Search Engine Optimization. In short hand, referred to as simply SEO. For many, the mere mention of either phrasing inspires the brain to freeze up, trapped in a belief that technology is not for everyone to master. Ultimately, several don’t bother with even trying to incorporate any tactics of technology, let alone SEO enhancement options, which are essential for the success of any organization.
Rest assured, SEO is not as scary as one might think. Here are 5 basics explained that can help your members realize the full benefits of your chapter:
1. Have a mobile version of your website. As you build, or have someone build, your chapter’s website, be sure that you select the option to make a mobile-friendly version. Well over half of Internet users are accessing websites and information from their mobile device, whether a cell phone or tablet. Ensuring that your content is presented on mobile devices as well as it is on a computer can mean the difference between someone coming to your next meeting or not coming.
2. Publish content at regular intervals. Select a doable schedule and stick to it. Posting new content reminds your members that you are not stagnating and that you have value to offer continuously. If you cannot imagine finding the time to volunteers to post weekly, don’t plan to post weekly. For beginners, one piece of content, whatever it is, published once a month is often a good start.
3. Utilize guest posts as a relationship building tool. Inviting members to volunteer to create content helps take the weight of your chapter’s leadership and it offers valuable experience to members. It also provides your content at regular intervals while building relationships. The content is then there to show prospective members the realization of benefits.
4. Select keywords, but don’t keyword stuff. As you write your content, have a word or two for your overall site and then a secondary word or two in your individual focused content. You don’t need to mention the word more than a couple of times in the content, but having these keywords mentioned at least once or twice allows for the search engines, such as Google, to link your pages and content to someone’s search. A good starting place is your organization or chapter name and some key aspect of the industry in which you operate. As you post your content, be sure to list your keywords in the keyword box to ensure the keywords you want are picked up.
5. Create a social media strategy and schedule. As you create your content, complete with minimal inclusion of keywords, develop a plan of how to distribute the content using social media. Decide what channels you want to use, Facebook, Twitter, or something else. Write ahead your posts that include appropriate keywords and hashtags. Plan the timeline to coincide with the release of your content on your website or through a newsletter.
These 5 basics are essential to get your use of SEO started. Anyone can employ them. And as you learn, StarChapter will be right there with you sharing our own content to help you along your journey. In the coming months we will explore in greater depth the following 3 advanced topics of SEO development. They are included here briefly as bonus content.
1. Have a language focus that matches your audience. Produce content in natural language with long tale keywords based in speaking rather than writing focus. This will help you stay ahead of the curve as voice search options trend, gaining in popularity with technology like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home, etc.
2. Employ the 80/20 rule in writing your content. Most of you content should be about the topic and not the direct marketing of your chapter.
3. Title development and the use of meta-data with keywords. Creating the background and foreground of your content to match is both the greatest benefit and challenge of search engine optimization.
Search Engine Optimization does not have to be a daunting task. Rather, take it slowly, one step at a time, without trying to reach the end before mastering the beginning. Doing this will ensure your content is reachable by anyone who searches for you – even if they didn’t know they were looking for you.