Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the work you do to increase your website's visibility in search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. The goal of search engine optimization is to influence your ranking in the results, and obviously, you want to appear as close to the top of the search results as possible. However, keep in mind that the ranking is not the only important factor. If you have the top-ranked website for a certain search phrase, but the second or third search results are more appealing to the person searching for information, more often than not they will click on the lower-ranked website with more appealing information.
How does it work?
Based on its algorithms, Google (and other search engines) ranks and analyzes all websites to provide relevant and useful search results. If you want to appear at the top of the search results you need to spend time on your content so that it is as relevant as possible to potential visitors.
On-page SEOOn-page SEO refers to all search optimization work that is directly related to the content, design, and technical aspects of your website. Search engine algorithms will regularly go through and analyze your website, with the main focus being on evaluating text content. Based on the results of this analysis, search engines will form a general idea of what your website is about and then decide how relevant your website is to someone searching the web.
In addition to optimizing the content and design of your website, you also need to review the technical aspects of the website that might affect your ranking in the search results. Since the majority of searches are done on mobile devices nowadays, Google ranks non-mobile optimized websites lower than before. Having a website with a poorly designed menu structure and no SSL certificate also lowers your chances of ranking high in search results.
Off-page SEOOff-page SEO refers to all search optimization work which is not directly related to the content, design, and technical aspects of your website. The main goal of off-page SEO is to positively affect the search engines' perception of your website's popularity, credibility, and authority. A good way to increase the perceived credibility of your website is to have other reliable and credible websites link back to your website. This can be done by creating and sharing relevant content that others might post on their websites and refer back to you.
What do I need to get started?
A good way to get started with SEO is to start thinking about what keywords or search phrases you might want to focus on. What might someone search for if they are looking for the services that you provide? You should also decide whether or not you want to get help from a professional agency that works with search engine optimization or if you want to start by giving it a try on your own.
The art of choosing the right keywords or phrasesBefore you start the actual optimization work on your website you need to find the right keywords or search phrases that you want to focus on. This analysis should determine what you need to communicate on your website in order to strategically influence your ranking in the search results.
Start by thinking about what your potential customers are looking for. What might someone search for if they are looking for the products or services that you provide? In order to rank well for relevant searches, you want to find keywords or search phrases that are specific and highly focused on the products or services that you provide. However, if your keywords are too specific, it will limit the total number of searches and you will miss out on potential visitors. Optimizing your website for a keyword that only gets a few searches per month will not yield you good results. It is important to find a balance between choosing keywords that have a high search volume and finding keywords that are specific and related to what your business provides.
Page Titles and Meta DescriptionsYour page titles should include your keywords and be relevant to the page content. Since it is visible in the search results, you should consider including a title with a "selling point" that could make your potential visitors click on your website as opposed to a competitor's.
The meta description for your pages should be relevant and generate enough interest for a potential visitor to click on your website. If you are not providing relevant meta descriptions, search engines will sometimes choose to display a different description for the page if they think it is more relevant than what you had assigned.