SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
The idea behind it is simple. Search Engines create algorithms that will lead the user to the most relevant information for whatever they searching for. In other words you ask for information and they deliver the best answers they can find. They do this by scouring the web reading each site with “spiders” that rank each site according to the criteria the user has searched for.
So on to the next question. How does SEO help me?
Most business don’t use SEO practices. If your website is set up correctly, it helps you by ranking higher than the competition, leading potential clients to your website and more money into your pocket.
There are literally hundreds of factors that go into creating successful SEO. We will go over a few of the main practices that will make a huge difference in how your site ranks.
- Page Titles – When a search is created by the user search engines use “key words” that the spiders will go out and look for. One of the first things a spider will read on your website is your page title. Title your pages with “key words” a potential client might be searching for. Let’s say you own a real estate company that is located in Hampton Roads and you are building an about page for your company. If you just title your page “About Us” that doesn’t give a search engine much to work with. If you title your page “About ABC Real Estate – Hampton Roads Real Estate Experts” that tells the search in greater detail what the page contains and increases your SEO rank dramatically.
- Header Tags – A header is text on your page that has been designated by a tag you use on the back end. They are normally at the beginning of different sections of a page. They are controlled by a hierarchy. They start with H1 and usually go down no father than H6. The page title is usually the H1 and subsequent sections go down the hierarchy to H2, so on and so forth. When adding headers be sure to use keywords that a potential client would be searching for.
- Keywords in Content – We have talked about keywords with last 2 practices. Now its time to put them into the text of the page. First and foremost remember when writing that you are putting the content up to inform your users. Make sure the text is readable and relevant using key words to create a higher SEO ranking. Google recommends “Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.”
- Image Title & Alt Tags – When you a put an image on your site a search engine can’t visibly see what the image is or how it relates to your content. To help the search engine out you add what is called an alt tag and a title. The title is a brief description of what the image is and the alt tag is a more detailed description of that same image. This let’s search engines know that your images match your content. Make sure to use keywords in both the title and the alt tag.
- Fresh Content – It is very important to be updating your site and adding new content as much as possible. That is why blogging is such a good idea. You will more than likely not be changing your “Services” or “About Us” page often but you can be constantly adding blog post to your website. This way your site is always growing and you are adding more and more relevant key word laden content attracting better SEO rankings and giving your potential clients useful information.