The Do’s And Don’ts Of SEO

dos dont's seo best practices

Search engines are constantly evolving, which means optimizing for them is always in a state of flux. This article amounts to a best practices guide to SEO for 2018. Read on for our SEO Do’s and Don’ts, and be on your way to glorious SERP performance.


Test Your Search Performance On Multiple Devices

Searchers use many different devices to find our websites, and different browsers on different devices can yield different results. Each business will have it’s own distribution of referrals, but it’s always a good idea to check your search performance for your top keywords on multiple devices to make sure devoted users of specific devices aren’t missing out on your content.

Optimize For Your Target Market

“Know your target market,” an oldie, but a goodie. Tailor your content and pick your keywords with your ideal target market in mind. Each demographic has characteristics that we need to be aware of as marketers. If you’re going after the college crowd, make sure your content and keywords are relevant to what’s on the typical student’s radar. Beyond the subject matter, do your homework so you can tap into the phraseology, language, and style of content that your target audience favors.

Strive For Content With Quality Editorial And Quality Structure

Quality content can mean a few different things. First, it definitely helps if your content is well-written, and capably edited. Finding an engaging tone can be even more important, still. Structure is another highly visible aspect of your content that can make or break you. For example, if your target market likes list-icles or infographics, then giving them the type of content they want can be just as important as how well it’s written. Put equal thought into all of the elements that make for quality content.

Craft A Frequently Asked Questions Page (FAQ)

If you have a business, then people probably ask you questions about it from time to time. Any question about your industry that you are sick of being asked in real life is probably the right kind of thing to provide on your FAQ page. These kinds of insights, basic as they might seem to the business owner, are the kinds of things that can build credibility and a sense of engagement in your web visitors. If you’re looking to take your FAQ game to the next level, try weaving your most important keywords into your questions and answers. Even if nobody’s actually asking these questions, FAQs can be the perfect devices for presenting your company’s unique qualities.

Optimize For SERP Feature Friendiness

Rich Snippets, Knowledge Panels, Featured Snippets, Answer Boxes; the list of features that a given SERP may incorporate is long. Optimizing various pieces of content throughout your site for an appropriate SERP feature can give you a boost to be displayed more prominently. Here is a quick guide that can get you started.

Link Your Social Efforts To Your Website

At Jemully, we treat a client’s website as the primary hub of their digital presence. Social media is also extremely important, but it should serve the purpose of promoting your website, which is the best platform for fully leveraging your brand. Another way to think about a website is like a city, which makes various social sites the outlying smaller towns and suburbs. The city will always have the most roads leading in and out. The smaller towns will have some, but these roads ultimately lead to the city. The “roads in and out” concept, or links, is an indicator of the size and influence of a site. Ensuring that your website is your greatest presence, and directing searchers to it from other platforms will increase the profile and visibility of your site over time.

Know Your SEO Tools

There are a lot of great free SEO tools out there. They can help you up your game whether you are a neophyte or a seasoned pro. I’ve been writing about SEO for a few years now, and hadn’t even heard of these, but they’re worth checking out for those needing a boost.

Hone Your PR Game

This one takes some expertise, but is well worth doing if you can manage it. Searchers do not always want branded content, but companies (or experts, preferably) can insert themselves into a farther reaching context through public relations initiatives. Is there a trend sweeping your industry? Is there regional, national, or even global issue that pertains to your expertise? Finding a way to put your company in a larger context, and even juxtaposing your comments with those of other recognizable experts, is a neat way to puff up your brand in a way that is not strictly self-serving. This tip is more of an advanced content marketing strategy than an SEO hack, but if done well, it can put you in front of more eyes.


Neglect Your Metadata

Headings. Alt tags. Custom URLs. Snippets. All the little things we pay attention to when entering content into our CMS that generally go unseen by the end-readers. Unseen by them, maybe, but most definitely seen by Google (or your search engine of choice). Mind your metadata.

Forget About Voice Search

As searchers continue to use voice commands on their phones, and as smart speakers find their way into a greater number of households, voice search is becoming less of a novelty, and more of the way things are done. Anecdotal evidence suggests that younger audiences, ones who have grown up with voice-tech, are using more naturalistic and conversational search terms. Keep this trend in mind, and as always, know your target market when optimizing.

