When I meet with a client for the first time, we have an initial consultation and one of the first questions that I ask is; “On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your SEO”? Answers can range anywhere from an eight or nine to just a blank stare, which tells me that the client has no idea what SEO is and how crucial it is to their online presence.
If you fall into the latter category, then grab a cup of coffee and kick back for a quick tutorial.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization and it is the process of optimizing your webpage so that the search engines will see you as a relevant authority on the topic of the page and include the page in the search engine rankings, preferably on the first page.
Think about it, how many times have you gone beyond the first page when searching for something with google? For that matter, how many times have you gone beyond the first couple of results?
The goal of anyone involved in internet marketing, which is anyone with a website or blog, should be to appear in the top five results on the first page of google.
Search engine optimization is not difficult, but there are some rules that one must follow in order to have their page properly optimized.
SEO Rules to Live By
There are certain rules that everyone with an online presence should abide by in order to achieve good search engine optimization.
- Choose a keyword to focus your webpage on. Use the google keyword planner or a paid tool like Long Tail Pro to research what people are searching for and create your pages around a well searched keyword.
- Use the keyword in the title to your page.
- Use the keyword in the URL of your page.
- Use the keyword in the first paragraph of your page.
- Use the keyword in your meta description.
- Use the keyword in an h1 heading and subheadings if possible.
- Use the keyword in the last paragraph.
- Keep the keyword density between one and two percent.
- Webpages should be at least 300 words and 500 plus is preferable.
- Include images and use your keyword in the alt text for at least one image.
- Try to include at least one link, preferably to an authoritative site.
- Use short easy to read sentences and paragraphs.
- Use numbered lists and bullet points when appropriate.
- Create high value content that others will find worthy of linking to.
Those are some of the SEO rules that you should be following with every webpage that you create.
Make note of these rules and use every single one for your webpage creation. SEO is not about using some of the rules that are easy to implement. You must use them all because if you don’t, your competitors will, and they will outrank you in the search engines and get the customers that you were targeting.
While SEO continues to be an extremely important exercise for anyone involved with marketing on the internet, the times they are a changin!
According to Wikipedia, In November 2015, Google released a full 160 page version of its Search Quality Rating Guidelines to the public, which now shows a shift in their focus towards “usefulness” and mobile search.
As we continue to practice search engine optimization, we will keep an eye on the almighty Google and any changes to their algorithm so that we can change and adapt as internet marketers.