SEO or Search Engine Optimization is simply the process of telling the search engines what you want to show up for.
Many people don’t have a good understanding of SEO or why it is necessary. Some people seem to think that SEO can get them in trouble with Google. While it’s true that “black hat” SEO will get you in trouble, Google genuinely wants you to participate in “white hat” SEO, since it is how the most relevant results are determined.
#1 - Title Tags
The #1 most important place you do that is your title tags. There are some guidelines for title tags but they are a little fuzzy, so in some ways it’s as much an art as it is a science. The key is good keyword research and relevance. If you’re optimizing for phrases that have no bearing to the content on the page, you probably won’t succeed. If you optimize for what is actually on the page you do much better.
#2 - Content on the Page (Keyword Density)
You want to provide unique information, that means don’t copy and paste from Wikipedia if you want to rank. Put it in your own words if you want to have success online.
#3 - Meta Descriptions
This is what appears under your title tags in the search results. It should contain the same keywords as the title tags but expanded upon. This will allow you to rank for a few additional terms.
#4 - Heading Tags
These act as secondary title tags and will show up in search results when properly done.
#5 - Schema Data
Schema data is growing in importance every day. Its a method of marking up the pages on your site under the hood that specifically tells Google who you are, what you offer and what you want to rank for. Your competition might not yet be doing Schema but they will be soon. Do not wait until you are on page 100 to get it done.
#6 - Geo Tags
This is something relatively new and too often overlooked. By providing your geographic location you do better in local searches.
#7 - Internal Linking
Linking key phrases within your own website. This tells the search engines that this is an important phrase for your site.
#8 - Photographs, Banners, and Any Type of Image
If your images are optimized it can help you rank higher for search terms.
If you tie all of this together you will see an improvement in your rankings over time. On-Site SEO is not the end of the process by any means, it’s just telling the search engines what you want to show up for, yet in many cases it will get you first pages. For the more competitive terms there is more work needed.
This is a step far too many people skip or don’t even begin to understand. Your site should be optimized for all of the important keywords not just a few keywords that you you would search.
Your customers don’t always know what to search.
Another mistake we see all the time is just going after the peacock phrases. By that we mean the terms with the most searches and the most obvious, while we will help you get those as well, the more specific searches should not be underestimated for building your business.
Most people will start with a very general search then if they don’t see the specific thing they are searching for right away will modify their search to include more specific terms.
Showing up for everything that’s relevant to your business will help establish you as the leader in your field and help you find your ideal customers.
Optimization for Other Devices
This is important both for your SEO and your site design. More and more people are using their smartphones or tablets to do searches. If your site is not optimized for smartphones your missing out on a lot of business.
Would you be more likely to call a business you looked up on your phone if you could just click a button on the site and have it load the number into your phone?
Most people like the path of least resistance don’t make your site hard for them to use and you are more likely to get the customers.