Test queries and keywords using as many different technologies as you have access to. Keeping an eye on the differing results from device to device will lend additional perspective. And remember:

  • Google Home uses Google data
  • Siri uses Bing data
  • Alexa uses Bing and Amazon data

Only Target The Keywords You Aspire To

Sure, every company wants to be at the top of their search-engine results page (SERP), but that’s not always realistic. The more competitive your field, the harder it is to conquer the search results. If you are struggling, it’s OK! Start smaller by making sure you at least own the SERPs for keywords that are specifically relevant to your individual company. Make sure you dominate searches for your company name, and maybe even searches for your industry plus your city. Start small, carve out your niche, and with strong content marketing, you can make a dent in the broader SERPS in time.

Create A Keyword-Optimized Page And Call It A Day

While each page on your site should be optimized for its own unique keyword, one page is not generally going to be enough for Google to create a strong association between your site and that word. It sounds like a catch-22, but think about it like this: you must convince Google that your site is relevant to a particular keyword. A single content-rich page devoted to a key word is a nice start, but if you only mention that keyword on that one page, then that’s not going to be enough to convince Google. Think of a keyword-devoted page as that keyword’s house. That keyword is still going to want to hang out with other keywords. Each keyword has its own “house,” but that doesn’t mean they can’t visit another keyword’s house. Intermingling a keyword throughout your site will help demonstrate that the keyword in question is of integral value to the site, and vice versa. Make sure all of your best keywords have their own house, but let them visit their friends too.

Forget That Different SERPs Have Different Quirks

Some highly contested SERPs feature paid ads, others don’t. Some have a fancy knowledge panel on the right hand side. Some have space reserved for e-shopping listings. There are many variations, and recognizing the features that pop up on your desired SERPs can lend insight into the type of content that can improve your standing, and maybe even reveal some opportunities.

Let Your Page Load Time Creep Too High

“Three seconds or bust!” is a guideline offered by many SEO websites as a maximum page load time. If you page takes longer than three seconds to load, it might seriously hinder your SERP performance. Whether it is a major ranking factor for Google searches or not, think of it as a facet of UX (user experience). Slower sites are going to provide a less satisfying experience to searchers, which is something that Google ultimately does respond to. There are plenty of free tools (here is one from Google), so try a few of them out to be sure that you’re pages aren’t loading too slowly.

Scoff At Mobile-Friendliness

We’ve written several pieces about the importance of optimizing for mobile. You may read them here. Pertaining specifically to search, SERPs had, in the past, been organized and delivered based on the device used by the searcher. Mobile users would see results that were optimized for mobile, while desktop users would potentially see a less-filtered SERP. For more than a year, Google has switched to mobile-first indexing for ALL devices. Sites not optimized for mobile are still indexed, but if there is a mobile version of a site, then that is the one indexed. It’s just another indication of how search engine queries are handled. Mobile is important. It should be considered in all website matters.

Thanks to a number of great sources of SEO news and content including: Chief Content Officer, Search Engine Land.

Don’t Forget The “Google Factor” In Your Website Budget

the google factor jemully media

When an inquiry is made as to how much a website and online marketing will cost, a business owner should understand what we call the “Google factor.” Those who don’t understand the role Google plays in their marketing efforts are at risk of losing money from poor sales.

Google looks at the content of the website from a consumer’s perspective. When a consumer types a word or phrase into Google’s search bar, Google’s goal is to provide a list of webpages that will most likely answer the consumer’s exact question.

How do you get your website to be on that results list Google serves up to answer searcher inquiries? The process begins with your website design. Then the process continues with your website’s copy, and your full suite of marketing efforts.

1 – Design (Mobile) – Your website needs to be mobile compliant.

2 – Design (Secure) – Your website needs to have a secure certificate. Google prefers the site to be “https” instead of “http.”

3 – Keywords – The words on your website should be written to incorporate your most important keywords and phrases. As the business owner, it is wise to come up with a list of the words and phrases that people use to search for your products and services. These words should be woven in to the page titles, headlines, and body copy of the site, as well as meta tags and descriptions. Using Google Analytics on your site is a good way to supplement your brainstorming.

4 – Dynamic Content – Google is less fond of static sites and favors websites that have dynamic (regular, fresh, changing) content. Google watches your site to see if fresh content is added that could answer consumers’ questions.

5 – Social – Google watches social media to see if people are talking about your website content and sharing information obtained from your site. Google even monitors how many links are on the web that drive people back to your site.

