5 Basic SEO Tips
Everyone that has a website is concerned about getting found on the search engine. This is often referred to as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The problem with SEO is this, being found top of the list is the same goal of everyone else in your space. This becomes an issue as people begin competing to be found. Many folks may not understand just how much time that it takes to cover all the little details to make sure your objective actually happens in a way that makes sense. This care is needed so that you don’t get flagged as a possible spam site, or ranked in the wrong place for the wrong keyword.
So what can you do? I want to help. I’m sharing 5 important things that you should be aware of, and do, for your website in order for it to rank well.
When you upload an image to a webpage you have to understand that the search engine does not see images. Or a better explanation is that the “robots” that crawl your page do not see images. In truth, they only see the code and the text on the page.
Therefore, when you upload an image to a website make sure that you name the image file with the keywords you are trying to get found for. Also, complete the code with the alt tags and title tags for that image. That way, it increases the ability for it to be included in the search results or to help the page get found,
When you do this, the search engine knows what the image is about on that page. Hopefully, it is a relevant term. For example, if your page is about dogs, don’t upload a picture of a cat with the image name being cat toys (e.g. cat-toys.jpg) and they alt tag cat toys. Also be aware that when naming images or using alt tags don’t use an underscore (e.g. cat_toys.jpg) when separating two different words. This is because the search engine sees hyphens as a signal that these are two separate words. Where as an underscore ( _ ) is not seen in that way and is seen as one word. This could impact what you’re trying to get found for.
Title tags on pages are for ADA compliance. If someone is blind they can work with a keyboard. That means somebody who reads braille can actually “read” the image. This also works for links as well. The alt tags and title tags can be applied to the links to further explain what the link is about and for ADA.
Headings (H1 – H6) order
When it comes to heading tags, it’s not the amount or the kind, but the order of use that is relevant to the content. Some may become over obsessed with this. Please keep in mind, don’t make it more complicated than necessary. Focus on the quality of your copy rather than its search appearance.
Here’s the best way to think of this. If you’ve ever written a research paper in an English class you know there are different ways to write a paper and use headings. The same principles can be applied to webpage copy. Spaces and punctuation matter, but ordering your headings in the proper order helps the reader understand what’s next.
Relevance is something that Google is really cracking down on. If you are a baker, then blogging on politics should not be the content you’re publishing. People are looking for helpful and useful content. Rants about topics that have nothing to do with the search term are not going to get you readers or followers. Google is looking to protect the people that use their site for search. Keep that in mind if you think you are being sneaky.
Link relevance is also worth noting here. Here’s what link relevance means. If your blog post is on cakes, linking to a blog article on dogs, is not wise. That is unless it’s about how to bake cakes for your pets.
Location, Location, Location
Think about this. If your search term is nearby, it’s usually at the top of the search results list. Later, if you drive 50 miles away and search, those map results change. The reason is that Google knows where you are. It doesn’t matter if you have an account with Google and are logged in. Your phone and PC know where you are, and so does the search engine. The use of location when searching is called Local SEO.
For your website, make sure your address and contact information are available, and in the HTML markup code. To make sure this information is search engine friendly, be sure to use CSS classes and schema data to signal the search engine that this is an address. There are many more steps to make Local SEO work for you. This is literally just the tip of the iceberg. If you have a brick and mortar shop, you’ll want to make sure your address online is correct and up to date.
No Duplicates please
Duplicate content looks spammy and the search engines don’t like it. Remember, search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo are all competing for users and advertisers. If their search results are constantly listing the same result one after the other on the search results page, you’ll not search on that search engine any longer. You’re not getting variety, just copy and paste content across multiple websites.
Search engines see sites that have multiple pages saturated with the same search terms (a.k.a. keywords) and same content and are penalizing them. Don’t do it! Please hire a copy writer experienced with search. It’s worth it.
That’s my short list of techniques to know. What about you?
Written by Jason Davis