As a website owner you have no doubt heard of SEO and you may even have considered responding to one of the many unsolicited emails you receive that claim to be able to improve your website’s SEO, but do you know what it’s all about? SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing or tweaking your website so that search engines such as Google and Yahoo can find your site and correctly analyze its content so it can offer your site in search results (Google has a great “How Search Works” explanation). The trick is to make your site search engine and visitor friendly. The wide range of SEO advice can be overwhelming so here are the very basics:
Technical setup: Help search engines find and analyze your site. The technical aspects of SEO include submitting a sitemap to search engines, ensuring that meta data (titles and descriptions) are filled out, having a mobile friendly site and not having slow page load times. Along with submitting site maps so that a search engine can better understand the structure of your site you can also tell advise search engines what cont or parts of your site they should not crawl (aka look at).
URLs should be “friendly” or readable; for example, instead of having a product url of website.com/category-example/catalogue1234567 you would customize that to reflect the actual product name i.e. website.com/category-example/blue-product-name. Redirects need to be put in place for any broken links which may be due to deleted pages or products.
Content: Ensure that your content is original and relevant. Search engines reward unique, on topic, content. If your content shows that you are an authority on your topic or in your industry it will help you (in combination with other aspects) rank highly in search engine results. Write content for actual people; gone are the days where it helped to repeat key search terms or words multiple times in one paragraph. Whatever you do, do not copy and paste content from around the web. When search engines pick up on this you will be penalised with low rankings.
Off site optimization: Show that you have an extended online presence. SEO isn’t all focussed on your own website. Build your online authority by keeping numerous (relevant) social media platforms up to date, ensure your Google Places listing is live and aim to create content that is shareable.
If you want to learn for about SEO, try Google’s comprehensive guide. Some aspects of SEO can be addressed with little background knowledge but others are best left to the professionals. Contact us to see how we can help you improve your organization’s’ SEO.