In basic terms, SEO (search engine optimization) is the means by which search engines and your customers find you and/or your website online.
It’s the art of getting your company or business to the top of search engines such as Google and Bing organically.
It’s the actual keywords/phrases people type into a search engine — that If your site has been optimized correctly for the specific keywords you wish to target for your business products or services — will ideally lead them to your site.
However, If your site has not been properly optimized, it’s unlikely people will find you online at all!
Google is NOT always the enemy…
What Google is trying to do is deliver the most relevant results based on people’s search queries. And it’s up to your SEO and supporting on-page content (among other factors) so that you ultimately come up at the top.
No One Can Find You Online – Why?
In the initial stages of website design and development, all too often clients have not even considered which keyword phrases they want to target for their business website. It’s such an important factor! Keyword research and SEO should be at the foundation of the development of a website — NOT an afterthought. As keywords drive customer’s searches, business owners should have an idea of relevant keywords and phrases they wish to target and the relevant on-page content to support them.
Ensuring your web pages will be found for your target keywords and supporting on-page content:
On-page SEO is specifically search optimizing ALL of the appropriate elements on EACH of your web pages and or blog posts. This includes your text content, images, headings, Title tags, link text, meta descriptions and more. Yes, it should be different from page to page. Otherwise it can be considered redundant content which search engines do not like.
- First and foremost, compile a list of keywords/phrases relevant to your business.
- Keywords must appear in the right elements on your web pages.
- Your main keywords should appear in the Title tag of your web pages.
They should be unique and relevant to EACH page.
- Use the keywords/phrase in a heading tag (H1, H2 etc) on your web page.
- Create content which contains the keywords you wish to be found on search engines. Write useful content for your site visitors – not just for search engines.
- Claim and optimize your Free Business listings. If your target audience is local customers then SEO for Local Search will be crucial.
And yes, off-page factors such as backlinks and social aspects are important, but you should focus on ensuring the on-page SEO factors of your site are in place. Also consider different configurations of your keyword phrases as this can further extend your reach and maximize your search visibility.
SEO is part of a strategy –
It’s a “marathon NOT a sprint”
Many things can affect how appealing or unappealing your site may be to search engines or customers. Poor site structure, navigation, usability, long page load times, no new content, not targeting the correct keywords/phrases are to name a few. And Google’s algorithms are constantly changing which can and do affect Organic Search results.
SEO is part of a strategy and “a function of the rest of your Online Marketing efforts”. SEO is ongoing – not a one time set-it and forget-it thing. It’s also important to monitor your site performance via Google Analytics and keep tabs on it’s “heartbeat” via Google & Bing Webmaster Tools which can provide invaluable data. Getting to the top of page one on Google is one thing. Staying there in another one entirely!!
DON’T TRY TO GAME THE SYSTEM! There are SEO Black Hat practices (the bad kind that can get you in trouble) and White Hat Best Practices which is what you want to adhere to. Don’t try to game the system!! Yes you can get banned from Google!
VIDEO: SEO Explained
Need an SEO visual? Start with this quick and easy to understand video about search engine optimization by Common Craft in collaboration with Search Engine Land. It’ll quickly give you an overview of the basics:
If you enjoyed this post, consider:
• SEO for your WordPress Website or Blog
• Maintaining Your Blog – As Part of Your Inbound Content Marketing
• Website Maintenance – The Forgotten Son
• SEO for Local Search with Local Business Listings
Written by Barbara Rogers of Future Primitive Graphics. Helping businesses grow through better design and search visibility solutions. From creating your business identity, designing and maintaining your print/digital assets to the importance of SEO for your website.
Creatively collaborating with those who genuinely want to make the world a better place with their products or services.