What’s SEO? Search engine optimization is the process of making sure that your site is understood by, and can benefit from the search engines such as Google and Bing.
But that’s not all. Another benefit is that the things that make your site play nicely with the search engines also make it work better for your human visitors.
Search engines are important, because most people find new sites through searching. (Others find them through casual browsing, following links, and social networking.)
SEO basicallly boils down to two things:
1. On-page SEO
On-page SEO deals with elements which are found on your website’s pages. They fall into two categories; those which are visible on the page, and those which are not:
Visible elements include (but are not limited to):
- The text on your page. Is it well-written and compelling? Does it include words which describe what the page is about?
- The headings on your page. H1, H2 and H3 headings to divide sections of your page is useful to your readers, and also helps the search engines identify the pages’s major themes.
- The links from one page to another (“internal links”), the internal link text, and the site’s navigation structure.
- URLs. Using keywords relating to your page in the URL can be beneficial.
- Alt text used with images.
- Is your content fresh? Do you often update your website?
- Avoid duplicate content. The content on each page should be unique. Your homepage should not be available both at www.example.com and www.example.com/index.html.
- Lastly – and most importantly – content. On the web, content has always been king. Does your site have high-quality content? Google and the other search engines reward quality. And most importantly, it’s what your visitors want, and deserve.
There are also some behind-the-scenes SEO elements. Though they aren’t visible on the page itself, they are also very important.
- The page’s title. This is visible not on the page itself, but in the browser tab or at the top of the browser window. The search engines use this as a primary indicator of what your page is about, and what search terms to return it for. It’s also used as the link text in the search results.
- The META description is coded into your webpage’s HEAD. It’s used as the blurb below your link in the search results. Writing a good one will encourage people to click the link.
- The META keywords tag isn’t used by most search engines anymore, but if including it, it should be correctly configured.
- The page/site design/architecture. The way a page is coded or built can have an impact on SEO. Be sure you hire a web designer who knows how to design a site which will work well for you.
2. Off-page SEO
Off-page SEO refers to things on other websites which benefit yours – namely, links.
Links are hugely important. They’re used by search engines in various ways:
- Links are like votes. The more quality links to there are to a given page, the more worthy the SEs think it is to be listed in the search results.
- The link text (the words you click on) are used as a clue as to what your webpage is about. If the link text reads “blue widgets,” the SEs will think the page is about “blue widgets.” This will help the page get found in a search for “blue widgets.”
And, of course, links are also helpful in that people click on them. How many times have you followed a link from one site to another? Thousands, or even more.
Links are the fuel that runs the web.
Other things to consider:
- Is your site using any unethical, black-hat SEO techniques? This includes hidden text, spamming, cloaking, and sneaky redirects. Using black-hate techniques can doom your site.
- Do you make use of social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook & Digg? Social networking has the power to drive your target audience to your website.
SEO Analysis for Your Website
I offer SEO services. These include link-building, and website analysis. I will take a detailed look at your site (whether just the homepage, or multiple pages) and see what’s going on with it, and what opportunities there are to strengthen your SEO. And, I can implement these things for you. Please get in touch and I will give you a quote for the services you require.