It is our job to help you understand how the Google factor can impact your business and drive traffic, or slow down traffic to your website.

As part of our process of working with clients, we educate business owners about which additional features they may need to consider for their sites. We believe it is important to understand how Google will view their website and their content because Google’s opinion of their website will determine how frequently their site is displayed as a result of a search query.

Your website needs to satisfy Google so you ultimately satisfy the needs of your potential customers.

Give us a shout and we can chat about how to make your site more Google-friendly.

What Does It Really Take To Get Your Website Online? (Infographic)

Website related definitions.

We really need to get a new website.

You’ve known it for a while and you’ve finally said it out loud. “We need to get a new website.” By now you’ve looked around online and found that shopping for a website is not as easy as shopping on The reason for that is likely that there is tech terminology to translate and a whole gaggle of goodies and gadgets to choose from. It is difficult to determine what you truly need to get that site up and running. The following list of definitions will help you understand what some of the web development jargon means. Each of these elements plays a different part in actually getting your website on the Internet, and out there where potential customers can find it.

Website Related Definitions


The unique name of your company’s website. The domain name is the web address you buy. It is the web address that visitors will type into the address bar to get to your website. Example:


Web hosting is renting space on a computer (called a server) that makes your website accessible on the Internet.

Mobile Design

A style of web development that is more optimal than automated mobile responsiveness. Mobile design requires coding for certain design elements on the website so they will be displayed properly on a mobile device, which will have a smaller screen that your typical desktop or laptop.

Mobile Responsive

Web development that automatically changes to fit the device you’re reading it on. Typically, there have been four general screen sizes: the widescreen desktop monitor, the laptop, the tablet, and the phone.

Secure Certificate

A secure certificate on a website changes the “http” to “https.” This certificate is called an “SSL” (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. It is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts (scrambles) information from the web server to a visitor’s browser.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

The process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

Website Content Writing

The words and messages written for static pages of a website using key words and phrases to attract a specific target audience to perform a specific marketing goal.

Website Design

Web design is about creating how the website will look. Web design includes the determining the site’s layout, color scheme, typography, graphic elements, and imagery.

Website Development

Is taking the web design and bringing it to life, giving the website functionality through HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and other programming.

Website Maintenance

  • Security UpdatesSecurity updates and monitoring your website will help to patch possibles openings where hackers could gain access. These updates happen in the background while your site is live. An occasional update will affect other areas of the site. A maintenance package with a professional will keep all the elements of your website safe, up-to-date, and functioning.
  • BackupsA website maintenance package includes regular backups of your site. These backups range in frequency from daily to weekly to monthly. It is best if your backups are kept in multiple locations. If your site gets hit by hackers, or even wiped out entirely, a good site backup keep you from having to start over from scratch and gets you back up and running in hours instead of months.

What do you really need to get your website online?

Let’s sift through the list above. Use the following chart as your guide to knowing what you’ve gotta have and what can be considered luxury.

Using the list of definitions above (plus a few optional items that are not defined above), we have divided the technical and marketing items you’ll need for your company website into three categories.

Website Must-Haves

First, there are the things you absolutely, positively, without a doubt have to have to get your website up and running. Those things are outlined in the “Must-Haves” column. You may be able to do many of these yourself, or you may have to hire someone to do them for you. Either way, you must have these items in some form.

Website Really-Needs

Then, there are some things that you really better have if you want your new website to be visited by actual people. These are listed in the center column labeled as “Really-Needs.” They ought to be labeled the “Shoulds” because you should have the things you “really need,” but still, you can build a website without them (it’s just not recommended).

Let me explain and clear the fog of that last statement. With a website, it is not true that “if you build it, they will come.”  Unfortunately, websites don’t work that way. If you build a website, it doesn’t mean that you will have traffic and customers to your site. So, pay attention to the middle column. This is where you incorporate some of the key things that will help people find your website.

Website Nice Features

Finally, we added a column and listed some optional website features that are not in the definitions list above. You will want to consider adding some of these features because they add informative pages and elements to your website so your customers can understand all the great things you have to offer them and how you can solve their problems. So, give some consideration to the items in this category, and whether they might help you to better represent your company online.

If we can help you sort through the details, give us a shout. Every day we help businesses look at this list and make the right decisions for their companies’ websites. (Click on the image below to enlarge it.)

