If you’ve tried to operate any sort of business on the internet or run a website, you’ve likely heard of search engine optimization or SEO for short. SEO is all over the internet, from news media websites to small local businesses, and everywhere in-between.
But what is SEO? Why do you need it and how do you go about optimizing a page? In this article, our marketing agency in Columbus, Ohio will answer these questions and provide you with a step-by-step guide of how to do your own search engine optimization, because we know not everyone can afford professional Columbus Ohio SEO services.
The first step in optimizing your website is doing keyword research. You have to know what people are searching in order to choose effective keywords for which to rank. Let’s take this blog for instance: if people were looking for our site, they might search for something like “Columbus Ohio SEO,” “marketing agency in Columbus Ohio,” or “search engine optimization help;” it’s our job to research which of these terms people are searching for the most that won’t bounce from our site.
Basic On-Site Search Engine Optimization Components
Let’s start with the basics. There are a lot of on-site SEO elements you can manipulate to improve search engine rankings. Our marketing agency in Columbus, Ohio will break it down into smaller sections. A word to the wise before we dive in: the key to successful search engine optimization is doing everything in moderation. Don’t overload your sites with keywords, ads, or links; do it all in moderation.
This element of your pages tells search engines what the page is about. With 70 characters or less, you should include your brand or business name and relative keywords.
This tag is placed near the top of the page’s HTML code, between the tags.
This portion does actually show up with your listings on search engine results so you want to write it with a human audience in mind. You want to be sure you use the page’s main keywords in your meta description and that it gives a good synopsis of what the page contains; the meta description gives search engines more insight as to what your page is about to better cater to the users’ search.
Why You Should Bother
Have you noticed when you Google something like “Columbus Ohio SEO,” the results have that term bolded where it appears on the results’ page? That’s your keywords and the reason you need to put your brand and main keywords in your title and meta description. It helps your page stand out amongst the sea of results and helps you rank higher because the search engine thinks your page is more relevant to the user searching.
Tips for WordPress Users
If you chose WordPress for your domain, your job just got a whole lot easier. WordPress has several free plugins to help with optimizing your pages, of which, we prefer SEO by Yoast. These plugins make it simple to put in your title and meta description for each page.
Yoast will even keep track of your keyword density on the page and provide helpful tips every step of the way.
Not-So-Basic On-Site SEO Components
While meta descriptions and titles are, first and foremost, the most important elements for you to optimize, there are several other on-site components that can make or break your search engine optimization. Our marketing agency in Columbus, Ohio is here to help simplify things.
Internal links are a great way to build your website’s reputation and help search engines better understand your website. You want to use reputable sources that are relevant to your page to boost your search engine optimization effectively.
Header tags both help search engines better understand your content and improve readability and the overall user experience on your site. Heading 1 (or H1) is reserved for post titles, heading 2 (or H2) for subheadings, and heading 3 (or H3) and heading 4 (or H4) are reserved for sub-subheadings as needed to concisely breakup the content.
We cannot stress enough the need for moderation with bolding text. However, when used sparingly, this can be an effective way to get the reader’s attention and help search engines determine important information and other keywords within the content.
Image Names and Alt Tags
If you use images on your website (which most do), you want to make sure to work relevant main keywords into the names and alt tags of the images. This gives the image search something to grab onto as well.
The Importance of Content
No matter what type of website you run, content is great for both search engines and website visitors. The more content you have, the longer visitors are likely to stick around on your page. You want to have quality content posted on a regular schedule with relevant keywords. Quality content includes but is not limited to the following:
- Blog Posts
- Industry Articles
- Tutorials and How-To Guides
This shows search engines you’re active on your site, gives you plenty of opportunities to work in keywords, and help to boost your reputation. Users love the content because it’s informative, relatable, or helpful in some way, causing them to visit your site more frequently and stay longer and encouraging them to share the content over various forms of social media.
The world of search engine optimization can be incredibly confusing if you’re new to it, but our marketing agency in Columbus, Ohio is here to help. We hope our Columbus, Ohio SEO experts helped guide you through the process of optimizing your website.