SEO: Search Engine Optimization
Before we get started: Search for your name again on several search engines. What happens? Do you see your website?
If you don’t see your website yet, then perhaps the search engine spiders need more time to find your content. Or, perhaps you should consider implementing some of the suggestions below that are relevant to SEO.
The purpose of SEO is to:
- Create a great, seamless user experience.
- Communicate to the search engines your intentions so they can recommend your website for relevant searches.
What Search Engines Are Looking For
Search engines strive to provide the most relevant results from a user’s search terms. Search engines consider:
- Title Tags: The title tag is THE MOST IMPORTANT SINGLE TAG in your page. It tells the search engines what your page is about. It is still vitally important to your SEO strategy. If interested, see more information about the importance of title tags.
- Content: Is determined by the text on the page and the titles and descriptions that are given. Also consider the use of helpful HTML5 elements such as <header>, <nav>, <section>, <article>, <aside>, and <footer>. These elements give your content more meaning and help search engines.
- Performance: How fast is your site and does it work properly?
- Authority: Does your site link to authoritative and respectable sites (e.g., government websites, professional media websites)? Or do other authoritative sites use your website as a reference or cite the information that’s available?
- User Experience: How does the site look? Is it easy to navigate around? Does it look safe? Does it have a high bounce rate?
This information was adapted from SEO Basics: 8 Essentials When Optimizing Your Site.
If you’d like to read a more comprehensive guide to SEO, see Google’s SEO guide, a 32-page PDF document.
While a healthy SEO strategy gets visitors to your page, relevant and interesting content (and advertising) keeps them on your page. Google Analytics is a free system to help understand your audience and their content interaction.
Online content managers, website administrators, and social media marketers need to understand who is visiting their website, where visitors are coming from, and what content is most popular.
Knowing what content is popular, who is visiting your website, and where visitors are coming from will give you more information to share with potential advertisers and content creators.
Advertisers and content creators can create messages that resonate more with the audience, which will hopefully drive more traffic to your website.
Purpose of Google Analytics:
- To track page visits from your audience.
- To track audience demographics.
- To track *where* your audience came from (e.g., a Google search, Facebook, another website)
- And, it’s free to use.
Walk-Through of My Google Analytics Account
Before we sign up your website for Google Analytics, I’ll walk you through my account.
Key areas to examine:
- Audience –> Overview
- Behavior –> Overview
If you have a WordPress blog, you can also use a Google Analytics plugin to track your blog. I use Google Analyticator.
Example Job Description that Uses Google Analytics: Wyoming Public Media’s Website Coordinator Job Call
$41,400 minimum salary
- Produce high-quality original content for WPM’s internet and social media channels. Plan, design, develop, test, write/edit copy and documents. Utilize web-based software tools for managing web content.
- Serve as liaison with NPR Digital and other public broadcasting e-media systems and services. Stay abreast of industry e-communication software tools, management techniques, and e-trends that increase usage. Understand and apply industry and FCC broadcast regulations.
- Coordinate with WPM Engineering/Technology department in areas of mobile apps, streams, and analytics. Work with News and Programming/Production areas to maximize multi-platform dissemination of content.
- Coordinate and implement marketing and promotional efforts through a variety of platforms. Design digitized images, banners, charts, e-newsletters, image maps and other graphics to enhance appearance of site, support management communication tools, and to increase overall e-traffic.
- Plan and maintain social media activity and increase WPM’s social media presence, crowd-sourcing potential and two-way conversation with community interest groups.
- Record, edit, compress, transcode audio and video for Web and mobile.
- Provide technical troubleshooting and support for Web and mobile. Communicate with users to incorporate user needs, industry best practices, and correct problem situations.
- Recommend equipment and software purchases that encourage content innovation and performance efficiency.
- Bachelor’s level degree and two years of experience as a webmaster/content developer or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Working knowledge of public media industry initiatives in digital media.
- Deep knowledge of industry e-communication software tools, management techniques, and e-trends that increase usage, including audio, video, and photos.
- Understanding of industry and FCC broadcast regulations and regulations governing use of digital content.
- Excellent communication skills across multiple platforms with strong writing and editing abilities.
- Strong organizational skills and ability to produce content with quick turnaround.
- Ability to produce compelling original work for web and social media.
- Ability to collaborate with colleagues and to take direction from supervisors.
- Ability to multi-task and shift priorities as needed.
- Deep knowledge of the NPR Digital system.
Guided Signup: Visit Google Analytics to get started. I will guide you through the process.
You should have a Google account to complete this activity. The purpose of this exercise is to understand how to set up a Google Analytics account and what Google Analytics does for you.
- SEO should be a strategy that you thoughtfully create and implement on your website.
- Google Analytics is a free service that allows you to understand your audience and how your audience interacts with your website.
- If you plan on keeping your website in the long term, then you should implement the suggestions raised in this lecture, and also consider learning more about these strategies through your own research.
- You can certainly include this information on a resume (i.e., that you have basic understanding of SEO and Google Analytics).
Be prepared and be open to learning new skills relevant to SEO and website analytics. If you’re interested in a career in new media, then you need to be flexible, adaptable, and willing to learn new skills, services, and software.