Some SEO Tips for an Economic Development Website
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Some years ago, I served as a Board Member for the Wharton Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). The Board approved a project to provide a new website for WEDC, and I’ve was asked to make some suggestions. In this post, I’ll provide a simple checklist of SEO tips that WEDC and its website developers used to improve search engine rankings, and I’ll use the old WEDC website as an example in this discussion. If you’d like a free SEO evaluation of your website, please give me a call at 281-343-3284.
Let’s start with the old WEDC website — here are the meta tags used on the homepage:
Title: Corporate Relocation | Business Relocation | Logistics Hub
Description: Corporation Relocation, Business Relocation, and Relocation Assistance, all provided by WEDC, you Logistics Hub and Relocation Consultant. For your Relocation needs, call today.
Keywords: corporate relocation, business relocation, logistics hub, relocation assistance, relocation consultant
Here’s a screenshot of the old WEDC homepage:
There are a number of things that could be improved here. Let’s start with this list:
- There are three keyword phrases in the page title — corporate relocation, business relocation, and logistics hub. That’s a good start because many websites just use the word “home” as the page title for a web page; however, it would be much better to add the name and location of WEDC to help the website do well in searches with “Wharton TX” or “TX” in the search phrase. So the new title for the homepage might be corporate relocation | business assistance | Wharton Economic Development Corporation TX. Making these changes would enhance the likelihood of appearing in searches for economic development tx as well as searches for tx business assistance, and corporate relocation tx. If you have a business or organization with a local or regional focus, always use your location in your title tags.
- The same three keyword phrases are used in every page title on the website. WEDC should develop unique page titles using relevant keyword phrases for each page of the new website. Keyword research to find the most-searched-for and relevant keyword phrases is an essential first step in identifying the keywords to use in these unique page titles.
- There is a description used on the homepage, which is good, but it’s also the same description used on every other page of the website, which is not good. You should have a unique description for every page of your website. The description often furnishes the snippet of text that’s displayed with your website page title and URL in search results. That’s why each page description should relate to the page and I also suggest that it should be a short “call to action” and include your phone number.
- Information is not being updated on the WEDC website. Minutes have been published for two regular Board meetings since the September meeting, but they’ve not been added to the website. Look for opportunities to add new, relevant text to your website on a weekly basis.
- The four navigation links on the right side of the page are images, not text. Google can understand text links and image links that have been tagged appropriately. These image links have not been tagged, so Google and the other search engines do not understand that these links are labeled; Logical Corridor/Hub, Tourism, Education, and Medical. To enhance Google’s understanding of the page, you should think about using text internal and external links, or if you use image links, make sure you tag them with relevant text.
- The internal links off the homepage do not contain the best relevant keywords. For example, in our keyword research to improve the WEDC website, we found that people frequently search for the phrase, small business assistance. Since WEDC actually provides assistance to small businesses, that phrase would be an excellent page title and the phrase would also be great as the text of a link to the small business assistance page. Other new pages should be added to the site based on that keyword research. As you plan changes to your website, you should start with keyword research to find out the phrases that your customers are actually using to find your products and services.
- The readability and appearance of the homepage could be improved if the same font size were used throughout the text section in the middle of the page. For some reason, the sentence at the bottom of the screenshot is in a much smaller font than the rest of the page.
Please pass this information to your friends using the social media buttons below, and if you have any questions about the SEO tips I’ve described, please give me a call 281-343-3284 or use the contact form to send me an email.