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Wed, Aug 12, 2020 3:15 PM

SEO 101

SEO 101

Everyone who has a website has heard of SEO. SEO, or search engine optimization, is all about creating content, optimizing it, and promoting it. There are different factors that play into SEO and below are some of the basic aspects. 

 

On-Page SEO

We will start with what you can do on the site also known as, on page seo. On-Page SEO is what a site says to a search engine. There are things that can be done to optimize the website's content. This can help to easily translate information to search engines and help generate traffic to your website from an organic search. 

 

Content on the website should be thorough and relevant. Naturally include the keywords you want to be found for on the site. In order to optimize your pages for keywords, you'll need to include those keywords in the text or content. There are marketing tools, paid and free, that help find what keywords are being searched and what should be included on the site. Once you decide which keywords work best for your niche, add these in the titles, descriptions, headings, alt text and image titles. The best way to prove to search engines that your site should be added to the search results is having these words in informational text about the subject. 

 

Use alt and title tags. Alt tags are used to describe an image, be very specific when using alt tags and stick to a limit fewer than 125 characters. The alt tag should provide enough detail for users and search engines to relate the image to the context of the page. Avoid starting alt text with "picture of..." or "image of..."  go right into the image's description. Use keywords in alt tags, but do so sparingly. Cramming all your keywords into every single image's alt text may do more damage than good when it comes to SEO. 

 

Title tags are the HTML element used to describe the topic of a webpage. You'll see these in the title of a search engine result page and in the top bar of the browser. Every page on your website is unique and your title tags should reflect that. Be descriptive about what is on the page and utilize your target keywords. Although these need to be descriptive, try keeping the titles under 60 characters, in doing so research suggests that you can expect about 90% of your titles to display properly. Avoid overdoing it by “keyword stuffing”, tiles should be brief but informative. Remember titles are essential in reaching the targeted audience and will help positively impact your click through rate and SEO when used correctly. 



Descriptions, or meta descriptions, are shown in search results below the title and URL. Meta descriptions can be any length, but Google generally truncates snippets 150–160 characters. It's best to keep meta descriptions long enough that they're sufficiently descriptive, so we recommend descriptions between 50–160 characters. Descriptions can help increase click-through rate and actually don't have a direct impact on rankings with Google's current algorithm. These are more for the viewers, not search engine crawlers. Use them to attract and convince searchers to click on your result.

 

Sitemap, sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL. It helps relay to the search engine what is available, when it was updated and how often it usually changes, allowing search engines to more intelligently crawl the site.

 

Internal links and URLs. It's a good idea to include keywords in your page URL if they accurately describe the page contents. This is particularly important for businesses that do a lot of blogging. There's a huge opportunity to optimize your URLs on every post you publish, as every post lives on its own unique URL. As always, remember to keep reader-friendliness in mind when you're creating your URLs. The page URLs should make sense to searchers and give them a sense of where in your website they've landed.

 

SSL or Secure socket layer is another ranking factor for Google. For the past several years, we’ve moved toward a more secure web by strongly advocating that sites adopt HTTPS encryption. Within the last year, Google also helped users understand that HTTP sites are not secure by gradually marking a larger subset of HTTP pages as “not secure”. Beginning in July 2018, Chrome has marked all HTTP sites as “not secure”. Having a site that displays not secure will cause visitors to not click on the search result or shy away from the site, diminishing their trust in the professionalism. 

 

Off-Page SEO

Now that we have discussed on page SEO, there is also off page seo. Off-page SEO refers to the page ranking factors that occur off your website, like backlinks from other sites. It also includes your marketing and promotion methods, influenced by the amount of exposure something gets on social media, for example. To build off page SEO you can use the power of social media, add RSS feed and subscription sign ups. Doing so can expand the influence and interactions of your brand with others. Don't be afraid to comment on other blogs. Be engaged and responsive, this will build trust and a valuable relationship with others in your industry which  can persuade them to include links to your site. 

 

Having good, quality content sparks opportunity for others to reference your website also. If a user finds valuable content on the site, it is possible they will share this with others either via social media platforms, blogs or even word of mouth. Keeping the audience engaged by including high resolution and captivating images and videos also increases this activity. 

 

Not all aspects of brand and website building is done solely on the website. It can be as simple as handing someone your business card that initiates change. Networking is the exchange of information and ideas among people with a common profession or special interest, usually in an informal social setting. Networking can help develop and improve skill sets, stay on top of the latest trends in your industry, meet prospective mentors, partners, and clients, and gain access to the necessary resources that will foster your brand development. Building strong relationships with others in your industry is a great off page SEO tactic to improve your sites SEO.  

 

Set aside some time and take advantage of this knowledge and opportunity to positively impact your sites SEO and implement some changes to help your sites ranking. Start with small changes and see how they can increase traffic over time. 

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