This SEO 101 guide talks about search engine optimization (SEO), which is making your website look good to search engines so people can find you when they search for things that are related to your business.
SEO sounds like a complicated subject. It can be, too. A lot of people spend a lot of time reading all the information out there, but they don’t even get to the top of the iceberg.
There’s also good news, though. SEO is becoming easier to learn as the search engines get smarter, which makes it easier to learn. The reason is: They don’t believe in all the “tricks” that so-called SEO experts used to use to get your website to rise in the search rankings.
Plus, many businesses are also making some very simple errors. SEO can improve a lot if these mistakes are fixed. Here are five simple SEO tips that can help your business:
Make sure you know what your customers want. Use a keyword research tool to find words that are related to your business. Good place to start is with the Google AdWords service.
Build your content around those keywords, and then write about them in your content. You’ll want to write articles about keywords that are relevant to your business and put them on your website. This will help search engines find your site when they look for it. Don’t make the mistake of overdoing it with keywords in an article. You’ll get punished. To avoid this, just make sure the keyword is used a few times in the body copy, once in the headline, once in a link, and once in the first sentence. Most important, make sure the articles are useful and answer the questions people will be looking for.
Keep your PDFs and JPEGs. A search engine can only truly understand HTML. These are the words and the formatting codes that make them look good on a real web page. Search engines are getting better at reading images and PDF files, but don’t take the risk of them not being able to. When you’re done writing, put everything in HTML.
Take care of the technical parts. Take a look at the title tags and meta descriptions on each of your web pages to make sure they include your main keywords. These words show up at the top of your browser window.
Build up your links. If your site is linked to by other sites and web directories, you should ask them to link to your site. But don’t sign up for “link farm” services, because you could get punished by search engines if they find your site.
It is a simple formula, but it works. Search engines want to link to sites that are useful for their customers. People who use search engines are looking for information, so you need to write content that answers their questions. You also need to put the content on your website and make sure a few technical things are done right.