For those of you who’ve heard the term and have no idea what it means, SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. It’s one of those terms bandied about by every marketing firm & big web design firm out there. They claim they are masters of SEO and can guarantee your placement in the top rankings on search engines. Mallarkey.
Quintessence Catering is a client who came to me because of just such issues. After hearing so much hype, they just wanted their website to place and to understand how that whole side of the web worked. I was happy to help them remove some of the hype and get down to the basics of what they needed to understand about SEO.
At it’s most basic, you need to make sure your website is Search Engine Friendly. This means you want to make sure the site links, page titles and file names all pretty much connect to what the page is about. As an example, your About page, should be named either about.html, about.php or /about/. The page title should be About Us | Business Name and the first H1 or Main Header tag should include the ‘About Us’, ‘About Our Company’ or something of that nature.
There’s a lot of confusion about littering your pages with keywords in the hidden sections at the top of the page (the meta tags). Google HATES this practice and you are more likely to get blocked or subjected to latent crawls for pushing meta keywords than you will benefit from this practice.
What you SHOULD do, however, is to determine a focus keyword or keyword phrase that each page on your site (or each new blog post) should be found by if someone were searching. Then you should focus the title of the page to at least include those words or some version of them. Your content on the page should DEFINITELY be about what you want the search to find or you’re just wasting your time. There is also a Meta Description that you can add for each page which is limited by Google to 156 which can be a summary of the page contents and should definitely include the search phrase. If you don’t include this meta description on the hidden area of the page, Google will automatically use the first 156 characters of the page’s content.
The remainder of the tricks that will help with SEO placement, I’ll touch on in another article for the next website I launch. I will provide a link to Yoast’s WordPress SEO Tutorial: The Definitive Guide, which is an EXCELLENT resource for SEO Practices & WordPress.