WEEK 3: A Conversation with Guest Speaker Duane Forrester by Paula Kubo

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By UCLA X469.21 Student Paula Kubo

Paula Kubo

Paula Kubo

Do you remember trying to find a phone number in that big, heavy book called the yellow pages? How about researching a subject for school using the large encyclopedia collection now filled with dust in the attic?

Those days are mostly gone, as just about every question and curiosity can now be solved in seconds though the amazing world of web search. It’s the reason why online promotion has become an indispensable tool for marketers.

But how can you reach your target audience when there’s so much information online competing for attention? Duane Forrester, a specialist when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), says there are nearly five billion pages on the internet. This means your website is fighting to be found along with endless other sites in a race to see who makes it to the top of search results.

Duane Forrester

In the early days of the web, simply repeating keywords in the page code could leverage your site to the top. But today, search engines like Google and Bing are far more selective to ensure users have the best experience when searching for a website. They have developed highly efficient robots that crawl through all web pages, indexing and ranking them according to relevancy, authority, trustworthiness, recency, location and other criteria within seconds.

The results bring search optimization champions – those web pages that have made their way to the summit through SEO best practices and/or PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing. In order to improve the visibility of your site on the cruel battlefield, Duane recommends doing both: using PPC to kick-start traffic, and SEO to maintain ysearch results organically over the long term. “Even better: integrate all social media, SEO and PPC campaigns to gain maximum lift,” he added.

When you play the optimization game, you embark on a long and detailed process to fine tune your website content, structure and coding. That said, there are some simple  tactics that any small entrepreneur can implement. They include: be keyword savvy (use free tools like Bing Webmaster, Google Trends and Google Search Console to plan your content), follow the rules of the web, link to other relevant sites,  cultivate high quality inbound links, publish regularly, be media aware, engage on social media and know your audience so you can better target it.

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