SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization and is involves the strategies, techniques, and tactics used to increase the number 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, search engines’ behavior, 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 crucial 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 it can increase traffic without paying for online advertising if done correctly. SEO requires an extensive 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 an SEO expert to guide your company’s online presence. However, there are a few things that one can do right from the start 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 optimize a site after it has been built out. Whether you’re building your site or having a web development company do it, inquire about SEO early on to save headaches down the line.
Choose a good URL
You want a stable, searchable URL to begin with and a preferable one with 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, ultimately from scratch.
Pick a good title for your home page
One of the most essential on-page things you can do for your site is to pick a search-engine-friendly title. The good news is that the title can be changed 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 altogether. How many times can you use a keyword without getting penalized? About 15-22 instances of the same keyword, 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 genuinely take you to the number one spot in the search engines. Write well, often write, use internal and external links, and use keywords in your content.
So there you have it: a minimal 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.