What is SEO & how can I improve my Google search results ranking
Get the right information on what is SEO & how can you improve your Google search results ranking!
You may have asked yourself or people around you ” what is SEO ” or “ how do I appear higher in Google search results ”? To be honest, SEO is the most important part of your website that may be or has been overlooked when it was last developed. If your website was created more than two years ago, I am betting that it’s time to probably upgrade your SEO.
Throughout time Google has changed its algorithms to continually grab the most relevant data when a user searches for something online. The reason why I say its time to upgrade your website is Google looks down on how “SEO” was accomplished several years ago so you want to be sure to update. Trust me, if you are looking for more exposure online this should be the very first thing you assess. Below I will go over just some of the main parts of the SEO standards that your website should adhere to right now.
Here are some examples to help clarify a little on what is SEO:
Keywords – Back in the day, keywords were quite important. You would compile a wide range of keywords that may have been relevant to the product you were offering online. However, now, this technique is called “Keyword Stuffing”. Guess what that means? You guessed it. These days, you and your website could be penalized or even “black listed”. What is important now is that you use one keyword or key phrase and focus your content, URL & Meta information around it.
Meta Description – You may have heard of a Meta description, but not understand exactly what it means. The Meta description is part of what Google shows you when a user searches for something online. Here is an example of what the Meta description looks like from a website that I created for a client of mine in the hot rod industry when searching for “1957 Chevy Control Arms”:
- Meta Description
When creating your Meta description it is very necessary to be as precise as you can with the product or service you are offering to your users. Google only shows 156 characters, so whatever you put as your Meta description be sure to put your product or service first.
Content – Remember when you just needed to explain your product in a few sentences? Well… now there may be other products or services out there that may be similar to yours. Google is setting a precedence on what they believe is appropriate to filter search results. In todays website development a good practice to concentrate on is at least 300 words per page or post. If you cannot come up with 300 words than including an image with the keyword within the body copy may be close enough in some instances. Be sure to read the information on images though to help you with this.
Images – It never really mattered before about images, their names and descriptions. Normally we would just name our images like img1.jpg, 0001.jpg or well… you catch my drift. However now you will be much better off when it comes to SEO to include descriptions, label your images and do whatever you can to give Google the specifics of each of the images. Lets say you sell washcloths on your website. Its white. Its an octagon. The image name should be: white-octagon-washcloth.jpg
If a user searches for a product, but only wants to see what the product will look like specific to their application this is when labeling images specifically for what they are is very important. It is also useful if you do not have enough content within your body copy because if the image has the focus keyword or key phrase included in the name, url, title & description it may be just enough. To the left is a perfect scenario from a website I’ve created for a client of why it is so important to label your images correctly, especially if you own a 1957 Chevy and are looking for Control Arms for your car.
URL’s – You may have never noticed it, but a vast majority of the websites that are or have been created in the past year have specific URL’s to the product or service they offer. Lets use the same example earlier with the washcloths: www.simplywashcloths/washcloths/white/octagon-washcloth
Take a look at your current website specific to the products or the services you offer. Visit a few pages and see if the URL’s align with the keyword or key phrase that you are trying to accomplish. If not, than you may want to ask your developer or me to help you with this transition.
To sum it all up in just a sentence or two or three, your focus keyword or key phrase is the most important weapon you have when it comes to your website. It will help guide you through the new pages or posts you create in the future. Use the focus keyword or key phrase in your URL, title, Meta description, images, body copy, categories and so on. The more structure your website has, the better off it will be.
There is actually so much more to do with SEO and although I’ve covered the basics there are extensive books out there that will go into much more detail. I am sure I will continually add to this blog series on the other techniques that will help with SEO and gaining momentum on Google search results. However, in the end, these examples are the first things I would check if I were going through your website. Having these basic parts of your website up-to-date is the first step in the right direction. If you have specific questions or need more information do not hesitate to contact me, I would be more than eager to share any other knowledge specific to SEO as it pertains to your website.
Stay tuned and learn what plugin I feel is the best for SEO. I will also help you understand that basics of websites and show you more examples of how to customize your WordPress website.
See more on my latest blog…