Doing Search Engine Optimization is one part science, one part art, and one part psychic ability. At least that is what most SEO professionals would like you to believe. It is partly true. SEO professionals are in the game of evaluating emerging trends in search engine optimization to make your site rank higher in search results. However, there are some basics that you can perform on your own site.
We are going to cover 5 things in the area of search engine optimization that you as a site owner or manager can do on your site to help your search engine rankings climb.
What everything comes down it is this: Search Engines want to provide the most relevant information they can find to their users. Everything you do on a web page either adds to or detracts from that relevancy.
We will use an example photographer's website, jillsphotos.com . This photographer offers the following services:
SEO Tip 1
Make sure that each page of your site has a unique title. We aren't talking just any title, though! Your title should be interesting and contain the relevant keywords that the page is focusing on in order to maximize your search engine optimization efforts. For instance, if you are a photographer, and you are creating a page for your photography services, what would you create as a title? Bear in mind that your title should not be more than 70 characters. Depending on the specifics of what you offer, a good suggested title might be:
Photography Services – Portraits – Events – Lifestyle | jillsphotos.com
This title is 71 characters. It is almost ideal! It has all of the major keywords that the photographer wants to emphasize. Think of your page titles a little bit like the title of a book. It needs to be short, but make the person want to pick it up to find out more about it.
SEO Tip 2
Many, many people have proclaimed through the years that for optimum search engine optimization results, Meta data is dead and you can safely ignore it. To an extent, that is true. However, using meta keywords helps to reinforce the relevancy of your web page focus, and the meta description provides a nice way for the search engines to provide a synopsis of your web page. As with the title, there are limits. You should never have more have more than 7-10 keywords, and it is better to keep that target closer to 5.
After thinking about the appropriate keywords and description for her page, Jill decided that her best keywords would be very similar to her title. But, to help with geo targeting in search, she included her city and state.
Photography, portrait, event, lifestyle, san diego, ca
For her description she wrote:
Jills Photos is your one stop for photography services. We work with people of all ages to provide a perfect portrait or lifestyle image. We document all kinds of events from weddings to red carpet. Visit our San Diego, CA office or we can come to you in all of Southern California, and across the nation.
This meta description is 309 characters. The recommended length of a Meta description is 150-160 characters. It's time to pair down her description.
Jill's final description came out to be:
Our photography services provide your portrait/lifestyle image, events from weddings to red carpet in San Diego, CA, Southern California and the nation.
Jill is further establishing her relevancy for the services she offers with the repetition of the title, meta-keyword and meta-description. So far, she has 3 instances of photography, portrait, event and lifestyle and she hasn't even gotten to her content yet!
SEO Tip 3
For optimum search engine optimization results, you need to pay attention to your page content structure. If you can look at your page and see an outline, you have done well.
Rules of thumb to follow:
- There should be only 1 Heading 1 (H1) on any given page. This H1 should be very similar to the title that displays in the browser bar. In Jill's case, it might be:
Services of Jill's Photography and Portrait Studio
- All sub headings (H2) below the H1 should be in support of the H1. In Jill's case, her subheadings are simple!
- Portrait Photography
- Lifestyle Photography
- Event Photography
- Depending on how far you want to work the outline, there may be further subheadings under each of the subheadings
- In an outline format, the H1 is the title of the page. The H2's are all the roman numerals, H3's are the equivalent of the alphabet, and H4s (if you need them) of the numbers.
SEO Tip 4
Now that you are viewing your web page in terms of the structure, you can gain further search engine optimization advantage by the judicious use of bold and emphasis tags. Both of these tags add "weight" to a specific word, and that helps to drive relevancy. So, in your writing you will want to emphasize words that are either the keywords you are focused on, or synonyms of those words. Finally, bullet points all have a higher weight factor than regular text, so using bullet points is a nice way to present list data. The order of weighting strength actually is: Bullet points, Bold, emphasis (italics)
SEO Tip 5
Don't forget your ALT tags for images. But, whatever you do, do NOT stuff your main keywords in the ALT tags! Be descriptive, include your site name, but don't worry about including all of your keywords. In other words, if it is a portrait, say "Portrait of (whatever the portrait is of)". If it is a lifestyle image, then "Lifestyle image of (whatever the image is of)" would work best to squeeze the best search engine optimization value out of your images.
These tips will help advance your way in the Google Search. These are not a guarantee that you will achieve your dreams of the number 1 position, but they will help! One Web Company is available to consult and train, as well as work with you on achieving your search engine optimization goals.