
More engagement from visitors
More targeted visitors at a
Stronger online visibility
Stable website traffic
Leadership in Washington, DC, reminds
the editorial staff. Ma suggests consulting
Google Trends to pick the top 20 to 60
keywords in your industry, and start using
those first. If you’re unsure whether people use “heart disease” or “cardiovascular
disease” most often, select both.
Think competitively as well—
association leadership is a more targeted term
than executive leadership, for instance,
and thus more likely to lure in the right
visitors. Adding a location to your keywords —Southwest association leadership
— is even smarter, as the latest SEO analytics reveal that many people type a city
or broad location in their search strings.
This more focused approach alone puts
editorial staff members in better sync with
understanding their audience’s information needs. As director of IT, Shonerd
guides NAA’s crew in dissecting the analytics to determine core issues, hot topic
cycles, and new trends on the horizon for
the association’s target audience.
SOURCE: REGALIX WEBINAR, “BEST PRACTICES
FOR SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION”
Nice try, but you’re not done
after you create a keyword list. Keywords
are a form of business intelligence—a
recurring process that demands tracking.
“If people are not typing those keywords
into a browser, they mean nothing,” says
Bottom line: Your industry’s key words
will continue evolving and changing, and
so must your list.
MAKE A LIST OF
AND USE THEM.
Technically, this is true, but it falls far
short of the goal. Haphazardly grabbing
the first few keywords that come to mind
about your association’s content and
declaring these are your targets is the
biggest mistake independent SEO consultant Tyler Clark in Youngstown, Ohio,
sees. “That’s missing out on the real
opportunities,” he notes.
For instance, if your growers’ association decides to use the keyword “banana”
wherever possible, you will get hits alright
—from people wondering about their
potassium content to mothers looking for
recipes. If you want agricultural executives
to find you, they’re most likely using
search terms like “banana markets,”
“banana trees,” and “banana production”.
Clark tells his clients to think about which
words would carry enough weight to
spend money on in an ad click campaign.
“Once you corner the market on a
niche topic like banana economics, you
may still find yourself ranking highly for
bananas over all,” he says. “It’s a matter of
how you attack the problem.”
Remember, too, most people search on
two-word phrases, Amy Hissrich, the
director of knowledge initiatives for
ASAE & The Center for Association
KEYWORD TO DEATH.
No, no, no, no, says Sean
Bordner, a solution architect at SusQtech.
Repeating the same word ad nauseam in
the same article amounts to what’s called
“keyword stuffing“ in the SEO world —
and it’s a no-no.
Bots have become sophisticated enough
to not trust something that looks off, and
while they will notice that you repeated
the name “Barack Obama” 97 times in
four paragraphs, they won’t report that to
the home base. Just the opposite — they’ll
sandbox your site (consider that a time-