The Etiquette of Marketing—Part 3: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Good Manners

This is Part 3 of a three-part blog series about the benefits of marketing. Read Part 1 and Part 2

From an early age we are taught about politeness, including how to behave, what to say,part3 (1) when to say it, how to “mind our manners” and how to make amends when we do not practice those manners. But when it comes to website content, it is not nearly as simple as remembering which fork to use. Consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as a starting guide on how to choose your words wisely to improve the visibility of your website on a search engine. Improving your SEO will help more people find your site much more easily at no cost to you.

Use Your Words

We all know the importance of using the right words to convey a message. When it comes to successful SEO practices, words are critical to achieve results. For new websites, it is important to create original content that is not duplicated throughout the site. For updates to existing websites, ensure that you are not repackaging the same information on different pages. Include meta descriptions on each page, of the proper length, and identify keywords that address the topic at hand. This will ensure that users understand what you are trying to communicate, and remain engaged enough with your site to take the action you desire.

Speaking of actions, include a call to action on each page that makes the most sense for your business. Buttons like “Sign-up today,” “Register Now,” or “Call for More Info” can help you gather leads or build your company database. Graphics should also incorporate words. Be sure to include anchor text with a short description of the graphic.

Share with Others

Sharing has benefits beyond getting to play with someone else’s toys on the playground. To ensure your website comes up organically in search engine results, you need to create company profiles outside of your corporate website. Share your company information in multiple places. Identify which sites make the most sense for your business, such as LinkedIn, Google+, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, and invite customers and employees to engage with your company across those channels.

Take Turns

Taking turns is important to more than just merging traffic. Your website should have two different types of content—evergreen content for those things that don’t change, like your business information, and fresh content for news and blog posts. Fresh content needs to be constantly refreshed and updated. This practice is incredibly important for Google rankings and should be important to your business as well. Google is the top search engine with over 1 billion unique monthly visitors[1]. Make sure those who are looking for your site and services are able to find you. Updating content can be as simple as incorporating what you are already doing and, in addition to news and blog posts, can include your company Twitter feed and events that your company will be attending. Remember that website analytics are a great resource to identify content that should be utilized or refreshed.

Be Polite

While content does not need to include literal “please and thank yous,” it should be written in a way that shows you know your audience. Write using a consistent voice and tone. Content should be clear and engaging, and written so that visitors can easily process your company’s information and product offering.

Help Others

Photo Credit: clipartsheep

Photo Credit: clipartsheep

Before others use your site, respect their time and ensure simple navigation and that all links are

working. In addition to having your internal team review the site, ask friends or family to look it over and make sure that it is as easy to navigate as you intend.

SEO is an ongoing process, but minding your P’s and Q’s will help optimize your website’s organic search results. As thoughtful queries sent to Miss Manners for three decades exemplifies, working with an expert on the subject matter can help ensure you navigate whatever situations you encounter—both with manners and websites—appropriately and effectively.

Thank you!

[1] eBizMBA Rank, August 1, 2015, http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/search-engines

Written by

Amanda brings over ten years’ experience in building sustainable and renewable energy brands. Amanda has a M.B.A. from Portland State University, a B.A. from University of Oregon and honed her green business skills with a post-graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. Amanda is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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