SEO 101: SEO Tips, Basics and Best Practices
September 5, 2017
Your Google SEO Guide
What is SEO you might ask? Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as natural, organic, or earned results.
While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) may seem like a complex topic, it doesn’t have to be. The SEO basics and best practices are actually easy to understand and implement, even for those who are not website developers. Follow these simple SEO 101 steps and watch your site crawl up the rankings.
Let’s face it – most SEO agencies sell a bill of goods… charging clients a huge monthly fee for very little work. Not to mention, they typically don’t even follow through on their promises to get you ranked you on the first page of Google. The fact is that no agency can guarantee you first page rankings because there is no one magic trick to make that happen. Search engine optimization is based on a following a combination of proper SEO techniques and best practices. Follow our SEO checklist below to help increase your search engine rankings and visibility.
Here are our top SEO basics to get your site ranked higher in search engines:
SEO Tip #1: Content is King
As you can imagine, search engine algorithms are based around providing searchers with the best content that matches their search. Therefore, including keywords and key phrases in your content that match or are related to a users search is the most important SEO website optimization technique to get your site ranked higher in Google.
Start by writing down a list of key words or phrases that people might type into search engines to find your products or services. For example, if you are a roofer in Denver, someone might search ‘best roofers Denver’. You should be able to come up with a list of 25-50 solid search terms. You can also use the keyword research tools below to see the volume your SEO keyword list generates each month and find other keyword recommendations.
SEO Keyword Tools:
Now that you’re armed with your SEO keyword list, craft your copy to include them where it makes sense. One thing to keep in mind with the SEO keywords is that you don’t want to oversaturate your copy with them. Google is smart enough to recognize when copy is oversaturated and tries to provide high-quality content vs. content that has keywords scattered in places that don’t make sense. Be sure to continue to write your content so that it still sounds good to your customers while utilizing relevant SEO keywords where applicable.
SEO Keyword Tips:
Your content on each page of your website should be at least 350 words in length.
Utilize Your Blog:
Write a new blog post every few weeks that is crafted around one of your top performing keywords to continue to improve search engine rankings on an ongoing basis.
You will get black listed if you do things like duplicate the exact same content from other websites, throughout different pages on your website or if you use illegible font sizes or colors to mask keywords. Don’t fall for these black magic tricks, just write great content and the search engine rankings will follow.
Writing great content that is crafted around your keywords, followed by getting users to visit and stay on your site are the single most important elements to improving your SEO. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.
SEO Tip #2: Add SEO Meta Tags
SEO Meta tags are the basic SEO titles and descriptions that are displayed to users in search engine listings. The code needed to implement these SEO meta tags is very basic and is composed of two main elements, the SEO meta title, and SEO meta description.
SEO Meta Tags:
- SEO Meta Title: The title link that is displayed in Google (55 characters)
- SEO Meta Description: The description text displayed in Google (160 characters)
There are other SEO meta tags, but you need not worry about those because the title and description are the most important meta tags for on page SEO. These meta titles and descriptions should be unique to every page and contain SEO keywords that are relevant to the content on that page.
If you have a WordPress website, we recommend using the best SEO plugin for wordpress, which in our opinion is Yoast SEO or All In One SEO Pack. These plugins will add a module to each page that will easily allow you to type in your meta tags without having to touch any code. If you don’t have WordPress, you’ll need to manually add the SEO meta tags directly to your HTML template pages in between the opening and closing head tags.
Here is a sample of what the SEO meta tags should look like in your page code:
<meta name="description" content="PAGE DESCRIPTION GOES HERE">
<title>PAGE TITLE GOES HERE</title>
SEO Tip #3: Include Keywords in URLs
Google SEO also highly values keywords used in web addresses. If you have the ability to customize your URLs you’ll want to add a keyword into each of your page URLs. For example, if you are a law firm in Los Angeles and one of your keywords is ‘Law Firm Los Angeles’, an example URL for your about page might be: www.mylawfirm.com/law-firm-los-angeles.
SEO Tip #4: Use Site Links in Your Copy
As with page URLs, linking keywords throughout your copy is also an important SEO technique. Link appropriate SEO keywords to both internal pages on your site and external websites that are relevant to the topics you are discussing within your content. This shows Google that you are referencing similar topics and in turn, they will see your site as more relevant to searches for that keyword or phrase. If you can get other sites to include links to your website, this will also help with SEO optimization.
These are just a few of the SEO basics and techniques that will help your site achieve the best SEO. Other things to keep in mind to help improve on page SEO are fixing coding, html or link errors, ensuring you have a responsive website design, decreasing your site load time and adding alt text to your images.
We hope you have found these SEO tips helpful and you have gained a better insight on how SEO works. If you would like to speak with our SEO experts or if you are interested in viewing our monthly SEO management packages that will help you implement these and other SEO techniques, contact us today!