One can have the most beautiful, creative website in the world, but if it isn’t Search Engine Optimized and doesn’t have an effective ongoing SEO campaign — no one may ever see it. Very few people searching for your product or services will look past the first one or two pages of Google, Yahoo, or Bing at the search results.
If you are a business owner and want spearhead your own search engine optimization strategies, we will help you by describing the basics your website needs in order to rise to the top of the search engine results page, without professional help.
There are two parts of SEO – On Page, the website itself, and Off Page, any other internet resource.
On Page SEO
The first place to start your SEO campaign is on your own webpages. Existing content needs to be Search Engine Optimized.
Following are four main elements of effective On Page SEO:
1. Quality Content
Quality, relevant website content is the fuel that drives your SEO strategy. More than any other feature on your website, search engines focus on the content. For the benefit of their users, search engines try to find the best and most useful content for any given set of keywords. Your audience is both the potential customer and the search engines.
Users will also recognize good content and most likely share it with friends, further spreading your brand and message at no extra cost. Try to create content that is not just pitching your products or services, but provides truly relevant and useful information to your prospects and customers to help them solve their problems.
Your website needs to be dynamic so both visitors and search engines keep coming back. New, fresh content needs to be added on a frequent basis, and you need to provide regular updates to social networks and other off page media. If you can’t write good content yourself, you need to hire a content marketing specialist or outsource the task.
Your content must be keyword optimized. Research needs to be done to find the most relevant keywords to your market, the ones that people most frequently use to search for your products or services. There are many free tools to help do this. Check out Google AdWords and Google Webmaster Tools.
The longer and more descriptive your chosen keyword is, the more targeted or narrower the results are. A short keyword produces broader results. Keywords that work are really phrases. Most of the keyword phrases you should deal with are two to five words long. For example, car dealer San Diego, CA.
Your keywords or keyword phrases should be used in a grammatically correct and natural sounding manner. It is important not to over stuff your site with the same words. Some SEO pundits say no more than 5% or some say 10%! There is no ideal. It depends on the subject of your content. As long as it sounds natural.
3. HTML Optimization
Another very important part of SEO is optimizing the website’s code. There are many things to know and do — from writing effective meta tags, tagging pictures with keywords, to telling search engines what pages to look at or not.
Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page’s content. Their main purpose is to give immediate, basic information about your site to the search engines since technically, only they can see them, but we can see them also if they appear in the search results. This is why you should add meta tags, so that you can deliver the specific message and keywords your campaign calls for.
There are several meta tags, but you only need to worry about three of them. All three are very important:
1. The Title Tag has the title of the page and other information such as the name of your company, and ideally a keyword. The most important thing is that the title of the page coincides with the contents of the page. Limit it to 60 characters with spaces if possible.
2. The Description Tag is a brief description of the contents and subject of the page, not about the whole site. Limit it to 180 characters with spaces, but ideally, no more than 160, that’s all that will show up in the search results.
3. The Keyword Tag is where you input your keywords for the page. The only reason you put keywords into the META tag area is so the search engines can see them and know what to do with your page.
Here is an example of a properly written Meta Tag used for this article:
Meta Description: Learn about the basic SEO elements that you must have to optimize your website if you want to do your own SEO. Contact PrimeView if you need help with SEO!
Meta Title: DIY Search Engine Optimization | Web Development | PrimeView
4. Anchor Links
are links on a page that brings you to a specific place on that same page. Anchor links can be incredibly useful when you want to bring a website visitor to a specific spot on your webpage.
Search engines love to see links in the content to other pages on your website and to other websites. This is how the search engines “crawl” the Internet – from link to link. These links should also be keywords. Here is an example of an anchor link: 10 Ways to Build Good Quality Links
Off Page SEO – Link Building
Off Page SEO is used to develop incoming links or backlinks to your web site. Backlinks are links from other people and websites to the site being optimized. Incoming links are one of the ways a page is ranked. It is just a popularity contest. The more incoming links you have, the higher your rank will be.
This is one of the most work-intensive and most important part of an internet marketing campaign. Without incoming links to your page from quality sites with a good rank, your site will not rank well.
There are many methods to develop backlinks, but some of the main ones are:
- Social Media
- Article Submissions
- Press Releases
- Video submissions like to You Tube
These are some of the basic elements of an effective SEO campaign. The subject needs to delve into more deeply to maximize the process of Search Engine Optimization. Stay tuned for more where we will discuss Indexing, Social Media Optimization, Local Search Optimization, Content Marketing, Reputation Management and other aspects of this very necessary part of business success.
Still need help optimizing your website?
Optimizing your website for search engines can be overwhelming, but the task must be done to achieve online success. If you’re stuck or don’t know how to start your SEO project, PrimeView can help your website reach a wider audience by optimizing your online presence. Call us today at 480-970-4688 to request a free proposal.