Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be confusing. You don’t need to understand it, you just need it to work. SEO is important to your website because that is how the search engines find and rank your website. Websites that are not optimized for the search engines will typically receive lower rankings than those that do search engine optimization. Just having a website may not be enough for your business. If you plan on obtaining new customers and clients from the search engines, it is important to properly optimize your website for the proper keywords that your potential customer would type in the search bar.
There are many variables that can be controlled to optimize a website for the search engines. One of the most important is website content. Using the proper keywords and keyword phrases (long-tail keywords) throughout your website is very beneficial. It is a good idea to do some keyword research BEFORE the website is built to identify how many searches are done on specific keyword phrases and how competitive a keyword phrase is (i.e. how many other people are trying to get their site ranked for that particular keyword). By doing the research ahead of time, we will be able to help you develop the content of the website with the proper keywords in it.
A website that is search engine friendly will also have the proper meta tags and title tags in the source code. Another under utilized yet important variable are Image alt tags. Since search engines can’t ‘see’ pictures, so they use the Image alt tag to give weight to the image and determine whether or not it is relevant to the keyword someone types in the search bar.
Here are some other variables that search engines utilize to determine where a website ranks:
- Whether or not your website has a search engine friendly site map.
- Whether or not your website has an optimized robots.txt file.
- Whether or not your website has customized 404 error page. (a 404 error is ‘Page Not Found’)
- The number of and rank of links TO your website from other websites.
- Does your domain name include the keyword(s) which you want to rank for?
- The length of time it takes for your website to load from the server.
- The length of time the domain name is registered for, the longer the better.
- This is just a partial list, there are many more variables that search engines consider.
In addition to optimizing your website for the search engines, you should be sure to ‘claim’ your listing in Google Maps. This is a free service offered by Google, you can learn more here. And finally, once you have done all this work, you want to keep tabs on how you’re doing, so we’ll set up your Google Analytics account and send you monthly reports indicating what’s working and what needs a little more attention.