SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization and is involves the strategies, techniques, and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to your website by ranking highly in the search pages of search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, and Google. While it may seem a simple task, it’s a highly complicated process that involves knowing how links to your site work, the behavior of search engines, the importance of keywords, and the ability to use tools to track and measure a successful SEO campaign.
Essentially, SEO falls under technical marketing functions, and is the single most important factor in driving natural or organic traffic to your website. Inorganic or unnatural traffic refers to paid online advertising and is a different beast entirely. The good thing about SEO is that if done properly, it can increase traffic without having to pay for online advertising. SEO requires a large breadth of information about how search engines work and can be a daunting task for an individual blogger or a business owner to take on all their own, so it’s widely accepted to hire a SEO expert to guide your company’s online presence. However, there are a few things that one can do right from the start in order to set the foundation for good search engine optimization.
- Begin thinking about SEO from the start of your website
It’s 1000% easier to implement SEO from the start than to go back through and try to optimize a site after it has been built out. Whether you’re building your own site or having a web development company do it, inquire about SEO early on to save headache down the line.
- Choose a good URL
You want a solid, searchable URL to begin with and preferable one that has your #1 most important keyword in the URL. For example: If you have a company that sells lumber, the website with the name www.Karkauer&Company.com , it will not rank as high as: www.KarkauerLumber.com simple because it already has the world lumber in it. This may seem like a basic rule of thumb, but it’s surprising how many individuals don’t get this right. Once you have an established website it’s nearly impossible to go back unless you start over completely from scratch.
- Pick a good title for your home page
One of the most important on-page things you can do for your site is to pick a title that is search engine friendly. The good news is that the title can be changes if needed, but you want to use this all important part of your website to drive traffic with 2-3 industry specific keywords.
- Create a Sitemap
This is an essential step in creating a website and involves creating a page that contains all your other links so they can be easily found or crawled by search engines.
- Avoid keyword stuffing
Early on in learning about SEO you realize how important keywords are, and there tends to be a tendency to overdo them. Overuse of keywords can cause detrimental effects to your website’s search rankings so “stuffing” is to be avoided completely. How many times can you use a keyword without getting penalized? About 15 according to most SEO practitioners.
- Use content to your advantage
Content is King. By that we mean that only good, desirable, and well written content can truly take you to the number one spot in the search engines. Write well, write often, use internal and external links, and use keywords in your content
So there you have it: a very small introduction to what SEO is and a few initial tips to get you started. If you have additional questions about your SEO, please contact your local SEO agency to find out more about how you can improve your rankings.