Wikepedia defines SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as:
The process of improving ranking in search engine results
That’s a pretty simple definition but it’s very accurate. What I’m sure you’re asking, however, is what is that process? What’s involved with SEO? How do you SEO a website? The following is a quick dive into SEO and how it relates to your small business. There are essentially 3 categories to Search Engine Optimizing a website. We like to define those as Keyword Research, Web Site Optimization, and Link Building.
This is the first part to optimizing your website, which most companies overlook. Research needs to be completed to find out what keywords are relevant to your company, which keywords have the highest search values, and what niche keywords with low competition and good search volume can be found. Researching keywords is done with various tools including Google AdWords keyword research tool. This tool in addition to others can be used to compile all of your keywords. There is then the arduous task of reviewing all keywords, finding related keywords, and deciding on the final keywords to focus on.
Web Site Optimization
Once you have your keywords, you can start to optimize your website. There are many aspects to optimizing your website and while not one activity will by itself significantly increase your rankings, the combination of all activities can create a dramatic effect. One thing to remember with optimization is that too much of a good thing can be bad. If you partake in “keyword stuffing” or putting as many keywords as you can into title tags, keywords, content, and everywhere else, Google and other search engines will know about it. Below is a sample of SEO activities:
Title Tag and Description Tags
The title displays at the top of your browser window but is also displayed on search engine results along with the description tag. This helps with optimization and click through rates on search engine results.
These are the headings of your content and labeling them with the correct tags are critical in telling search engines the main subject of the content
Adding keywords to your content (in reasonable amounts) can help increase your rankings
Search Engine Sitemap and Robots.txt
Search engine only files that tell them where to find your content and pages.
Proper internal ranking with proper anchor text can significantly increase the ranking of secondary pages
Like internal links, this can significantly increase your ranking of secondary pages
Adding keywords in the URL of your pages like naming a page /seo-detroit/ instead of page4.html will help make it relevant
Once your site is optimized, it’s time to tell Google how popular it is. We do this through building “backlinks” to your site. Backlinks are links from other sites to your site and the more good links you have, the higher you will rank. We take care to create the best links back to your site. There are various ways to create backlinks like blog commenting, soliciting relevant websites, and web 2.0 links.
I would also add in that you need to be able to measure your results. Check out my post talking about Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools to see how you can do that.
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