Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important component of any successful website, but do you know your SEO basics as well as you should? Here are top 8 fundamentals that you absolutely need to know about search engine optimization:
Basic #1 – Content is King
Search engine optimization for beginners always begins with good content. This basically boils down to making good on what you promise with your website. Provide the information you claim to provide, supply the goods or services you advertise, and any good relevant information you believe will be useful to your website visitors.
Basic #2 – Selecting Relevant Keywords/Phrases
Keywords are phrases that a target web visitor is most likely to type into a search engine when looking for specific products, services, or information. This means the content provided in your web pages needs to be seeded with the right keywords. The right balance between relevance and words with less competition needs to be achieved. The most relevant keywords may be too competitive with other sites, while less competitive keywords may not get a large enough number of searches.
Basic #3 – URL Links Need to Be Relevant
The Uniform Resource Locator (URL), or website address link of a website and its subsequent web pages must be as relevant to the content as possible. For example, a URL of www.feldonsflashlights.com/types/LEDflashlights will be more effective SEO-wise than www.feldonsflashlights.com/folder3/00034.htm because the former web address spells out what is in the page content, “LED flashlights.” Not only will the former URL be more attractive to search engines, but may also be easier for users to read and remember.
Basic #4 – Page <Title> Tag Must Match the Content
One of the most important and yet overlooked SEO basics is selecting a relevant title for the title tag of “each” page. It is imperative that the title be brief enough to fit in a small space but broad enough to effectively communicate the content of the web page. The title tag is very important because it tells the search engines what a page is all about. The title tag information shows up in the most upper-left hand corner of the computer screen for each page in a web browser.
Basic #5 – Use of the Description Meta Tags
Description meta tags go hand-in-hand with effective page titles because the description can be used to catch the attention of a web visitor. A good description meta tag and a call to action can convince a web visitor to actually click the link and enter the site. While some SEO experts have minimized the importance of this tag (because they say it is no longer important to search engines), the fact is that it is the text your web visitors see when they read your listing on the search engine results page and could be the one factor that gets a potential visitor to click or not based on what he reads.
Basic #6 – Use of Heading Tags (<H1><H2><H3>)
Once a web user lands on a page, he should see a relevant headline with keywords included that let him know he’s in the right place! This is another one of those SEO basics that many website owners overlook. Heading tags count towards the visibility of a website on search engines because the keywords included in these tags tells the search engines what the page is all about.
Basic #7 – Importance of Image File Names and the Alt Text Value
Using keyword phrases when naming image files to match the content of a web page, as well as, using keyword phrases in the “alt” value of an image tag, adds significant SEO value to a web page when search engines filter through images on a web page. Rather than naming a file something like, “picture2.jpg”-a much better file name for a search engine may be something like, “LED-flashlights-small.jpg” and including the same phrase as the image tag “alt” value.
This would look something like: alt=”Small LED Flashlights”
Basic #8 – Keep Learning…SEO is Always Changing!
Just like everything else in technology, the Internet is always changing-so is search engine optimization. This makes it important for anyone with a business web presence to continue to learn about changes in SEO and keep their website updated accordingly.
Keeping all these SEO basics in mind should arm you with the basic foundational knowledge needed to get you started in search engine optimization for your business website.