SEO Basics

While SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be fairly complex, everyone can do basic SEO  optimization for their websites.

What are SEO basics every website can and should do?

The very first thing which can and should be done is having sufficient text. Google and the other search engines normally look for a minimum of 300 words on a page or post, too often, websites have very little text. (The only exception could be product description pages on an e-commerce site. You could easily write 300 words about a smartphone, but a pair of black socks?)

The first step would be to make sure that the content has the relevant keywords. Since I am writing about SEO in this post, you will notice SEO and Search Engine Optimization are included in the text, not just the title of the post. I’ve also linked to another SEO post, What is Search Engine Optimization? Linking to relevant articles on, as well as off, your site is part of basic SEO.

Next would be the appropriate use of Header tags. The header tag tells the search engines something is important. For example, SEO Basics above uses the H1 tag. It is not simply a font that is bigger. The H1 tag format, which is used only once per page, They tell the search engines that this is the most important tag on the page. Since this post is about SEO basics, that is the text I used and therefore I assigned it the H1 tag.

If you have other headings on a page or post, they can be assigned the other heading tags. You can have more than one H2 or higher tags, but only one H1 tag on a page.

Basics of SEO

Some of the other basic, but essential, SEO techniques are the naming of your images. For example, many images are simply numbered when the photo is taken, for example, the image may automatically be named by the camera, such as the first image below, IMG_3149.jpg. And this tells the search engines nothing about the photo. The second photo, if you hover over it, shows the Title tag, Crystal Cove State Park. If you click on the second photo, you will see the image has been renamed as well.

For example, many images are simply numbered when the photo is taken, for example, the image may automatically be named by the camera, such as the first image below, IMG_3149.jpg. And this tells the search engines nothing about the photo. The second photo, if you hover over it, shows the Title tag, Crystal Cove State Park. If you click on the second photo, you will see the image has been renamed as well.

img_3149Crystal Cove State Park

If this were a product photo or a service photo and it was properly renamed, it would show up in the searches. For example, doing a Google image search for “ice sales orange county” shows that 5 of the top 20 hits are for icemaninc.com, a client in CA. This renaming helped move the up to the number 4 result on Google’s regular search, out of over 2,000,000 hits.

While these type of SEO basics do not change the look of your site, they dramatically affect the reach of your site and the ability of prospective visitors to find your site.

“Content comes in many forms; we tend to think of written content when the term is used, but the reality is, video and image content can be more useful when it comes to influencing search and social results.”
— Debra Mastaler

The other aspect, which we will address more in a later posting, is the importance of keywords and writing - or having someone write - compelling text that incorporates relevant information in a way that moves people to take action regarding your product or service.

See you next time!

 

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