Light Bulb Moments
I’ve only been at Full Media for a little less than two months, and I almost can’t believe how much I’ve learned. Every single day has been filled with “light bulb moments,” and I’d be a rich woman if I had a dollar for every time the thought, “Wow, if only I’d known that a year ago,” crossed my mind.
In my previous job, I was the only person who touched anything remotely related to marketing. In many ways, this was fantastic. I was given total creative freedom. But developing innovative ideas and staying on top of industry trends—especially as they relate to the ever-changing ways of the web—was daunting. I missed having a whole team of folks to help me brainstorm and learn.
Because I imagine many people looking for Internet marketing services might be in the position I was, I wanted to share some of the most enlightening facts I’ve learned from a newbie’s perspective. In no particular order and following no specific train of thought:
• Meta keywords don’t help—and may even hurt. It was my responsibility to make updates to our company website, and I always saw the space for Meta keywords. Sometimes I threw some in. Sometimes I didn’t. Did I really understand what they did? Nope. Did I know that I could actually be harming the site’s performance? Definitely not.
Search engines are beginning to view Meta keywords as spam signals. And although keywords that are actually representative of content on a page may not negatively affect your site’s standing with search engines, it’s best to play it safe and get rid of them altogether.
• It matters what you name your photos. I knew about alt-tags for photos (the words that show up if a photo doesn’t load or when you let the cursor hover over a loaded image). “Always use them,” my professors said in college. “You never know who is using your site,” they continued. I absorbed this info. What I didn’t know is that search engines also evaluate photo file names. Industry best practice? Use descriptive words in all lowercase letters and hyphens to separate words.
For instance, if you wanted to upload this photo to your website, you might want to name it “cutest-dog-ever.jpg”—or something along those lines.
• Search engines are smarter than you think—and they keep getting smarter. If you ever hear about an SEO tactic that sounds as though it’s going to “trick” the search engines, stay far away. There are entire teams of people at Google, Bing, etc. who work day in and day out to identify and penalize sites that aren’t playing fair. Be sure the driving force behind your SEO efforts is enhancing your users’ experience—not just boosting the numbers—and you should be safe.
• You should work with Full Media. There are a lot of “media” companies out there these days and a lot of people claiming to know all there is to know about SEO. I have a hard time believing anyone could do a better job than the talented, intelligent people I have the pleasure of working with every day.