SEO For Dummies
How To Tackle SEO
When you enter the world of marketing there are many acronyms you must use and learn to be able to keep up. However, there is one that really stands out among the marketing world and that everyone talks about; SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. In short, this is the aspect of online marketing that decides how well your website pages will perform on search engines. SEO is normally part of a company’s overall marketing strategy and incorporates aspects such as blogging, content marketing and more.
You Need SEO For Dummies
The first thing search engines will take into account is the question that someone is searching for. This is called a search query. It tries to make the results it returns as accurate as possible, sometimes even using your gmail account, or location to determine the best information to return. Search engines can even recognize what type of device you are searching on to make sure they return the best results for your current device.
SEO is important for a company’s success because it helps generate more traffic to your site. If searchers find your page in their search and find what they are looking for, visitors are more likely to remember you when they move into the decision phase. On the other side, if searchers can’t find your page in a web search, then you are missing out on valuable inbound prospects.
SEO Strategy First
One of the first things that you need to do is implement a solid SEO strategy to build upon. You can do this with tools like Google Analytics, Google AdWords or Bing Ads. With a solid SEO strategy, accessible sitemaps, and a well laid out website, it will be easy for Google to crawl your website and return the best results for the searchers. In order to make sure your site is optimized for crawling, run a technical SEO audit on your sites to render a list of issues that need to be fixed to go by best SEO practices. Some examples of good sites to use are SEOQuake and Botify.
Should You Use ‘www’?
After optimizing your website with an SEO tool, you must then make sure you have decided if your domain will contain the infamous ‘www’ or not. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is how search engines view your website and determine how a person can find your website. You have to choose one way or the other because this could cause your website to be viewed as two separate sites, which will lower your rankings and quality score.
Next, you will need to do keyword research. Keywords play a vital role in your SEO. This is how you make your website stand out. You should choose keywords based on your target audience and what your personas are likely looking for when scanning search results. It isn’t as easy to come up with an extensive list of these words as you’d think, but to help you there are many tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Wordstream.
When it comes to your website, are users able to navigate smoothly and quickly through the pages? Navigation is a big part of SEO success. Not only for the sake of the customers, but for the sake of search engines as well. Search engines needs to be able to find clear connections between your links and pages.
In order to best achieve this goal, you should implement a Universal navigation. It is easiest to do this by identifying what search terms are used when on your site, what your top exit pages are, and finding out the reason people chose to visit your site. It is best then to divide your topics into useful categories by using the keywords you came up with earlier. Make sure these categories have useful names so searchers will know where to go on your website. Then use Universal navigation for your site and keep things simple. It is important to keep the Universal navigation simple so search engines will be able to read them and bring searchers to the correct place. An example of Universal navigation would be using basic HTML that search engines can read easily or adding filters to pages that have a lot of information/products.
Content is King
Once people have found your page on a search engine, and clicked through to your page the next thing they are going to run into will be on-page content. This is where you implement keywords sparingly and focus more on creating high-quality and useful verbiage to capture the reader’s attention. A good rule to use when creating the content for your page is to focus on one main keyword or phrase throughout your page. Additionally, all of your content should be cohesive across your pages as far as structure goes with headings and copy.
Links From Trusted Sources
Once you have great content, it is time to build up your credibility. Before search engines could use your location to push you the best content, they would use links. For example, if a highly trusted, well-known website links to your page in their blog post, then your street cred goes way up, and search engines will be more likely to return your results when people are searching for your keywords. Search engines want to make sure they are returning quality, trusted websites so if yours fits this bill, your website will most likely been seen more often.
Do You Have Valuable Meta Descriptions?
Now that your site is up and running on the front end, there is still backend work to do. When thinking about meta tags you have to think as if you are the search engine. When you are deciding which link to click on – your are choosing based on that sites meta description. That is why this short string of words are so important. You have a few short words to persuade the searcher to click on your link rather than the next. Meta descriptions should be no longer than 150 characters and include keywords or keyword phrases.
Another part of the backend work and one of the more difficult parts of SEO can be the coding aspect. Coding is a job you should leave to the professionals, but there is one part you must understand, and that’s the robots.txt.
A robots.txt file gives instructions to web robots about the pages the website owner doesn’t wish to be ‘crawled’. For example, if you did not want your images to show up on search engines, you would block your images using a robots.txt file. This file is basically a list of instructions for search engines. They will ‘crawl’ this file before returning results for your website.
These instructions will help the search engines to understand which pages they are allowed to visit and save to the search engine results. You do not have to add robots.txt to your entire site, it is possible to include certain parts and leave out others by the type of robots.txt you input. All in all, this file is to help search engines crawl your websites faster when they are trying to return results.
Stay Up To Date
As we all know, the world of search and marketing is ever changing so we will never know the next turn it will take. With that being said, search marketing as a whole is going to need to continue to be a priority for the companies that want to stay relevant and competitive on the internet. The whole purpose of SEO is to help websites compete for the attention of searchers. Those with the knowledge and experience in SEO to draw in those searchers and improve their online experience will continue to grow their SEO, website traffic and visibility.
Ready to start your site optimization? Contact us today and we can help you get started.
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