SEO 101 Basics
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization
Back in February, we told you about the power of SEO and its ability to help you make your website more visible. So this month, for those of you that are interested in learning more about SEO and what it is, we thought we would break down the basics!
The purpose of SEO is to ensure search engines include your website in their list of search results. And of course, the higher up the page you are on the search results, the better.
Google is the key player in the search engine arena. Keep in mind that that no one knows the exact algorithm that Google uses to determine search placement. However, there are some common-sense SEO strategies you can take to improve your overall search rankings:
- Keywords are vital to your SEO success. What is a keyword in the context of SEO? Techopedia defines it as “a particular word or phrase that describes the contents of a Web page. Keywords are intended to act as shortcuts that sum up an entire page. Keywords form part of a Web page’s metadata and help search engines match a page to with an appropriate search query.”
- Determine what keywords people are using to find your products and services and then use those keywords in key places throughout your website, including: headers, main content, and links. (As a warning, don’t keyword spam your site; use good judgement and create valuable content for your visitors that makes sense.)
- Include keyword rich alt tags for all your images. Alt tags provide a text alternative for search engines to describe your images.
- Use keywords in your Meta Title and your Meta Description tags in the html. The Meta Title and the Meta Description is what search engines display as the title and description of a web pages content.
- Update your website content often. Google favors fresh and relevant content.
- A mobile friendly site structure is no longer optional for good SEO. Google has started moving mobile-friendly sites to the front of the line. If you don’t have a mobile friendly site, it’s a crucial time to consider redesigning your website.
- Create a positive user experience. If people are leaving your site quickly because they can’t find what they’re looking for, then you’re hurting your SEO. Google wants to list sites that people engage in and are successful in finding what they’re looking for.
- Include internal links within your website content. If you publish a new article or blog, also include a link to this new content on another page of your site; and of course use relevant keywords in your link text.
- Relevant outside links to and from your website help validate you with Google. Links to and from other websites within your same industry may help your SEO rankings. The more authority that site has (if it’s a bigger, trusted well-known site), the heavier the confidence level it triggers with Google.
- Social media links to and from your web pages is great for boosting your SEO. You can also include a social media feed in your footer or another key place on your website.
- To stand out more on the search results page, you can add images, ratings, and other helpful tidbits to your entry by adding Schema markup to your html. (Example below shows an image, rating, number of reviews, and cooking time, all pulled by Schema markups). These “extras” may catch people’s eye and generate more clicks.
SEO doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Start by taking the basic SEO steps mentioned above and then move forward from there. Your goal is to optimize your organic placement in the search engines so your customers can find you without having to pay a lot of money in paid ads.
If you need help with your SEO strategy, let us know. We have SEO experts that can help! Contact us today for a FREE consultation.
Written by Graphic Artist and Web Developer Kally Stehouwer