Search Engine Optimization

Otherwise known as “SEO,” search engine optimization is one of the most important elements of any website. Well written content is important, but what good will it do if search engines can’t properly index it? Let’s start with the basics, shall we?

What is SEO?

For starters, it’s important to know that “SEO” is a term that has multiple meanings. A person who optimizes websites for search engines can be called an SEO. Likewise, the important information that describes your website to search engines in the header of your website is also called SEO. For our purposes, we will be discussing the latter. If you were to look at the code for your website you would probably (hopefully) see something that looks something like this:
<title>My Webpage Title</title>

<meta name=”description” content=”A description about my website. This is the place where we discuss and sell widgets, wongles and dinglehoppers as well as stuff and things” />

As you can see by the text that we’ve highlighted, there are 2 (two) main elements to SEO:

The Title

The title usually describes your what you are writing about in a succinct manner. It’s similar to the title of any essay or product. It should be short and to the point. You’ve only got 60 characters (including spaces and punctuation) to do this before it gets cut off by the search engines. Each page on your website should have a unique title.

The Description

The description is where you can go into greater detail about your web page. It needs to be an intelligible paragraph that can be read by humans and it should contain the important keywords that your page or article is about. You’ve only got 160 characters to do this (in some cases 320… but that’s another topic), so make this a brief synopsis about what your page is about.
Too Confusing?

You Can Do It

The truth is that you CAN do it but it’s not as easy as it might seem. The simple description above doesn’t take into account that search engines have added ways to make sure that your web page description is accurate. Were there no verification in the example above, anyone could create a web page about anything they want and convince the search engines that it was something else. Just put your mind to work to realize how dangerous that could be.

The Bots Are Watching You!

There are all kinds of search engines out there (not just Google and Bing) and they are “watching” what you do on your website. There are bots crawling your website almost constantly, checking in on your claims. If you say that your web page is about water sports but the content is really about baseball, you’re going to get knocked down in edge-rank or flat out excluded. But it’s not always as blatant as that. Sometimes these things can come down to a matter of phrasing. In cases where your page may have intended to be about one subject, but in its finality, ends up being about another, it is important to revisit your on-page SEO to adjust the focus.

It Can Feel Overwhelming

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with SEO. Many websites include multiple products or services that all need to be ranked. The first thing that comes to mind for most people is to try to get all of those products on their homepage and hopefully rank for each one. That won’t work. While listing a generalized description of each product or service on your homepage is completely fine, it doesn’t focus on each individual product or service. People searching for your products or services aren’t generally looking for all of them at once. Most likely they are searching for only one of your products or services at any given time. Your homepage is by nature a generalization of your business and not meant to rank for anything more than brand recognition. So what do you do to rank each of your products or services?

Focus Focus Focus

One of the best ways to add SEO focus to your website is to list out your products/services and create a landing page for each one that focuses on that product or service ONLY. Let’s take a generic business and create an example. Let’s pretend we have two unique services and two unique products. Best practices would suggest that we make 4 distinct landing pages:

Service One

Example Title: Service One | Locality | My Business Name

Focus your text and description on what happens with service one. It helps to base your content off of what you think people are going to search for in relation to this particular service.

Special Event

Example Title: Fun Event | Locality | Venue Name

Focus your text and description on what is happening at the event. Include any artists or performers and times. Add any special information that might help like “Downtown Denver.”

Product One

Example Title: Product One | On Sale! | My Business Name

Focus your text and description on what product one has to offer. You could say things like “On Sale” or “20% Off Online” in the title. Add any unique descriptors are in the description.

Product Two

Example Title: Product Two | 20% Off! | My Business Name

Focus your text and description on what product one has to offer. You could say things like “On Sale” or “20% Off Online” in the title. Add any unique descriptors are in the description.

And that’s just the beginning. Next we need to consider schema markup and using the correct schema types. There are also other landing pages that are equally important to add such as a “contact” page, “about” page, FAQs, policies, etc… Each page has a purpose and each page should have clear intent in order to rank in search.

Let’s Talk About SEO

There are a lot of moving parts to SEO and considering it is a large part of the core foundation of a website, it is not something to be taken lightly. Chances are, by the time you read this, Google has changed the rules again. Let’s have a conversation, shall we? Let’s talk about SEO and all the good things and bad things that may be. (kudos to those who caught that reference). Help is just a simple contact form away 😉