Recently I wrote a blog about the difference between search engine optimization and a website that is search engine friendly. It is so often that people don’t understand what search engine optimization is or they feel that their website is already optimized for search engines when in fact their website is search engine friendly meaning ready for you, the website owner, to update your website and do the SEO work. Reminder, search engine optimization is optimizing your website FOR the search engines and the consumer by creating a value-packed and user-friendly website. The consumer should be your first goal with the search engines next. That may sound easy enough and while it is, or may be, is still confusing to many and underutilized.
So I wanted to write this post to help explain what search engine optimization is and what you, the business owner can do to optimize your website to give you better chances for your website to be seen by the search engines. Because remember, the more search engine friendly your website is the better chances of having more pages cached by the search engine spiders. The more pages that are cached, the better chances your site is available to consumers when they do a search for keywords (that you use on your site) in the search engine results page. Keep in mind that when you optimized for the search engines, you are optimizing for them all, Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Ask.com and etc.
Here are some things YOU can do to with respect to SEO
Search engine optimization is basically having keyword rich content and meta tags so that the search engines can find out what your website is about.
- Keyword rich content is not meant to be spammy content that is stuffed with only keywords but having valuable content that is user-friendly as well as keyword rich. The more content you have, the better due to keyword density, because you want to have a variety of keywords but not only keywords on your page
- Meta tags such as title tags and the meta description are what show up in the search engine snippet. You want to make sure that you put the most important keywords first and make sure that it is natural.
- Natural content and meta tags are more important than having keywords that may not be natural because remember, it is meant for the consumer. So if you have a sentence like – Contact a business coach Florida for help, consider how that reads. I get you want to put in your location for local help but it just sounds like crap, find another way. Ie – Contact a business coach for help with your Florida business. Remember, the consumer is the ultimate point of direction.
- Header tags or h1, h2, h3, are tags that make the website prettier and easier for the consumer to follow or skim. They just aren’t going to read the whole blog or page. Make it easier for them to skim because they help point to what the next paragraph is about. Header tags give some spacing and different style or formatting to the text. If they have keywords in them it is easier for the search engines to determine what is most important about that paragraph or section and depending where it is on the page, top middle or bottom, it shares the importance even more.
- Links are beneficial if they are internal or external because you are providing additional information to the consumer. Usually you are pointing them to a product that they can buy based on the content or more information about pieces in your blog. I have several internal links within each of my blogs sharing other blogs on certain topics as well as sharing my services, which is the ultimate goal.
- Alt tags – hopefully you are using images on your blogs and on your website. Be sure when you save an image to your website media library, you are naming the image appropriately – explaining what the image specifically is. Then, add the alt text, otherwise known as alternative text, which tells text readers (for those that are visually impaired) what that image is. This is also for the search engines to determine what that picture is about since they don’t read images or pdfs. This gives a great opportunity for you to optimize your images as far as keywords are concerned.
- You will also want to be sure that your images are optimized as far as size is concerned and I’m not meaning the number pixels say 400×400 but the ultimate size that the image is after you’re done. Overly large images will cause the site to slow down which is a negative impact on your website, load speed.
Hopefully this has been beneficial as the things that you can do to optimize your website and why it is highly necessary for
you to do so. If you create your website and set it and forget it, the chances of you being found in search are highly unlikely.
Small business owners have it hard enough with all the extra work we have to do to compete with the big box companies so why not make it easier on yourself to compete with all other businesses as well as big box companies by optimizing your website and making sure it runs smoothly for your consumer and search engines.