Search Engine Optimization.
Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Google, Keywords, Oh my!
What do I do first for SEO? Let me break it down for you real quick and easy. SEO is Search Engine Optimization. It means you making it easier for the Search Engine, Google, to read the content on your website. Why does it matter if your website is easy for Google to read? Well, if it’s easy to read and understand, you have a better chance of ranking higher and when you rank higher, you normally get more traffic to your site.
There are a few core things you should do for every page. There’s a lot of technical SEO that big companies do and honestly, it’s more complex than most small businesses want to deal with. We’re going to keep this simple and straightforward. We’ll call this the Simple SEO Plan.
Simple SEO Plan
Choose one important keyword for every page. Make sure that the keyword is unique to the page. Don’t use the same keyword everywhere or you’ll hurt your ranking chances. Google will only show two results for the same website in the search results. If you use the same word on 10 pages, all 10 won’t show up in the results, only two will and now eight other pages won’t rank.
Use that one important keyword in your Title Tag, Meta Description, Image File Name, and body copy. Include that keyword in your first paragraph of the copy. If you know how to create header tags, use that keyword in your header tags too.
Follow best practices for your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions. Current best practices are a max of 60 characters for your Title Tag and a max of 160 characters for your Meta Description. You’ll want to include your most important keyword in both your Title Tag and Meta Description. If you can include an action verb in your Title Tag you might see an increased click-through rate which is believed to help your rankings. Examples include: learn about, find out, shop, visit, and more.
Your Image File Name should include your main keyword. Use dashes between words because Google can understand dashes (-) and reads them as spaces. If you want to have your images show up when someone searches for your brand in Google’s search results, include your brand name in the image file name. For example, what-to-do-for-seo-etched-marketing.jpg could work for this post, if what to do for SEO was my most important keyword.
Create a separate page for every product, service or offering on your website. When you have one page and it’s optimized for one word, it’s easier to rank. When you have everything on the same page, Google gets confused and you’re less likely to rank high.
There’s a lot you can do for SEO but the basics in The Simple SEO Plan will get you started. If you’re curious about the technical side of SEO you can set up a free Google Search Console account and find out if Google is able to crawl your website or is having issues.
Creating a unique page for each product or service, choosing one keyword to focus on for each page, and using that keyword in your Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Image File Names, Body Copy, and Header Tags will give you a good start on your website’s SEO.