There is no doubt that most of you reading this have heard the acronym ‘SEO’. If you haven’t, it sands for Search Engine Optimization. That is the term used to define actions taken to rank websites on search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Or in other words, making your site visible and easy to find to the public. It has to do with things like the wording on your site, titles, alt text, headings, keywords, meta descriptions…and so on.
Search Engine Optimization Basics You Should Start With
Assuming you have your keywords selected, these are some SEO basics you should be sure are incorporated with the website you are trying to rank.
Your Website URL
The website URL is a major factor on how your site impacts and potential visitors. Your main website URL should be short, concise, and relevant to the industry you are in (note: relevancy is optional, but may help potential visitors to click on your site when it shows up in the Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPs).
While the main site URL is important, as it is what people will remember when thinking about your site, what is more important is the URL for a page you are ranking. Let’s use this blog post for example: The Relevance of Headings and Content You’ll notice that when on the page, in the URL it reads as “http://fstopseo.com/relevance-headings-content/” (emphasis added). The sub-page address is short and not a long string of characters and symbols; it is relevant to the actual page you will be landing on, the blog post about headings and content; and it hyphens are used to separate the words, making it much more understandable to the viewer, as to what the page could be about.
The title tag is what shows up in the SERPs. Let’s use the title tag for this page as an example.
For the sake of an example, the targeted keyword for this page is “Search Engine Optimization Basics”. Where possible, the title of your webpage should be the keyword you are targeting, followed by your website name. The two should be separated by a hyphen. This will allow the search engines to know where the keyword ends and the site name starts. Another reason why you would want your keyword(s) in the title tag is that you are trying to rank for those specific words…so why not make it easy for the search engines to find you. It is important you keep the title tag between 35 and 65 characters long.
It’s true that not much emphasis is put on the meta description for a webpage anymore, as it is no longer a factor for SEO ranking, but we believe it is a very important factor for visitors. Remember: SEO isn’t just about pleasing the search engines anymore. A HUGE part of good SEO is the user experience, and this is such an easy part to take care of, don’t overlook it. Without the meta description being rewritten, an automatic one will be generated that is usually cut off, and that doesn’t look as polished as one manually entered. Below is the example from this page, as you see it has been rewritten. A good meta description shouldn’t be around 150-160 characters long.
A well optimized site should contain headings. Depending on what your keywords are, it could be very beneficial to make sure one of your headings contains the keywords. This will be a signal to the search engine crawlers that your content is important enough that a focus keyword is needed in a heading. Another important for headings are to keep them concise! Keep away from long, drawn out headings…no one will want to read that when people click to go to your page, and you risk loosing the visitor. Whereas if your headings are short and concise, it will tell the visitor exactly what the content is about, and they are more likely to read the content and hopefully continue to explore your site for other content.
These are just a few basic optimization tools anyone can apply to their website. For more basic optimization ideas, check out our post on more SEO basics. Do you agree or disagree with the above? Let me know in the comments below.
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