Editor’s note: This a guest contribution by Ivy Delfin, an SEO specialist. She shares advance tips on SEO for business.
If you’ve had anything to do with running a website for a business, you’ve probably heard the term SEO many times. Most of us have a pretty good idea of its purpose.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, improves the ranking of a website in search results, which subsequently delivers more visitors and more business to the site.
However, just how it all works remains a total mystery to many people. The good news is, the basics of SEO are relatively easy to learn and apply for most web administrators. Of course, if you’re serious about increasing your online business, you should engage a professional SEO agency, such as Optimising. But to learn the SEO basics that should be applied to every website, read on.
The most important thing to be aware of is that SEO is a constantly changing game. Whilst Google is supportive of some methods of search engine optimization, they are constantly updating their search algorithm to catch out and punish websites that are using unethical tactics to try and game the system.
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For this reason, it’s vital to stay on top of the latest developments in SEO and not to exploit any one particular technique. Without your realization, Google may release an update designed to counter your tactic, and you’ll find your website suddenly drops far down the search rankings, or even disappears entirely!
Add HTML attributes
Firstly, make sure that all of the content on your website is easily readable by search engines. This means adding HTML text on the page for every visual element. For all of your images, assign alt attributes in HTML to give Google a text description of what the image portrays. This goes for Flash or Java plug-in contained content, as well as video and audio.
Place targeted keywords in your text
Have a think about what sort of terms people would type into Google in order to find the products and services you offer. You want to include these keywords frequently on the pages of your site, but don’t go overboard, if you don’t use keywords in a natural fashion it can be picked up by Google’s bots and harm your rankings.
When it comes to headers and subheads, ensure they are assigned H1 and H2 tags and that they clearly and simply state what the page is about. Creative language and puns are not well understood by search engines, they’re only searching for relevant keywords.
Add a meta description
A meta description is a short description of your websites content and is displayed under your URL in search results. A keyword relevant meta description isn’t just good for SEO, it’s also an appeal for people to visit your site.
Ensure all of your pages are linked
The second part of this is to ensure that every page on your site is linked in a logical fashion. If there are pages with broken links or which are only accessible by altering the URL, then to Google, they might as well not exist at all.
Create links from quality websites
Link building is one of the most time consuming but valuable aspects of SEO. This is because Google interprets the value and importance of your site by the number and quality of the websites that are linking to it. If many people are linking to a website, then the information on it is likely to be valuable.
In the past, some SEO practitioners have purchased bulk packages of links on hundreds of websites, called link farms. While this worked for a little while, Google now recognizes this technique and punishes websites that take advantage of it. For a link building campaign to work, you have to work to get your links on legitimate websites. This might be a business directory, an industry partner, a professional association or a relevant blog. SEO agencies are the best people to talk to when it comes to link building strategies.
Ivy Delfin is a guest contributor here and a blogger who works for an SEO agency in Melbourne, Australia.