Website Must Haves, Really-Needs, and Nice Features: An Infographic

website must-haves how to get your website online

Why SEO And Content Marketing Are Much The Same Thing

SEO and Content Marketing Pie

Nearly three decades into the game, SEO is now practically synonymous with content marketing.

The trick of ranking atop Google’s results pages has been reduced to a few simple truths: size, content, and targeting. Search engines will no longer bend to our wills; we must bend over backwards for search engine users.

In the early days of the Internet, search engine optimization (SEO) resembled the Wild West. Outlaws resorted to all manner of nefarious tactics to improve their search ranking and visibility. Such tactics included keyword stuffing, bait-and-switch, and other “black hat” methods that would be considered spam today. These practices have been rooted out in the name of reader service. They simply don’t work anymore—the loopholes have been closed. The logic behind Google and other engines closing these loopholes is simple: provide a better user experience.

Remember: Google, and the concept of SEO itself, does not revolve around who ranks at the top. It’s all about granting ease of access to the content that best serves readers. It’s an end-user product rather than a marketing platform, and thinking in these terms is helpful when evaluating the content we publish.

Internet users scouring various search engines for answers know what they’re looking for. Sometimes it takes a few searches, but they know it when they see it. Users don’t want pages that use metadata to misrepresent what the content is actually about, and they definitely do not want spam. The better results a search engine like Google can provide its users, the more likely they are to use Google the next time. Rendering dishonest SEO practices obsolete is simply a part of the natural evolution of a search engine. “Better search results” precludes weaker or misrepresented web content.

The “outlaws of Internets past” held that SEO was all just a game. One could simply work the system in place at the time and reap huge rewards. The game has changed. With Google effectively acting as a world power now, there is no more latitude for playing around. Getting to the top of the first page for high-competition keywords is not a matter of paying your way to the top (that’s what Google AdWords is for), nor is it something that can be attained through savvy trickery. The game is now entirely above the table, rather than below it. The only way to sneak an ace up your sleeve is to be a huge brand or content farm.

And for the rest of us with average-sized websites and strictly regional brand awareness? We can’t all be Internet giants, but we can become elite at integrating our marketing communications and expertly targeting our specific niches.

The SEO Pie

It helps to think of your SEO efforts as working in concert with the rest of your digital marketing efforts. While trickery is not a valid SEO method anymore, on-page optimization is only one slice of your SEO Pie. On-page is still important, but without an overarching strategy encompassing your web content, social media, advertising, etc., you are only working with a small portion of the pie and should adjust your expectations accordingly.

The SEO Pie - Jemully Media

As marketers, strategy and goal-setting are so vital to what we do. Remember, goal-setting is not as simple as “sales.” Marketing campaigns can raise brand awareness, educate the public, entertain, and lead to many different calls-to-action. Without a specific set of goals, it’s easy to fall into the trap of repeating yourself over and over. Instead, try to design your efforts strategically and with specific goals in mind. The difference is that goals represent a finish line, but selling is never finished. While “sales” and “success” can often look like the same thing, it is important to delineate the two.

It’s difficult to have major SEO success without orchestrating all of your digital marketing efforts around it. First things first; you need an overarching digital strategy. Next, you can’t be worried about SEO unless you have a website, preferably one meeting modern criteria such as mobile-friendliness. Tailoring your web content to your audience using appropriate landing pages and a company blog comes next. Don’t forget about links! Building a strong portfolio of inbound links through social media and email marketing are oft-forgotten ingredients of SEO.

Do you use Google AdWords or Facebook Ads? They may not be traditional forms of SEO, but they regularly deliver traffic to your site’s landing pages. Landing pages work best when they are built and targeted with skill and intent. The better your most important landing pages are, the better your SEO will be.

SEO And Content Marketing

Speaking of landing pages, they are typically your interior pages, containing your meatiest content. Knowing your business’s most valuable long-tail keywords (the three-or-four-plus-word queries that tend to bring people to your landing pages) is emerging as the best way to own your niche, and become a champion targeter. A sound SEO strategy should include building at least one well-written and optimized page tailored toward every long-tail phrase that is important to your business. If you don’t know what those long-tail keywords and phrases are, then spend a some time getting to know your web visitors. Get to know your niche!

In today’s SEO landscape, questions demand not just answers but relevant answers. This means there is now a great deal of overlap between relevance, content marketing, and SEO.

