4 Simple Search Engine Optimization Basics to Apply to your Website
Search engine optimization can be very much like a black hole when trying to explain it and all of its nuances.
From search engine optimization basics to the advanced, some SEO strategies are simple to implement while others are more complex in nature.
Hopefully, by the end of this post, you’ll understand how to go about implementing simple search engine optimization basics to increase organic search traffic for your website.
Let’s dive in and start discussing search engine optimization basics you can apply to your website today.
Be mindful when choosing your website domain name
If most people knew how much weight a domain name carried in relationship to search engines and how they rank, most would have chosen a different business name.
Most business owners set out to own their brand, and while that is fine, some also end up owning a marketing and advertising budget that could be quite less in size and zeroes had they chosen the most appropriate domain name from beginning.
Choosing an appropriate domain that best represents your line of business or business industry is easier done in local and regional markets whereas national markets tend to be a little cumbersome as you would need a generic domain name. What am I saying?
I’m saying rethink CindysCakes.com based in Austin, Texas and opt for something more generic like AustinCakes.com. And if you specialize in a specific type of cake, then get more specific with AustinWeddingCakes.com.
Not only will your domain be easy to remember, but it will provide your business with an exponential SEO value to start with that CindysCakes.com would not ever be able too.
From a generic domain to keywords and keyword phrases
What is a website without keywords and keyword phrases? The simple answer is a convoluted mess. And what is a website with overly-optimized keywords and keyword phrases? The simple answer is a convoluted mess.
Wow, if you don’t have any or if you have too many, then your website arrives in the same spot with most, if not all, search engines: no to low visibility if not indexed or de-indexed altogether.
I can’t express the importance of moderately optimizing a website’s keyword and keyword phrases when it comes to search engine optimization basics.
Most businesses try to game search engines by using an assortment of black-hat SEO techniques (i.e. keyword stuffing, cloaking, doorway pages, invisible text, excessive interlinking, backlinking, paid links, etc.) to drive greater search engine visibility.
The outcome is most sites are heavily penalized long-term for their shortsightedness in trying to achieve short term results.
We suggest most businesses should focus on individual pages when it comes to keywords and keyword phrases. Don’t try to be everything to everyone, meaning don’t aim for a lot of keywords and keyword phrases when developing your content.
I recommend not optimizing a page for more than 1-2 keywords and keyword phrases for every 1000-1500 words of content on a page.
It is more effective to have separate pages for 9-10 keyword and keyword phrases than one page trying to optimize for 9-10 different keyword and keyword phrases. Read more about how to optimize your content marketing strategy.
Content is king, but only when you plan for it to be
Before one line of code is written, and only after identifying keyword and keyword phrases can one begin to focus their efforts on developing website content.
Many businesses think that content development is an afterthought when, second to the domain name, it is the very core of your site and its ability to rank well in search engine results.
There are a large number of businesses that did not establish a plan of action when creating content for their website and are disappointed to find their website not ranking as well as they would like it too.
Website development is a daunting task in itself and most business owners miss a critical step in not establishing strategic content plan.
Developing a strategic content plan will better help and assist when it comes time for website design and development.
Be sure to include a SEO strategist in the creation phase of your content. So many times we encounter businesses that design, develop, add content and then optimize for search engines last.
It is not to say such actions are impossible to implement; however, doing so in that order adds a whole new level of complexity, limiting search engine visibility for one’s website.
Architect search engine optimization basics as the foundation for your search engine friendly website
Having a sound approach for creating a search engine friendly website is easier said than done for some businesses. Some businesses are creating sites by hand. Yes, you read that correctly.
There are many businesses, big and small, creating websites with static html as well as dynamically driven websites being built by hand on a daily.
It takes a very talented and diligent team to create and manage a search engine friendly architecture and website by hand.
Manual development is very labor intensive and highly-proned to an infinite number of errors drastically lowering a websites opportunity to be highly visible and rank well across major search engines.
We recommend businesses to use a content management system as a way to decrease the management and maintenance cost of their website.
Each has plugins geared to help keep website search engine friendly. From auto generated sitemaps to search engine friendly URLs to search engine meta tags to alt tags for images and title tags for links to pristine and search engine friendly code, each system has their advantages and disadvantages, but not to the degree of mavericked-by-hand website architecture.
As for the architecture of your website, this should go hand in hand with your developed content plan. As you have written content for each website page, be sure your architecture has sound design. After all, would you personally prefer to build a house on sand or rock?
Think of your business website as a house that needs a solid, sound architecture and foundation that is built to be search engine friendly for years to come.
If your business does not have a solid foundation and architecture, then your business cannot expect to rank well across all search engines.
Once architecture is determined, now it is time to write code, rather install and setup a system.
Use free search engine tools to promote your website
The typical search engine tools we recommend are using both Bing and Google webmaster and analytics tools. Sign up for both as both are free to use.
So many businesses have their website built and launched, and then walk away expecting to be inundated by the endless ringing of the cash register. Not going to happen, rather this is much like finding a needle in a haystack.
Therefore, take the next step and use webmaster and analytics tools to measure how well your site is performing or is not performing.
As for webmaster tools, we’ll share a secret or two. Get a head start for your website with search engines by submitting the website for verification as well as submitting a sitemap to be indexed.
If you need help creating a sitemap, try xml-sitemaps.com. It too is free with a limit of 500 pages and any website over 500 pages will need a paid account.
Depending on the size of the website, most sites are indexed within 48 hours. Yes, 48 hours.
Combine webmaster tools with the visibility of analytics, and you’ll know exactly what and where at within your website you’ll need to improve.
Decide to apply Search Engine Optimization Basics today
Remember based on how well your business chose, developed and implemented a domain name, keywords and keyword phrases, content, and architecture, this in conjunction with 200 other search engine criteria will determine your website’s search engine ranking and visibility.