Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Blossom's Own SEO Success and How We Did It

Normally my blog posts are pretty, and reflect global creative trends. As the year is coming to an end, I thought I would write a post on Blossom's SEO (for those of you who don't know what this means it is Site Engine Optimisation).

Blossom has had over 11K unique visitors this month, which is an all time high, so I thought I would share some of our methods below:

Tracking Site Traffic
I use a number of tools for monitoring traffic, one of which is Google Analytics (which requires a line of code to be inserted into each page of your site) and  another is Alexa (and there are also ways to verify you are the owner of your site) . I also check the statistics through my cpanel (most hosting services offer this). These are useful for keeping track of how many visitors you have coming to your site, where they have come from, which search engines are sending traffic and which keywords are working for you in paid and "organic" (non paid) searches. It also tells you the traffic "flow" through your site (which pages people like) and which pages people don't like (exit pages). There is so much information that a site owner can get from know how this affects their business and working it.

Alexa Site Information
 When I redesigned my site at the beginning of the year, I made sure that all my file names contained my keywords, that all the image files had effective "alt" tags, that all my pages had the correct meta descriptions and keywords. These keywords are also repeated in the text of the page, the alt tags of the images, as well as the names of the html files. As a branding expert I cannot emphasise the value of repetition both in code, on the page and visually.

CSS Galleries
One of the key ways that traffic comes to me if that because my site is pretty is is displayed on a number of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) galleries that showcase examples of well designed and coded websites. Examples of this include:
http://www.freecssshowcase.com/web-design/companies/www-blossomgraphicdesign-com/
http://www.cssmix.nl/website/Blossom-Graphic-and-Web-Design.html
http://www.csselite.com/showcase/designer/blossom-graphic-design.html

There are loads of css galleries with blossom, some of which I requested, most of which I found by accident). These sites are great sources of inspiration for other designers, as well as potential clients and most importantly they are higher ranking sites than mine, so by association make me look good to search engines.

Reciprocity
Once of Blossom's core valued is of mutually beneficial generosity and reciprocity - which works beautifully online. When I see a site I like I always look at who designed it, and quality sites and professional design studios always put a link/credit on the footer of a site. There are some instances when it is not appropriate, but generally if I get a credit I will put a link on my site to my client site, and generally, since they are new sites, this helps my client's ranking. Its a "win/win" and one of the values for which Blossom stands.


Twitter
Twitter is one of my main sources of traffic, so I keep tweeting (generally from ym phone after hours), tweeting thoughts, inspiration, attitudes, social comment, all of which are inline with Blossom's goals and values (which are also mine). I don't sell my site on Twitter, although sometimes I post links to new work or blog posts, for the interest of other designers, clients and interested followers. I also have Twitter linked to my Facebook page for Blossom, so when I add a page update on Facebook, it also tweets.

Twitter is so instant and intimate, that I tend to be more "me", and it truly gives an insight into my life and business. Other women seem interested and inspired so I keep it up. It is also so important to be genuine, although negative rants are never good. I have sometime made snide comments, but end up deleting them later in embarrassment. They don't server anyone well.

Facebook Page
Being a more visual social networking medium, I post loves, lust-haves and trends, as well as new work and company updates on Facebook. Facebook also send a lot of traffic to my main site, so it has a good ROI. Clients send me messages, testimonials and I help promote their businesses as well. Facebook as great for posting new work and links because people can see what the link is through the thumbnail.

Blogging
I like to show my taste in my blog, which is separate from my actual work, so that people can see wht drives me, what motivates me, what I love, and hopefully inspired other designers and style mavens. People are curious about their potential designer, so this gives an insight into my style and taste.

A Gorgeous Site
Lastly, I like to think that I know my target market. I try to keep my site up to date with beautiful boutique graphic and web design, that is fashion forward, and reflects my particular style. I change the typography constantly, refine each page's content a lot, add images, and mostly keep it fresh and unique.