Leif Jason, Mastermynde
Of recent times, I’ve been focusing on improvements to the Business Gazette’s online presence. First we ensured that the website’s statistics were as clean and accurate as possible. The goal was to more clearly understand how traffic is changing over time so we can decide how best to grow that traffic.
The second task is to increase traffic to the Gazette through organic search engine optimization by asking questions such as, “What do prospective readers search for?” And then, “How can the Gazette improve how we show up for those search terms?”
Google Analytics & Google Search Console are utilized to indicate existing search phrases that currently bring visitors to the site. These phrases range from the expected “Business Gazette” and “Left Coast Publishing” to the somewhat more obscure “Niefs” and “fund me please.” By combining these with some new phrase possibilities – such as ‘”Campbell River Business,” “Comox Valley Economy,” “Business For Sale Courtenay” and “Vancouver Island Jobs” – and running them through the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool, we’ve created a solid list of search phrases with which to optimize the site.
Once the decision has been made regarding what to track and optimize, we’ll use a rank-tracking tool to monitor search phrase rankings over time. I use a tool called Advanced Web Ranking, but there are many other web-based tools available. As the site is optimized, rankings will improve for some phrases and possibly drop for others.
On-site content optimization
Each page on a website has four key content areas that impact rankings and/or click-through-rate (CTR). These are: <title> content, which shows up in the browser tab and as the first piece of text in search engine results; META Description content, which shows up only in search engine results and immediately below the <title>; <h1> primary headlines; and, lastly, page content itself. Ideally, each web page is optimized for one concept, which may have a number of related phrases. There’s a balance to be struck between covering too many topics on a page and not enough, depending on the breadth and competitiveness of your industry.
Now that a system is in place for targeting specific search phrases and tracking site traffic, the Business Gazette can better understand who its competition is, easily compare site results and identify those areas where the publication stands to gain (or lose) search engine traffic as more content is added.
With the imminent launch of a new Business Gazette website and a new content management system, we’ll be able to discuss a number of other ways to optimize the technical side of a website, as well as best practices in integrating newsletter signups, social media, and more.
Leif Jason is the founder of Mastermynde.com and is always happy to discuss how online marketing services might help you achieve your business objective. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 250.339.9734 or www.mastermynde.com.