Search Engine Optimization 101
SEO is a valuable marketing technique designed to focus on increasing the visibility of organic and non-paid search engine results. SEO serves both technical and creative elements that are necessary to improve rankings, increase awareness and drive traffic within popular search engines. Having your site structured that corresponds with search engines well will give you the best benefit from SEO. There are many aspects to consider, from keywords to other site links connected to you on the web. The goal of SEO is also to make your site user-friendly.
If search engines are not able to find your site, or able to add content to their databases, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities to increase the number of visitors to your site. People are always searching for things that they want and need and search engines are a perfect way to target traffic to give them what they are searching for. Search engines have become the primary method for the way people navigate throughout the web. Google, Bing and Yahoo provide the majority of the web traffic, whether your site is feeding content, services, products and information.
A webpage does not look the same to people as it appears to a search engine. Seeing your site as the search engines do will help out a bunch when conducting SEO. With that being said, your most important content should be in HTML text format. Searchers often ignore images, flash files, java applets and other non-text content, despite the many advances in technology. Placing words and phrases in the HTML text on the page is the best way to ensure visitors will see your content displayed on search engines. More advanced methods include:
- Providing alt text for images – jpg, png and gif format should be applied to images in HTML to give a text description of the visual content in search engines.
- Supplement search boxes with findable links and navigational elements.
- Use text on the page to supplement flash or java plug-ins.
- If the words and phrases used are meant for index intentions by the engines, make sure to provide a transcript for video and audio content.
- Use Google’s cache, SEO-browser.com or MozBar to see what elements of your content are visible and indexable to the search engines.
In SEO, keyword usage and targeting are the fundamental building blocks of language and of search. Engines keep track of pages in keyword-based indexes, within millions of smaller databases, that are centered on a particular keyword phrase or term which allows search engines to find relevant data within a matter of seconds. Our interaction and search intent is dominated by the keywords we use to communicate with search engines. Pages pop up based on words we enter in the search bar to match pages retrieved from the databases. Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization can make a difference with the information that search engines will provide. Since search engines measure how keywords are used on pages to determine relevance, the best option you have to optimize your page’s rankings is to make sure your keywords are used throughout the titles, text and mega-data. This will improve your chances for higher rankings.
Title tags are also crucial elements when it comes to SEO. Title tags are meant to be an accurate and very precise description of a page’s content. For example Social Agency is the brand name and thus is in the homepage’s Page Title. Below are a couple steps to give you a better strategy when using titles tags:
- Be Mindful Of Length – only the first 65-75 characters are shown in search results before an ellipsis (….) is shown to end the phrase.
- Place important keywords and phrases towards the front to improve search rankings.
- Always include branding – ending every title tag with a brand name mention will help increase awareness and create a higher click-through rate.
- Consider readability and emotional impact – Always make a good first impression with the reader with the title tag being very descriptive towards your brand
Titles, Metas & URL’s
Meta Descriptions also have a huge impact when it comes to SEO. Meta tags are the short explanations of a page’s content, yet they are the primary source of text that is displayed for any listings that you see pop up in your search results. That short description has a bigger impact on whether a person will click through it or not. By using important keywords and with an attention grabbing description, you will create more awareness to your brand.
URL structures are vital to any brand as well, which is the address of webpages that are displayed starting with “www” and they appear in multiple locations. They appear in the results of search engines, the web browser’s address bar and can be displayed as a link anchor text pointing to a referenced page. You should place yourself in the mind of a user and look at your URL to make sure it’s appropriate. Shorter is better and not overbearing to the reader when a URL is created. Using keywords within the URL is vital too, but don’t over do it with several keywords that can throw the search engines results in a negative direction.
Above are basics to the SEO world for those of you who are not familiar. Search engine optimization breaks the search engines down to a science when it comes to the human interaction that is made with them. Search engines can become our best friends with the right usage of SEO. If all else fails and you cannot figure out the way in which search engines work, I’d recommend this agency which has been proven time & time again to produce quality results – http://www.socialagencyinc.com/seo-miami/