This story appears in the September 12 print edition of iTECH, a supplement to Transport Topics.
As trucking companies spend more time on content marketing – posting articles, videos, images and more to build brand image – it becomes increasingly important to ensure that content is optimized for search engines.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, “is extremely important for increasing reach and visibility,” said Melissa Sullivan, director of marketing communications at moving company UniGroup.
Karen Hazan, Director of Marketing at Canada Cartage, agreed, “Over 60% of all web traffic comes from organic search,” she said, “so it’s important to make sure your website is search engine friendly to drive qualified traffic to your website.”
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“SEO these days is so much more than keyword and backlink optimization – SEO needs to be part of your overall content strategy to get found on search engines when customers and prospects are looking to solve a problem at every stage of the buying cycle,” Hazan added.
Certainly, dozens of articles have surfaced pointing out that unearthing substantial, quality content on the web has become the #1 goal of the Google search engine – perhaps at the expense of traditional SEO.
But if you just spend a little time making sure you’re using the right keywords, the best web design, and the right image tags, your content is bound to show up higher in search engine results.
“Design and content are important to providing a positive and relevant user experience, but SEO helps your target audience find you,” said John Solomon, marketing communications manager at NFI Industries.
Tom Benusa, chief information officer at Transport America, said, “Search engine optimization is an ongoing process and results don’t come overnight, especially if you’re just starting to analyze the appearance of your site for a search engine crawler, but over time – with carefully planned updates – positive results will come.At Transport America, through optimization, we have seen targeted keywords increase their organic traffic up to 400%.”
Joseph Goering, vice president of recruiting at Anderson Trucking Service, also said his company receives a large number of visitors through search engines.
“Optimizing our site has played an important role in this,” he said. “Ensuring the website was coded correctly, using the latest web standards – as well as well-written copy – helped maintain high search engine chart rankings.”
Moreover, with SEO optimized content, you will give your business a decisive advantage.
“In most industries, you’ll find that your competitors aren’t so smart” when it comes to SEO, says consultant and author Jason McDonald. “Most industries aren’t as competitive when it comes to SEO as you might think.”
So much has been written about SEO that it can seem daunting to the beginner, and even to some who have dabbled in it here and there.
One of the easiest ways to reduce the size of the job is to start by focusing on SEO optimization on one page – your homepage. By focusing on a page, you will find that there are several things you can do to give that page a much better chance of being discovered by search engines.
Once you’ve fully optimized that first page, you can take everything you’ve learned about SEO from that experience and apply it to other pages — and ultimately your entire site.
Here are some tools you can use to make sure the effort is a slam dunk:
• “SEO Fitness Workbook 2016”, by Jason McDonald: This book gives you a complete grounding in SEO fundamentals and will help you build a complete game plan for optimizing your content.
• Google Search Engine Optimization Getting Started Guide: Since Google is the biggest name in search engines, it makes sense to read and follow the recommendations in this 32-page guide, available online. Other guides include Search Engine Land’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization and SEO for WordPress.
• Google Search Console: This is another free and must-have tool for serious SEO truckers. It allows you to directly submit content from your website that you want Google to monitor and weed out any other content that you don’t want to show on the search engine. It will also track the keywords and phrases that work for you, show you which websites are referring to you, and monitor your website’s performance on mobile devices.
Hazan of Cartage Canada added, “Search Console is my favorite tool. It helps you review your search analytics and monitor technical SEO factors like crawling and indexing while observing your website’s overall health in search.
• Keyword Brainstorming: If you want some inspiration and guidance on finding the optimal keywords for your content, Google’s Keyword Planner will serve as your trusty guide. Similar keyword helpers include Keyword Spy, which will help you discover which keywords and phrases are working for your competitors, and Related Keywords, a tool which will help you identify words related to your primary keywords.
“I use Keyword Planner and Analytics to understand what brings people to the site and get stats on what people are searching for,” said Brian Helton, director of marketing and media relations at Mercer Transportation. “Then we make adjustments. I also use a third party to help me track and write content that links to our site.
• Page Tag Optimizers: Although “page tags” seem a bit technical, they are simply the tools that web designers use to label various elements on a page. There is a tag used to title your page, a tag to title each image you use, and a tag to bold the words. You can use tools like the SEOCentro Meta Tag Analyzer, SEO Side-by-Side Comparison Tool, and Keyword Density Checker to make sure you’re optimizing your tag usage.
• Link Builders: Good links to your website from other authoritative sites have always been essential for high search engine returns. Therefore, investing the time to secure the links from these websites will pay off very well in the long run. OpenLinkprofiler helps you do this more efficiently, as does Buzzsumo and Moz Open Site Explorer.
• Local SEO tools: If your business location plays a role in your bottom line, you’ll want to spend time making sure your website is optimized for local search. Google’s local AdWords previewer will help you do this and is free to use. Similar tools include Moz Local and Local Stampede.
• Title Analyzers: If you find it difficult to create titles for stories and posts, then CoSchedule’s Title Analyzer can help. Simply type in your headline and CoSchedule will instantly rate your headline based on your word frequency, wording emotion, and overall headline strength.
• Distribution of press releases: Regularly posting press releases on the web linking to your website should ultimately help improve your search engine rankings.
“Press releases have natural SEO benefits, including natural links from multiple, high-quality external sources and keyword linking opportunities,” said Aidan Griffin, senior account manager at the relationship firm. public Ketner Group.
• On-site libraries: Joe White, owner of CostDown Consulting, a trucking consulting firm, recommended another SEO strategy.
“To maximize SEO, I added a library page to the CostDown Consulting website that is full of articles, training presentations and videos relevant to the service I developed,” White said. “Each inclusion contains keyword phrases in the title and content to extend the reach of my website. Additionally, much of the library content is published on other sites with links to my website. »
• SEO Plugin for WordPress: This is a free and incredibly valuable tool for any business running a WordPress website. The Yoast plugin embeds an SEO dashboard into every unpublished page you create, instantly analyzing every word for you and offering clear recommendations.
• Continuous study: Animal in perpetual metamorphosis, the SEO must be continuously studied to give the best results. Some of the best sources for new SEO information include Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Roundtable, and Search Engine Journal.
Joe Dysart is a Manhattan-based internet speaker and business consultant. Voice: (646) 233-4089. Email: [email protected] Web: www.joedysart.com.