Optimizing your website for search is a critical way of bringing visitors to your site. And you do that, in part, by matching the keywords in your site with the words that users type into their search engines. Sounds straightforward enough.

But finding just the right keywords? That’s another matter.

Tools like Google Adwords can be helpful in developing an initial list of targeted keywords and phrases. But there’s no way to predict exactly what phrases web users are going to search to find your site. And it’s difficult to predict what phrases Google will associate with your site.

The answer? Google Analytics.

After your site has been initially optimized and is up and running, you can use Google Analytics to learn exactly what phrases were typed into search engines to find your site. By regularly checking what phrases are attracting visitors, you’ll get a better idea of what phrases should be dominant on your website, and which to target. Often, Google Analytics will turn up phrases that would never have occurred to you on your own.

Here’s an example.

Say you’re a beanbag importer and you’ve optimized a page on your site for “Beanbag Chairs. ” But when you check Google Analytics, you discover that “Children’s Furniture” is unexpectedly attracting lots of web users to your site.

Now you have real-world data on how real users are getting to your site. Here’s what you do in response.

  • Search. The first step is Googling “Children’s Furniture” and locating the first page of your website that appears on Google. You’ll want to make this page your landing page for “Children’s Furniture.”
  • Adjust. Once you’ve identified that page, you can adjust the page’s meta data, content, headlines, images, and image alt tags to increase number of times this new phrase appears.
  • Observe. Over time, these adjustments should improve the Google positioning of your site when “Children’s Furniture” is searched, thus increasing the number of visits to your site.
  • Repeat. Monthly or quarterly, you should repeat this process, discovering what new phrases are taking hold and bringing visitors to your site. And you would adjust your landing pages and content accordingly.

This process is time-consuming and can be tedious, but it’s a critical part of a complete SEO process. Doing it religiously is the only way to ensure that your site stays aligned with what real users are searching for online.


We live in a society that places an incredibly high level of importance on image. In this image-conscious, hyper-competitive business world we live and work in, using web design to effectively convey your company’s brand, corporate culture and values is essential for setting your business apart from your competitors. This makes your business’ website incredibly important, considering it’s the first place people go to learn about your company.

Is the design of your company’s website getting people excited about your products and services? If your website looks outdated, what message is being sent? Is the image your website is presenting accurate? When your potential customers, future employees or prospective investors visit your website, what is the design telling them about your brand?

Web design impacts not only your brand and how outsiders perceive your company, it also impacts how effectively your search engine optimization efforts will perform. You might be asking yourself what web design has to do with SEO. Well, Yahoo, Bing and the guys over at Google track how much time people spend visiting your site. So, when visitors land on your site and aren’t instantly engaged, they’ll hit the back button before they’ve even read a line of copy. Websites that can’t hold the attention of visitors, can’t hold the attention of search engines, either.

While the “love at first sight” factor is important, like any good relationship, you need to be engaging as well. Good design should have the end user in mind. A beautifully designed website that is easy to navigate and effortlessly promotes your brand attracts new customers and keeps them coming back. Quality web design could be the difference between building a new relationship and getting dumped.

When we talk with our customers about search engine optimization, one of the biggest things we emphasize is that SEO is not a one-time task.

Rather, it’s a progression – a series of steps taken over time to ensure that your site is continually performing as well as it should.

The tricky part is that there are so many things that can be done to improve search – some more important, and some less important. To sort them all out, you need to set priorities for your site and figure out which SEO tasks need be tackled first, and which can be pushed back to a rainy day.

Those priorities will be different for different sites, depending on a variety of factors, like how your site’s performing now, and how your customers are interacting with it. If we were pressed, however, we’d say that just about any website should have the following three tasks on their shortlist.

  • Enrich your content. As we’ve written in previous posts, the most important factor in getting people to visit your site is providing valuable content – unique, regularly updated content that readers can’t find elsewhere. Ultimately, nothing else will generate ongoing interest in your site.
  • Leverage keywords. Choosing the right keywords is critical for any website. Researching them, picking the right ones, and incorporating them into your text and navigational structure can make all the difference in how many qualified customers find your site.
  • Optimize your site structure. Google is a prickly beast that likes sites built in a certain way, using a certain type of coding. If you alienate Gooogle by using outdated coding, you’ll be closed out of search results in a flash.

In addition to these “top three” tasks, there are tons of second- and third-tier steps that can be taken to continually better your search results. An optimal SEO strategy will prioritize these steps and set up a targeted plan to get ‘em done, month after month – and get your rankings jumping higher month after month in turn.