When creating and maintaining a business website, you need to think about how people will find your site. A good website will attract visitors on its own merits – or that’s how it should be, but really, this is not the case – so this is why SEO matters.
SEO, search engine optimization, is the act of making your website friendly to the “bots” that go through the internet, searching for sites to add to search engines. Search engines are looking for specific keywords, phrases, and bits of code in your site in order to rank you in their index. The more SEO friendly your site is, the higher ranked your website will be in searches.
What are your objectives?
- Awareness & branding
- Thought leadership
- Generating ad or subscription revenue
- Generating leads
- Generating sales
- Reduce costs & increase profitability
You will need to research words and phrases that resonate with your customers. If you are a healthcare provider and you use industry technical words and phrases, you may miss keywords that are more common to your clients. Think like your customer not your peers or competition. Sometimes you may need to include words that your industry does not prefer to use or negative words. Determine your chosen search phrases and keywords.
You or a web developer will need to add a few things to your site to make it more search engine appealing. Some code will need to be added into your HTML – these “meta” tags are beneficial to your site and its popularity. Each page should have unique keyword tags that speak to the page contents. The first 100 words of your page contents are the most important. Your page contents should mirror your keywords or phrases in your page header tags, meta descriptions, headlines, subtitles, and page text. As a general rule, title tags should have less than 65 characters and meta description should have less than 156 characters. Don’t forget to add metatags to your images and graphics.
Linking is another method of increasing your online ranking and increases your online credibility. There are three types of link, outbound, inbound and internal. Outbound links to other site with resources, news, articles, and other topical information. Inbound links from other websites or online directories. Use your links to emphasis your key words and emphasis the quality of links and diversity of link sources.
Content is critical. Your site is only as good as the content. Your content strategy will need to emphasis your keywords to optimize the searchability.