There is much talk on the web these days about SEO. Looking to get clued in on this phenomenon? Here are some basics to help the novice get a grasp on this concept.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is the practice of optimizing web content for search engines to find and index it. An official definition according to Webopedia follows:
This means following several guidelines for writing content that include the way links are presented, the keywords used in the post, and the code of the website itself, among other things. Google says that this oftentimes simply means making small changes to parts of your website, although there are some websites that are non-SEO friendly to the core.
As you write content on the web, it’s important for you to think about how you present this content. As you write your content, you should keep two questions in the forefront of your mind. First, ask yourself: Am I presenting this material in the best way for my viewers to receive it? Second, you should ask: Am I presenting this material in the best way for search engines to recognize it as helpful for my viewers? You see, Google has bots that crawl the web indexing pages and deciding – based on complex algorithm – a page rank that determines where your website gets placed in search results when your potential visitors browse the web.
In 2016, there are many ways to get ahead with SEO. The method of choice for many web developers (myself included) is to use the Yoast plugin. If you are a WordPress user, I highly recommend this plugin as an intuitive tool that will keep you on track with SEO best practices in real time as you write content for your WordPress website. In fact, I use it for every single one of my blog posts and web pages including this post. I also recommend you go and read what Google has to say on the subject in their Search-Engine-Optimization Starter Guide.
I design all of my websites with SEO in mind. One of the biggest parts of this is setting my client up with a clean WordPress installation and a theme that utilizes SEO friendly code. I also ensure that the finished product looks great and performs well on mobile platforms, because this is a huge factor for SEO.
SEO goes far beyond this simple consideration. Page rank is also determined by proper use of the following: headings, formatting, URLs, meta description, linking, images, readability, keyword stuffing (this is very bad), and the use of fresh content, among many other things. While no one has access to Google’s complete algorithm, paying attention to what Google says about SEO can greatly aid in scoring high when a bot indexes your sites.
Creating web content that is in line with current SEO standards is truly an art form that takes practice and diligence. If you want to consistently rank at the top of search results, you need to get your household in order and continue to patiently work at it until you see results.
Are you a small business owner looking for quality web design work? Do you want your website to be primed for Google’s search index from day one? Consider shooting me a message through the contact form below to see what services I can offer you.