How many pieces of your SEO pie are you using? We want to know!

Using Long-Tail Keywords In Your Web Content

how long-tail keywords help your SEO

Long-Tail Keywords (LTKs) can be your secret SEO weapon for attracting highly specific and actionable traffic.

As anyone not privy to Google’s ever-evolving search engine crawling algorithm can (and should) tell you, SEO (search engine optimization) is a long-term commitment and the process is never finished. Text-based content, meta descriptions, image descriptions, headings, URLs, links… there are an awful lot of factors and knowing the list is an essential part of the uphill battle. Here, we are focusing on one specific and unheralded element of SEO: The Long-Tail Keyword.

But first…


While they are not officially designated like the items listed above, keywords woven throughout your site, and the relevance and richness they lend your content, are ultimately the most important factor in SEO. Search engines (Google) seek to find the results that best match a Googler’s inquiry. Google is really good at finding the best results. That’s why it’s so popular. The best results (websites) are those best able to demonstrate to Google’s crawling non-human bots that they have the best and most relevant content. So basically, if you want to show up on the results page when someone searches for “shoes,” your website better be all about shoes, or at least have a lot of shoe-related content.

Over the years, there have been loopholes and cheats that enterprising webmasters have found to artificially boost their SEO. For example; cramming an unnatural amount of keywords into a page, or using trendy keywords in content that had otherwise nothing to do with those particular trends. These practices and many others are always snuffed out by Google’s crawlers, which are constantly improving because—you guessed it—negating shady practices ultimately helps yield better search results to Googlers. Again, Google is very good at this, which is why Google is far and away the top search engine, owning an estimated 70% of the global search engine market.Continue reading

SURVEY – Find out how Small Businesses in West Texas market themselves

west texas small business marketing survey

How do you market your company? Do you know how other businesses in your area market themselves? Take Jemully’s West Texas Small Business Survey and learn about the marketing practices of peer companies.

Survey Takes About 4 Minutes To Complete

The purpose of this survey is to provide a snapshot of the marketing practices of small-to-medium sized businesses in West Texas. This survey will provide participants an opportunity to think critically about their own business, and a chance to measure themselves against fellow and neighboring businesses in West Texas. For the best possible results, please answer this survey honestly and accurately.Continue reading

Origins of Marketing Terms (Infographic)

In the last few years, history has been made. Words like selfie, selfie stick, twerk, derp and bae have all been added to the dictionary. It’s not surprising to hear something new everyday. Despite the ever-evolving lingo, there are a few marketing terms that seem to not be going anywhere anytime soon.

Have you ever stopped and wondered where some of these common words come from? No need to brush up on your marketing etymology to find out–we’ve decoded 6 frequently used marketing terms for you ourselves.Continue reading

10 SEO Techniques (You Needed Yesterday)

10 SEO techniques (you needed yesterday)

I see you working incredibly hard to keep your social media updated and to have the most beautiful website. How come you still aren’t seeing any major results? Sadly, if you’re not steadily improving your SEO (Search engine optimization), it could all be for nothing.

When people search for a company like yours in their browser, you need to be one of those first results. Otherwise, your website will be greatly overlooked.  Employing SEO techniques is one of the most powerful tools any and every business can use to increase web trafficContinue reading

Consequences for Ignoring Mobile Web Design

Mobile Web Design

We knew it would come–the time when mobile web design would take over. At the beginning of the year we predicted mobile 1st to be a top 2015 website design trend, and with recent changes by Google, it is surpassing trend status and quickly becoming a necessity. If your business already has a mobile web design, you may be ahead of the competition and your search engine ranking may have just improved a smidge. If not, your google ranking probably just took a hit.

Here’s why you need a mobile web design, the consequences for not being mobile-friendly, and how to verify if you are.

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Got Video? Jemully Media to the Rescue!

video illustration

Venom. The Dark Phoenix. Loki. Green Goblin. Magneto. Lex Luthor. The Joker.

Villains. Supervillains, even, from the comic book world. These super-powered enemies are easier to spot than our nemeses in the business world. Since we’re not on the watch for Doctor Doom, what should small businesses watch out for in 2015? Hint: it has to do with custom videos.

The real danger is that your web presence will go unnoticed. Custom videos have been a huge deal for awhile now, and they are expected to be a major trend in 2015. Why? Because they are so darn effective. Online marketing needs video as much as Batman needs Robin.

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