Web search and marketing through search engines have become important aspects in promoting a business. When you consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO) throughout your website development process, you have a greater chance of achieving a higher placement on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Did you know more than 80% of click-through traffic comes from a search results first page?
You may be asking yourself, what is Search Engine Optimization anyway? Well, SEO is the process of taking a website’s pages and writing them in a way they can be easily interpreted by humans, as well as search engines. By applying simple SEO strategies to your web pages, you can drastically improve your site’s interactions with users and search engines. To achieve this goal, you must:
- Find the right keywords
- Provide quality and unique content
- Optimize your website content
- Get quality backlinks
Find the right keywords
Before you start optimizing your content, you should spend some time finding and researching keywords. Google’s Keyword Planner is a free tool provided by Google that you can use to find keywords and retrieve search data for them.
Provide quality and unique content
Good quality and unique content is the key to a good search engine ranking. While there are many other considerations, content remains to be the most important factor. Before you begin writing, ask yourself:
- Who is my target audience?
- What information are they looking for?
- What can I write to attract them?
Once you know who your audience is and what they are looking for, writing content becomes easier. Of course, writing is not for everyone. If you don’t have the time or desire to come up with content yourself, you can hire a professional to do the job for you. If you do a quick Google search, you will find many websites that provide content writing services.
Optimize your website content
It is good SEO practice to add a title tag, meta tags and header tags to all of your web pages. You should Include your primary keywords between each of these tags.
The title tag is one of the most important SEO elements on a page and should be descriptive and accurate. The tag is typically visible in two places:
- The title bar of the web browser
- The search engine results page
You can quickly capture your reader’s attention with a good title. Be descriptive and limit the tag length to a maximum of 60 characters to try to prevent search engines from truncating your title. A code example is shown below.
<head> <title>Your descriptive page title goes here.</title> </head>
Meta description tag
Meta description tags are important to a search engine results page (SERP). This tag is visible beneath the title and should accurately summarize on the type of content found on the page. Limit the description tag to a maximum of 160 characters. A code example is shown below.
<head> <meta name="description" content ="You meta description goes here."> </head>
Header tags are used to structure your content and identify the important sections of a webpage. There are six header tags, they are:
<h1>Header 1</h1> // Identifies the most important section <h2>Header 2</h2> <h3>Header 3</h3> <h4>Header 4</h4> <h5>Header 5</h5> <h6>Header 6</h6> // Identifies the least important section
All images should contain an alt tag. If for any reason an image cannot be displayed, the alt text will appear in its place. A code example is shown below.
<img src="your-image.gif" alt="A short description of the image" />
All links should have descriptive anchor text. If you are creating a link to a site that sells website optimization books, you would use “Website Optimization Books” as your anchor text. A code example is shown below.
<a href="http://www.yourwebsite.com" title="Description of link">Description of link</a>
Get Quality Backlinks
An important part of SEO is getting backlinks, which are links from other websites that direct back to your site. Each backlink you have is considered a vote for your site. The more quality backlinks you get, the more popular your site appears to search engines. Although, not all links are treated equally. The links that will help you improve your ranking will be from high ranked and relevant sites.