SEO 101

2017-03-21 Hazel Ho posted:

There’s a high chance that you’ve heard the term SEO before but while you may have heard of these three letters (short for Search Engine Optimization) do you know what it is and why exactly it’s so important for websites? This post will go through the basics of SEO so you can get a slight glimpse of how powerful good SEO can be.

SEO 101

We live in a digital age, one where you will quickly fall behind if you don’t have a website to represent your business. But with so many websites out there, how can you ensure that yours is one that people will see when they’re searching for a product or service? That’s where SEO comes into the picture. When you’re searching for something, whether it’s “best pizza in Rome” or “cheap present to get for my grandma” what’s the first thing you’re going to do? Go on a search engine (eg. Google, Yahoo, Bing) and type in your question. The results that appear once you begin your search are a result of SEO. In most cases, people will be attracted to the first few results that appear. Have you ever gone directly to page 5 to see what things appear? Likely not.

So what can you do to help get your website to appear not just on the first page, but in the top search results? Before we get into that let’s start by briefly going over exactly how search engines work. Search engines have two major functions:

  1. Crawling and building an index - capturing data from websites to help organize information on the web. When websites are crawled, keywords (ie important words that have to do with your business) are identified to help rank the relevance of the website to what people are searching for.
  2. Providing answers - the results that appear when you type in a query or question is due to the search engines. They decide what should appear. Think of them as gatekeepers who take on the responsibility of going through many possible answers and deciding which one is the best answer for you.

Algorithms, algorithms, algorithms

Without getting into too much technical detail, there are around 200 factors included in Google’s algorithm in determining how results appear. This includes:

SEO 200 factors

So maybe you’re wondering what all this talk about titles, descriptions and keywords are. You actually see it all the time - think of it as a preview before you enter a website.

From:

Fiat code

To:

Fiat title and description

Best practices for your tags, titles and descriptions

Tags (a piece of information in your website that you want to be found) are especially important for SEO because they are one of the first things search engines crawl for.

  • Each page on your website should have a unique title (70 characters) and a description (155 characters)
  • Each page on your website should have tags (keywords) that are specific TO THAT PAGE. This is very important - each of your page should be different. Google can detect when your pages have duplicate content and will penalize you for doing so. This includes copying content from other websites so if you don’t have the best writing skills and are stuck with what content to write you’d be better off hiring a copywriter - it will be worth it in the long run!
  • Think of which words best represent your business and focus on these words as your keywords. Use these keywords as early as possible in your titles and descriptions.
  • Add a call-to-action (CTA) in your description (if space allows)
  • Accessibility is becoming increasingly more important and ensuring your website is accessible (so those with disabilities can also use your website) will help you rank higher. For example, if you have images on your website each image should have its own alt-tag (alternative tag) so that those who may be visually impaired and are using a device to help them use websites will know what image they are interacting with since the image will be associated with a tag.

From:

alt tag image

To:

Service icon image
  • Keep your website structure nice and clean. In general, 300 words per page is a good guideline to follow and the content should organized well:
<h1>Main title (H1)</h1>
<p>have copy rich with keywords and links</p>
<h2>Subtitle 1 (H2)</h2>
<p>content with keywords and links</p>
<h3>Subtitle 2 (H3)</h3>

So there you have it, SEO basics. SEO is quite a complicated subject and this post just touches on the surface of the topic, but anything important is generally complicated! If you have any questions about optimizing your website or are interested in having your website audited please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@dodify.com.

SEO 101SEO 200 factorsFita codeFiat title and descriptionalt tag imageService icon image

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