Whenever a person or company plans to create a website, one of the first terms that will come up is search engine optimization, more commonly known as SEO. So what is SEO, and why does it matter for a website?
What is SEO?
SEO is exactly what it sounds like, optimizing a website so it will rank well on a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Website owners have an opportunity to control what content and technical elements are used on a website to help it rank well for certain search queries, which in turn will drive more traffic to the website.
When a company is creating its first website, there are a few SEO tactics that are crucial first steps. These steps, discussed below, are only a beginner’s guide to SEO. In reality, there are many more tactics needed for a company to perform well on Google, but these will help get you started.
Create Great Content
When it comes to content on a website, many people assume a handful of strong keywords will be enough. However, in today’s search engine environment, just a few good keywords aren’t enough.
Granted, keywords are important, but are only useful when incorporated into good, useful, worthwhile content that shows the company is a thought leader and expert in the space.
Search engines, for the most part, can’t readily interpret what is happening on a picture unless a company describes it. That’s why many content management systems like WordPress allow website creators to give a picture a title, alt tag (alternate title), and description. Using these fields correctly will help Google understand what is happening in a picture.
In the early days of SEO, companies would pay for links to their sites, which sparked entire companies build on link farming. Unsurprisingly, search engines put a stop to this practice, but didn’t completely eliminate the need for good linking to and within a website.
Links should be inserted smartly, with appropriate links connecting multiple pages within a website. Linking between relevant pages will help users navigate your website and will show search engines that it’s easy for users to find what they want on your site.
Additionally, external links can be very useful when done correctly. This means working with industry partners, associations, and vendors to link back to your site. Having relevant industry websites link to your site will show search engines that your website is a though leader in the industry.
These are just a few simple actions companies can take to improve their overall SEO success. However, as mentioned above, there are many other tactics needed for companies to maximize their SEO efforts and compete against competitors for strong placement on search engines.
If you’re in need of strong SEO or have questions about optimizing your website, contact our marketing team today at 501-372-0393.