Answering services must have a website. This is the first step for successful marketing. The second step is getting people to visit it. This can happen through paid advertising or organic search. The first option can be expensive, while the second option has no direct cost, but you can’t leave organic search to chance. You need to optimize your website so search engines look at it favorably. We call this search engine optimization or SEO for short. SEO is both an art and a science with a multitude of nuanced considerations that generate much debate and disagreement. While you can pay a lot of money to an SEO specialist to optimize your answering service’s website, you can cover the essential elements yourself. First, let’s review the SEO basics that we covered in a prior post:
These basic tips cover what your visitors see. Next we’ll address what they don’t see, the code behind the scenes. But don’t let the idea of coding scare you; there are plugins that make the SEO code for you. Two of the leading SEO plugins are SEO by Yoast and All In One SEO Pack. (This discussion addresses WordPress, since WordPress currently powers 27 percent of all websites worldwide.) Focus on three search engine optimization elements: Title Tag: While this can be the same as the title in your post, you probably want to make it different. While your post title can be longer, the title tag should be no more than sixty characters. Make each one count. Convey the key theme of the post. Include your keyword or phrase if possible, such as “answering service” or “call center.” When people do a web search, your title tag will appear in bold as the first line of the search results. Make sure it conveys information that will make people want to click on it. Description: Almost as important as the title tag is the description of the post. This is called the “meta description,” but don’t let that scare you; it’s simply a summary of the post. For the description you have 160 characters to explain the post. In short, you must sell the content, giving people a compelling reason to click on your page and not someone else’s. When people do a web search, the description will appear below the title tag. Make it the best you can. Include the important information first, because most people will scan and not read the entire thing. Keywords: Though Google supposedly now ignores the “meta keywords,” pop some in just in case someone else looks for them. These are simply words or short phrases that capture the main theme of the post. Don’t spend a lot of time on this, maybe less than a minute, but don’t skip it either. Bonus Tip: Before you publish your post, tweak the link (the “permalink”). WordPress automatically uses your post’s title for this, but it is often longer than it should be for this purpose. For the permalink, edit the title down to about five or six words. Make them good ones that the search engines will like (and that make sense to people, too). Using the date, a post number, or a special code will not help SEO. Follow these tips to provide great search-engine friendly content that will move you to the top of the search engine results. Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry. Contact Janet at email@example.com 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.