SEO best Practices – Our experience with search engines
As a business owner your main focus when establishing a business website is making sure that your website is user-friendly, has a great interface, looks good and meets a whole bunch of other design criteria your web design and web development team can help put together. One key item that is often overlooked is the piece that involves actually attracting users to your site and getting them to pick you vs. pages of competitor websites. In the absence of that analysis and the work that goes in to attracting user traffic you’ve missed a crucial part of website design which is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
So lets start with – What is SEO?
In a nutshell you probably don’t want to be paying out of your pocket to encourage search engines to direct user traffic to your site especially if you’re a new or small business with limited resources. Instead you want to be focusing on marketing or SEO practices that will help improve the volume and/or the quality of the user traffic that is naturally driven to your website.
This natural, unpaid direction of user traffic is referred to as “organic” search engine results and SEO basically is the process whereby you modify and enhance your website visibility within the organic search engine results to pull in as many users as possible.
SEO practices that will get you noticed by Search Engines:
Search Engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing quite frankly don’t care about how “pretty” your website is. Instead their looking for things like keywords, file names, back links and a whole bunch of other stuff that sounds pretty boring but is that extra bit that is going to drive your website success. Whether your looking at launching a new website or revamping an existing website these helpful tips are sure to bring your website seo up to speed.
1. Optimize your content with smart keyword usage
Search Engines love keywords so your aim is to include useful, relevant keywords within your content while at the same time making sure you maintain the quality, readability and usefulness of your content. A great tool that our team uses is the Google Keyword Planner. This tool lets you basically get suggestions accompanied by popularity stats etc on keywords or keyword phrases that are relevant to your product or service. Once you have your keywords you want to strategically incorporate them in to specific areas of your content while maintaining content structure and usefullness to your target audience.
2. Incorporate seo in to your title tags
Your title tag is your true seo title. This is what shows up when Google or any other search engine displays your website within it’s search engine results page.
- Your goal is lead the title tag with your main keyword, followed by a secondary keyword and then completed with your brand ex. Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | AgileWeb Inc.
- This title tag should be unique to each and every page of your website
- Try to remain within 55 characters including spaces when writing your title tag
3. Persuade your audience with your page title
You page title is the first thing a user sees once they click thru to your website. Aside from ensuring it includes your primary keyword you want to incorporate some sort of call to action in the page title. You want to entice users to stay on your website and actually read thru your content. The less people bouncing off your site and the longer a user navigates through your site the better.
4. Clean up your page URL
Your page permalink or url shouldn’t be a long run on sentence but should instead be short, concise and include your primary keyword. A lot of times website templates automatically take the page title and use that to create the url address which is not seo friendly. This can cause issues primarily because page titles are usually a full sentence and when truncated as a url it ends up looking pretty messy.
5. Know when to use a specific header tag
An H1 tag should only be used once per page and is usually reserved for your page title. Any subsequent tags would be H2 and are used to separate sections. Make sure you use the keyword phrase only once in the H1 tag to avoid overdoing keyword clutter. If your going to use H2 tags try to incorporate your primary keyword a couple of times to improve the overall keyword density of your page.
6. Focus on creating internal links
- Internally linking your content strengthens the value of your keywords and allows both users and search engines to navigate thru your website telling search engines that your website is relevant for a specific keyword
- Make sure you select good anchor text (a strong keyword) and don’t use phrases like “click here” or “read more”
7. How you name your files is more important than you think
Properly naming your files with a relevant keyword improves your websites seo. Every file ex. images should be named in a way as to properly describe them. To do this try to visualize someone who is using a screen reader to view your website. You want them to be able to read your filename and be able to understand perfectly what it is. You can always use dashes to organize filenames longer than a single word but stay away from using underscores or non-alpha-numeric characters in the filename.
8. Formulate Meta Descriptions wisely – You may never get a chance to make a second impression
Meta descriptions are the short blurb that shows up under your title tag or seo title when your website is displayed in a search engines results page. You want to make sure this description entices users to click through to your website. Make sure:
- To include your relevant keywords
- Make sure the meta description is relevent and unique to the page it is referring to
- Make the description is enticing to potential users
- Your description should remain within 160 characters including spaces
If you focus on these suggested seo tips your covering everything on page seo includes and your sure to be able pull larger volumes of user traffic on to your website. Also having a basic understanding of these points allows you to be able to have productive conversations with your web design and web development teams to implement the best seo practices for your business.