Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Tips and Tricks
Practice Panda provides a solid foundation for your site to be easily understood by search engines. All of Practice Panda's templates are built to be search engine friendly. Your site is built in a way to make it easy for search engines to navigate and understand each of your pages. While this provides a good start, SEO is really about the content on your pages. Practice Panda provides some default content on these pages, but it is best to update them to include customized content about your business targeting your clients. Modern search engines no longer pay attention to some of the old tricks like specifying meta keywords (using meta keywords nowadays can hurt your SEO rating). The search engines try to show users pages they think will be useful to the user, so building pages with content that will help your clients will often also help your search engine rankings. Like any marketing process, it is good to know what audience you are targeting and build your messaging around them. Try to write natural informative content, but keep in mind keywords and phrases that you want to target.
Optimize Your Site Content For Search Engines
Search engines index billions of webpages across the entire internet. That’s a lot of competition for search results. If you want to be found on the internet through search engines you need to think about what specific search terms you want to target. The first question you should ask when you are trying to plan a strategy for being found online is “under which search terms do I want to be found?” If you want to target users searching for your company name, it’s easy to be number one. If you search for “Accounting CPA ” in your hometown, well, that’s when it gets more difficult to be on the first page of search results; the more vague the search, the more the larger companies will rise to the top. These companies often will have full time staff members whose job is to drive traffic to their site. Figure out what specific search terms that you want to be found by, and tailor the information on your site to reflect this. If you want to be found by your location, be sure to mention that location in your page titles and copy, and to mention it on all the pages where it is relevant. If you have a tax or accounting specialty in the type of work or clients that you deal with, and want to be found based on them, be sure that you mention and describe it wherever possible.
Content, Content, Content
As search engines become more sophisticated, they are better able to categorize and rank the actual content of your site. So, if you have a page that talks about your services, be sure that your services are listed. Be specific and descriptive about the services. Mention them more than once if you can. But, be careful; if you make it seem like you are just throwing a specific term on a page over and over again to gain relevance, you can be penalized in your ranking. If you read it out loud to yourself and it sounds overly repetitive or unnatural, it’s a good sign that the search engines may think that as well. Another factor that you are judged on is the frequency that your content is updated. Search engines will come back to your site again and again to see if has been updated, so keeping your content fresh can go a long ways to making your site more relevant in searches. Having the newsletter page activated is a good start as it ensures that new content will be added to your site each month.
Social Media / Links
Incorporating social media like Facebook and Twitter can help drive traffic to your site and boost your site visibility as well. Once you have accounts created, you can easily add links to them from your website by going to Site Options. Be sure to also list your website on your Facebook and Twitter profiles. If you’ve just added new content, or have our Newsletters automatically posted, send out a link to the new page on your social profiles to let people (and search engines) know.
Aside from Social Media, submitting your site to business directories is a good way to be discovered in web searches and map searches. Follow the links below to submit your website to some of the major online directories:
Be sure to include your custom domain in the listings so users can find your website easily. Also research if your local city or chamber of commerce offers an online directory of businesses.
How Does Page Information Work on a Practice Panda Site?
When editing a page in Practice Panda, the Page Information section has several fields that have an affect on SEO.
The Navigation Title is what is displayed at the top of your browser window when viewing that page. It is also what search engines will display as the name of the page. Make sure this succinctly covers what the page is about.
The Page Heading is displayed on the page directly above the content. This should also succinctly describe what the page is about, but offers a chance to use slightly different language or wording to describe it. This allows you to target slightly different keywords from search engines. For example, you may have a Services page with a Navigation Title of “Small Business Tax Help” and a Page Heading of “Tax Help for Small Businesses”.
The Page Description is a sentence or two that describes what the page is about. On a search engine, this may be displayed beneath the title in the results. If it is not set, the search engines should display an excerpt of the beginning of the page content, so it is not critical to have one set. However it provides another opportunity to describe the page using slightly different wording or phrasing.
It is important to note that Search Engine Optimization is an ongoing process, and that you won’t see the results of your work immediately. It can take weeks for search engines to re-index your site, and there are some criteria that will take the search engines several passes to evaluate your site content, such as how often your site is updated with new content.