Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short is one of those mystifying marketing pieces for business owners. In fact, one of the interesting emails I receive from clients is when they forward me an email that says, “We have noticed that your website needs help in being found when searched on Google.” They wonder if they need to do anything about their website ranking. I always ask them this question, “With the millions of websites online, how did they find your website?” There is usually dead silence on the other end while that question computes. Another question I ask them is, “Exactly what is it that they are claiming to get you to the top of Google?” Most claim that they can move up your website’s name to the top. My recant to that is, “Why would anyone need to search your company’s name?” If they know your company’s name wouldn’t they be able to find you without searching? And, frankly, if you don’t own the first page of Google for your website when doing a search of your domain name, there IS a big problem with your website ranking. So, before you read on, stop and search your domain name to see if YOU DO own the first page of Google. If you don’t, read on and learn more about how to improve your website ranking. If you do, read the article anyway to fine-tune the searches that really matter, your keyword phrases.
You’re back. How did you do? Let’s look at a few parts of your website that YOU can learn about SEO and help your website developer.
There are several parts of your website which are very important to optimizing it for all the search engines. Some of the optimization is no longer necessary for website ranking on Google but still used by other search engines, so we always include everything when building a site.
The Title of Your Website
Take advantage of the title of your website, also known as your tagline. This should not be the name of your website but instead be loaded with your keywords to describe your business. It should include:
- Keywords phrases
- Those areas you service (Do not use counties but instead use up to three cities.)
The Description of Your Website
This is called the meta description. This description is what is shown when someone searches and finds your website. The description should also include the keywords for your website but be in paragraph form as it will appear right below your website’s name when found in a search.
Every page needs to have ONE and only ONE H1 heading. The H1 heading should also contain your keyword phrase for that specific page. What is an H1 heading? Say you are a realtor. The H1 heading for a property that you are selling would be the main description of the house. The H2 heading would be the rooms within the house, the H3 heading would be more detailed description of the rooms; and the paragraph is even more details about the description. H2 and H3 as well as paragraph can be used more than once. You are probably thinking, what the heck is an H1 Heading? These are the standard settings for the titles, subtitles, and body of your pages. H1 might be the font Arial in size 24pt for H1 on every page. H1 provides a way to create a consistent look on your website.
What are backlinks? They are links to your website from page to page as well as from website to website. There are two types of backlinks, internal and external. By creating hyperlinks from one page to another you create internal backlinks. External links include links to your social media platforms and links from websites that are relative to your business. How to obtain good links are by inviting guest bloggers to your site, link vendors and service providers to your website, and write blogs that attract people to find and leave comments on your site.
What about images & videos?
Visually, we as humans, see the photos and can describe what is in a photo. Unfortunately, search engines have no clue what is in a photo. They need your help. When uploading a photo to your website, naming it IMG-255.jpg means nothing. Take advantage of using keywords and locations not only for the name of the image but also the “alt-tag” of the image. If you are a realtor and have a photo of a brand new property, change the name of the image to something like – single-home-3-bedrooms-2-baths-pottstown.jpg. For the alt tag, change the “-“ to spaces – Single Home with 3 bedrooms & 2 baths in Pottstown, PA . Use the same theme when uploading videos. You know you have an alt tag for your photo when you take your mouse and hover over a photo and this yellow popup of text describes the photo.
There is much more that needs to be done behind the scenes to help your website move the needle on Google. I included information for those areas of the website where you can help your website developer to tweak, adjust, and improve the keyword phrases, information for your photos and videos, and links to your site.
Just an FYI, the better your website ranking is and the more you are on Google, the more of those emails you will receive that your website needs help to be found. My suggestion is to smile knowing everything is just fine.