Looking to up their digital marketing game. Want to impress your boss with your knowledge? Trying to get your small business off the ground? If you answered “yes” to any of the above than this quick guide to SEO is for you.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is a marketing discipline that focuses on increasing visibility in organic search engine results. There are many factors that are used in SEO, encompassing both technical and creative elements.
Is SEO necessary?
Although there are a lot of mediums such as social media to increase traffic to your website, organic search is one of the primary methods to increase visits to your website.
Some of the most important factors for search engine optimization are mentioned below.
A title tag is the text that describes a web page. It appears in 3 places : browsers, search engine results and external websites. A unique title tag should be written for every page using the keywords that you are targeting. The title tag length should be limited to 60-65 characters. The brand or company name should be used in the title tag to increase visibility.
A meta description is a short description about the page. A short description about the page should be written using the keywords that you are targeting. The length of the meta description should be limited to 150-155 characters. It should be enticing enough so that the viewers will click the link to your content.
Headings let search engines know what your web page is all about. The headings of the the page should be written using at least one H1 tag and H2, H3 tags wherever necessary.
Images – Alt tag
Include images in your content. Using your keywords or its variation write the alt tag. The alt tag refers to the alt attribute within the img tag. It provides a text alternative of the image for users and helps in pushing up rankings.
URL of each page of your website should be written using the keywords that you are targeting or a variation of it.
A sitemap is an XML file that allows search engines to find your web pages that they might miss when indexing. It allows search engines to crawl website more intelligently. This file should be added in the root directory of the website.
It is a file that gives instructions to the robots how to crawl and index pages on the website. Make sure to add this file in the top-level directory of your web server.
The page speed refers to the page load time. Research has indicated that faster pages rank and convert better. Moreover, Google has indicated that it uses pae speed as one the factors in its algorithm to rank pages.Check your site speed with Google Page Speed Tools.
There should no duplicate content on your website. If there are any redundant URLs then utilize 301 redirects or canonical tags to fix them. There is heavy penalty for duplicate content and redundant URLs.
a) Each link to your website from another website counts as a vote of popularity and helps to rank higher in search results.
b) You can obtain links from clients, blogs, news media, key influencers in your industry, discussion forums. The link should use “anchor text” that should contain the keywords that you are targeting in search results.
c) You should also include internal links- linking from one of your pages to another in the same way you will do for external linking.
Monitoring your results
You will need to keep track of your SEO progress. There are a lot of tools available in the market, but the most important tools are: