INTERVIEW: SEO Basics for Flexible Workspace Operators

Terry Van Horne, online community and marketing manager for Telsec Business Centers and SEO Trainer at SEO Training Dojo, shares some SEO insights for flexible workspace operators to improve their website, their ranking, and their conversion rates.

The Basics

Flexible workspace operators need to always remember that it’s all about location, location, location. “A few years ago Google became hyper local, meaning that a user’s location and the operator’s location are two important parts to all workspace and office searches.” So, Terry suggests that you include your full name, address (including zip code), email contact, and phone number in all pages; he adds an extra tip by saying that “I generally put this information in the footer of the website.”

Your NAP (name, address, and phone number), however, must be consistent across the web, and it’s your responsibility to monitor that the information available in any website is accurate and up to date.

Moving on from location and contact information, Terry stresses the importance of natural sounding copy. “Search engines are becoming smarter, so don’t overdo the optimization; instead use synonyms and other phrases associated to your keywords.”

Remember to regularly add content that is relevant to your business and your visitors, and be careful of where you promote your site and 3rd party link building services. “All link building should be done with a reputable firm on excellent sites that will send traffic. If done incorrectly, link building is just as apt to sink you as to help you.”

SEO Practices to Enhance Your Website

  1. Headings, bullets, links, font type, and font color can make your site easier for users to pick up the important information. “These HTML elements add relevance to your site that boosts SEO benefits and also helps make your site more user-friendly. Truth is, website visitors don’t read the whole webpage, they scan it; and using these HTML elements can optimize the copy and also make your webpages easier to scan for the important information.”
  2. Add schema markup as it adds SEO benefits and enhances the website readability by applications.
  3. Contextual links (links in the copy) give search engines and users context to determine what a link points to. Search engines determine the most important pages and what a website is about by the links that point to them. Just remember not to overdo it.
  4. Make sure your sitemap and robots.txt are properly implemented, as these two have brought down more sites than any other SEO techniques.

The Semantic Web

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“The semantic web is not just a concept anymore; it is now being fully implemented on many sites and it’s a trend that will continue to grow. The semantic web and the technologies that come with it, like schema markup and structured data, in general provide machine readable data that is used to complete the ‘knowledgegraph’ and make up what is known as the Hummingbird update.”

“Although causation has not been established, I think the degree to which there is correlation between social activity (especially Google+) and search engine rankings is enough to warrant it. Often, it is difficult to see the ROI on social activity, but, knowing that it is correlated to higher rankings does make it more palatable to include in a promotion budget.”

Mobile SEO vs Desktop SEO

On this matter, Terry believes that it’s all about having responsive design, as this removes the need to focus on either one or the other. Still, “Google tell us that mobile queries include mobile browser-based searches and those coming from Google’s mobile search apps. Google groups tablets with desktops; the queries from desktop and mobile are about evenly split at present, but mobile is on the move up. Yet, although studies show that a site may get more mobile traffic, conversion rates are much higher from desktop devices. Which is why I put equal focus on both because chances are a user will likely use both mobile and desktop at some point or another during the process of purchasing and selection.”