Xenon Marketing is a great event and experiential marketing company in the DFW area. They’ve helped market events all over the U.S. for large and small companies. Their website is designed well and is functioning well enough for what the company needs but they have found themselves running into some big SEO snags. After contacting many larger SEO companies they decided to give me a call to see what this little freelance operation had to offer. After going over the site I sat down with President Ed Zambie to discuss what I thought he needed and what I could do to help.
SEO is not as much of a “black box” as many claim it to be and there are some really straight forward actions to take on every website to ensure you have decent SEO value. These actions include having proper meta-tags, descriptive and unique title tags, good content on the page that brings up the value of the page, having a sitemap that search engines like Google can read and index pages from, and making sure you’re using best practices with your markup and things like a robot.txt.
Things you don’t want to do in an effort to bring up your SEO value include hiding text or keywords where it’s visible to the search engines but not to the readers or spam out links hoping to get traction back to your site in a negative way. There are some things you can do that might seem to work but eventually the intelligent search engines will figure you out and that’s not good.
So what did we do to help out our new friends at Xenon Marketing? We first started with one of their biggest problems; their Robots.txt file. This file lives to tell search robots, including search engines, which crawl your site what they are allowed to look at and what they are not. Not every site needs one of these and it’s not a big deal if you do not have one as most meletios robots ignore them anyways, but if you do have one it must be setup correctly. Unfortunately when you searched Xenon Marketing in google you would get a result back that said “A description for this site is not available because of the sites robots.txt” - not good. This was a pretty easy and quick fix by looking at the file and updating it with best practices. Within a day of updating this file Google was already picking up the description correctly and displaying the results in a more professional way.
Next I moved on to what’s called meta-tags and title-tags. This is code that lives right in the HTML of the website that serve special functions. The title obviously tells search engines and your browser what the title of the page is. If you look at the tabs in your favorite browser, you may notice that each website has a title living within that tab. They accomplish this by reading the title-tag of the HTML. Title tags should be unique to every page as every page serves its own purpose. They should also be descriptive enough to let people know what the page is about but not be filled with nonsense. Meta-tags also live in the HTML but consist of lots of different options, some are good and most are not needed. One that is very helpful is the meta-description. This is where you can add a brief description of the page for search engines to read. This is the text that ultimately shows up under your title in search results.
This was going good but we needed a way to track the progress and get an inside look at what Google is doing with the site. For this we turned to Google Webmasters tool. By adding a quick meta-tag to the website this tool allows you to track indexed and crawling statuses as well as many other great features.
After this we decided to add some content to the homepage. There was a lot going on, on the homepage of the website but not a lot of content for search engines to read to figure out what the site is all about. Ed was adamant that he wanted to keep the homepage clean and uncluttered so we took two small paragraphs and added them to the homepage in a way to keep with the overall design.
We were also wanting to have company highlights show up when searched in Google. This means setting up a Google Plus account and filling in all the needed information and tying that back to your website. We took care of this and pretty quickly started seeing results.
All-in-all we were both quite pleased in how quickly the work was done and how quickly Google had started indexing the pages and showing results how we were wanting them to show. I look forward to more work with this client soon but be sure to check out Xenon Marketing and give them a quick Google search to see some of the results of our SEO work.