When I first heard about SEO I thought it was something I had to hire someone for to do it. It sounded complicated and way over my head until I stared to look closely at what SEO actually is, what it does and who can do it. I’ve learned that it is not complicated at all and it does, however, take thinking and time to get it right. Let’s take a closer look and see what you can do today to improve your SEO traffic on the web.
Everything on a page has meta data related to it. It’s data about data telling search engines what’s there, what it is, etc. So all of our titles, images, pages and tags need meta data to help search engines find us. With a little bit of thinking you can vastly improve how you look to search engines by adding this meta data. The only requirement is your time. Google spells out what it’s looking for in their reports so is is up to us to dig in and add the necessary data that will propel our site upwards in the listings.
Title tags. Be sure to include keywords in every title. In WordPress, this would be the post title for each and every post. We want rich keywords that people may type into the search engines. That was key for me once I knew the correlation between keywords and the end user. What would you type into the search query to find your site? Think like the user and use Google’s Keyword Tool to help you find the very best keywords to include. With this tool, higher numbers mean more people typing in that term. Simplified, you want terms that users are using in high numbers. In addition, add a meta description to your post to show up in the search listings. More weight is added to the early words in your title so try to put the most important words first. This description will show up in the search listing below the post title. It is that description that the user will be reading so make it snappy and relevant.
There’s also the argument where the brand name should go. There already looking at your listing of keywords in your title. If they’ve come that far, putting your brand name at the end will help you keep them interested to click on your link together with knowing your brand name at the end of the post title. Or exclude it all together. Once the user clicks on the link and they’re at your site, they will then see the brand. So I think it depends on the brand. Influential brands may want to include it to entice users with brand power. Overall, there’s nothing complicated here. It’s just a matter of taking the time and doing it.
Image tags. Make sure every image you put on the screen has a meta description, an alt tag, to it. Again, reinforcing the data, the message of what the image is and what it’s about. It may be that one image’s alt tag name that gets the user to click on the link to your site. Again, time investment, nothing more.
Permalinks. Using WordPress out of the box, you post will look something like this … http://buttahdesign.com/?p123. Not at all attractive and tells your user and the search engines nothing in terms of what the post is about. To make your post more user friendly, change the permalinks in your administration to include either the post name or category and post name (%post% or %post%/%post_name%). Doing this will show your users and the search engines what the post is about like this: http://buttahdesign.com/design/CSS3/Create A Simple CSS3 Button. That is a lot better and everyone now knows what you’re discussing. With this simple change, your SEO rankings will improve.
Headings. Keywords in your headings are important for search engines place weight on these headings and together with placing the right keywords in your heading tags, this will improve your SEO. Make them relevant, make them consistent and make then part of the flow of the read. No sense writing for search engines if the content, what the user is reading, is not in the flow. So the most important thing to do is write for your readers. If you do that alone, you will get results. Now add in meta tags, meta descriptions and you’re on your way.
These are just some of the many improvements you can make to your site. We all want higher ranking pages and fast load times. If we take the time and due diligence to add our meta descriptions to our titles, place the most important keywords early in that title we will see our SEO rankings swell upwards. Creating better permalinks will also do the very same thing. And pay attention to your headings for these are the structural backbones of your site and adding the appropriate keywords to them will only benefit your site. Together with these tips and others, you will soon see your site climbing the search engine listings to your delight.