Breaking down SEO – How to do it right

SEO or Search Engine OptimizationWhat is SEO? Search Engine Optimization.

Why is it important to you? When a person does a search online, the results that show up (except for the Ads) are a result of Search Engine Optimization. This is a FREE way to get your business in front of customers.

How do I make sure my site is optimized for the best results? The short answer is think like a customer, but we will get into more details below.

In order to see what the search results look like (all of them) for your website, go to www.google.com and in the SEARCH BOX type “site: www.website.com” (this would be your web address). See the image to the right for an example. This will pull up all the pages of your website as well as all the pages that reference your exact web address.

Next, when reading these results there are a few things to take into consideration.

  1. What page is the link taking the customer to?
  2. Do the title and description that show up in the search results give the customer a good idea of the information they will find if they click through to the website?
  3. If the customer asks a question (search query), is your result informative and compelling enough to click on?
    1. For your homepage result, it is OK if you have your company name first for branding purposes, but be sure to have other pertinent top level info as well (Una Schade Photography & Design | Marketing Agency; or Marketing Services by Una Schade Photography & Design).
    2. For ancillary pages, be sure to list the information first and if you have room, you can include the company name. (For example, this article is titled as: “Breaking down SEO – How to do it right | Una Schade Photography & Design”; although the majority of the company name will not show up in the results as titles are limited by character count.). Customer’s don’t care who is providing the information in most situations, they want information that is relevant to their search (unless they are searching for your company name and that is where your homepage comes in handy).
    3. Make sure the description of the page ALSO matches the content it links to. Sometimes it is OK to just use the first sentence or two listed on the page, other times you will want to paraphrase the page in a compelling way so that people want to read more.

Other important factors to remember when building your SEO:

  • How do your results compare to your competitors (do searches and see their results. Is your result more compelling to click on, seem more informative, etc.?)
  • Consider what focus word(s) or phrase(s) you want this page to rank for or be considered an “expert” on. Try to have that information incorporated into the Title, Description, within the page itself, and also a part of the URL path (ie: www.website.com/google-seo-rankings | this page would be about the topic google seo rankings)
  • Make sure the images on your page have alt tags that reflect the topic.
  • Use heading tags <h1> <h2> with the topic to ensure search engines realizes this is an important topic on the page.
  • On average, Google allows 65 characters for your Title Tag and the Description tag can be 156 characters.

There are more things you can do, but this is the basic foundation on making your SEO stand out in search engine results.

If you would like to learn more, consider reading Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

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