SEO - Search Engine Optimization, Back to Basics
There is no doubt that optimizing for search engines will enhance the way your page appears on SERP's. While there are many factors that go into search engine optimization, the content of your website has never been more important. Since search engines are robots they only read text to discover the content of your site. When people search using their own keywords or key phrases, your website is then presented by the search engines as it should be the most relevant to the person that is searching.
The question that is commonly asked is, "Why doesn't my page show up on the first page?". While everyone wants their website to be on the first page or even the first link of the first page, it does take time and effort to get there. A great starting point is content, considered "on page SEO". Let's work through a few.
1. Page Title - Take this page for example. The title of this page is SEO. It's that simple, but it could have been more like "SEO Tips". Be sure to note that it should be a relevant title that matches the content of that page.
2. Meta Data - There are multiple items that can be optimized. The starting point would be your Meta Description. While this has no weight on Google Search Engine ranking, it displays a snippet of what the content of that page will be in search engines. It's important to use "<H>" tags for your "on page" content and also fill in titles for all your images in the "<alt>" tags. While keywords aren't used by Google in any way, shape or form, it truly is a time waster in terms of getting them to help you rank better. However; there are some benefits to keywords which we'll discuss some other time.
3. Content - Content should always be updated to keep a constant flow of information to search engines. Think of it as fuel for search engines in terms of SEO. If the content is great, more people will view it thus getting more weight from the search engines and is likely right on the money for what people are searching for.
While having a rundown of the basics will help you rank better, it's essential to have website goals while keeping them in mind when working on SEO. No matter how well your SEO works to get a better page rank, the true goal of conversion, sales and referrals is what counts. We've all heard the saying "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink it". Always remember that your content is key, but not just getting people there but keeping them. For example; Sales websites that have worked on SEO through thin content may get customers but those customers won't buy a thing from them. This can be due to poor or thin content that wasn't relevant to the person searching. In addition, a poor design can also hurt.
In closing, always make sure your content is fresh and relevant to what your end goal is. This not only helps your ranking with relevancy but also gains you customers, readers, leads or whatever your goal may me.
Check back to find out how to set goals on keeping or converting customers. We'll touch on "off page" SEO also.