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Getting Your Money's Worth: SEO and Your Digital Assets

hasty-herndon
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Whether you're dealing with double-digit gains or losses, getting efficiency and maximum value from every part of your site and your brand's assets only makes good sense.

Frequent readers might remember my article last year about my adoration of Billy Mays, the TV gadget pitchman extraordinaire with the blue shirt, thick beard, and booming voice who met an untimely end.

Behind this guilty pleasure lies a begrudging admiration for not just what he accomplished, but for the $19.99 gadgets that he peddled. They do everything! They serve 50 different functions (none of which you'll need more than once). At an extremely cheap price, remember: buying an elephant on a one-dollar sale only makes sense if you need an elephant. With a money-back guarantee (which, for under $20, you'll never bother with)!

Yes, the products are laughable, but they sell because you feel you're getting your money's worth. And, of course, because Billy was awesome.

So ask yourself: Are you getting your money's worth from your site?

For much of the answer, you'll immediately think of the big, common pieces of the site, like your page templates and checkout procedures. You forked out good money for these features and want to see them earn it back in spades.

The same mindset also applies to pieces of your site that are much easier to forget, and those that you might not realize could be optimized for more search value. These are elements that make up your Web site that took just as much time and money to develop: your digital assets.

Images

This is the granddaddy of all digital assets. If you're a retail site, chances are that you paid a pretty penny for pictures of your products. Start getting them to earn back by addressing accessibility of the images at your site.

Allow engines to reach the directory they live in and offer a plain image behind any that are displayed in nifty Flash enhancers so they can be indexed. Include alt tags, and when they link on to another page, include a link title tag as well. Be sure to name them with what they are, and not some number that's more useful for filing.

Beyond that are your external strategies. Make sure to leverage your images in social media profiles, considering album accounts from Flickr to Photobucket, and any other ways to place your images externally to give them one more chance to be viewed, and one more chance to take up a SERP position in your name.

For those prepared to go deep into the rabbit hole, experiment with the metadata inside the images themselves to better associate them with branded and non-brand keywords.

Video

Many sites have video content in the form of ads, demos, and even news footage, but for one reason or another choose not to partake in video search on YouTube, now the world's second-largest search engine.

Afraid of losing control of your brand? By not participating, you've already ceded control of it to everyone else -- including your competitors.

Don't like the idea of negative comments? The cure for it is more comments, more content or, worst case scenario, just turning comments off.

Beyond YouTube, you can also utilize hundreds of general and topical video sites. You can speed up this process by opening a TubeMogul account to quickly send them out to dozens of sites at once.

Videos can be visible on your site, too. Give them each their own (search engine-reachable) home with related content surrounding them, let the engines get to the files, and submit a simple video sitemap via your robots.txt file.

PDFs and Documents

Finding yourself heavy on white papers, sales materials, press releases, or other collateral? God only knows how many hours went into developing those, so squeeze a little extra value for those by remembering that search engines are capable of crawling these, too.

Post your PDFs or similar documents at your site, and make sure they contain at least one link back to your site -- preferably using specific anchor text pointed at specific pages. As the documents are posted at other sites (or more likely, the content is scraped), your once-boring text based friends will suddenly become link building beasts while you sleep.

More with Less

With any luck, we're coming out of the times when doing more with less is the standing order of the day. Whether you're dealing with double-digit gains or losses, getting efficiency and maximum value from every part of your site and your brand's assets only makes good sense.


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