If you are like a lot of small business site owners, the thought of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) frightens you. It may sound expensive, foreign, difficult, or unclear. I am not here to tell you that SEO isn’t complex, but there are a few things that you can do to your website to put your best foot forward in Search Engine Optimization.
1) Title Tags
A title tag is the single most important text on a webpage. Unfortunately, it is overlooked way too often.
What is a Title Tag?
The title tag is the text that displays in the browser title for a particular web page. And more importantly, it is also the text that Google is most likely to use as the hyperlink in the search engine results page.
What should be in my Title Tag?
Here are a few quick tips on your title tag:
- Each page should have a unique title tag
- Include keywords with your most important words first
- Length of 70 characters or less
This couldn’t be any simpler. If you want to rank for a keyword, you must include that word/phrase on your webpage. If you don’t you won’t rank for it.
There isn’t a magic number for code-to-content ratio and keyword instances. Just write in a logical, readable format and you’ll play by the rules. Resist the temptation to write something full of business jargon that uses lots of words to say exactly nothing. Search engines recognize phrases such as “core competency” for what they are – white noise – and rank them accordingly.
3) Phone Number
Your phone number can be an influence for ranking in local search queries, not to mention a piece of information that most consumers try to find on a business’ website.
- Include your phone number
- Include your phone number as text, not an image
- Use your 10 digit phone number with area code
- Use hyphens as the separator, not periods
If your site uses images (and most do) you should be aware that your images can provide keyword and topic value to the search engine crawlers.
- Use keywords to name the image files used on your website. Nothing is more pointless than DSC194628.jpg
- Use descriptive keywords for the image’s alternative text. It is considered a best practice in web design, not just SEO, to include the alt text for images. So take advantage of this space to reinforce keywords.
How much time should I spend on perfecting my keywords meta tags?
Both Google and Bing have stated publicly that using the keywords meta tag will not provide any value to the search engine algorithms. In as early as 2009, Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google, made this statement:
“The answer is we don’t use the keywords meta tag in our search ranking.”
See the whole statement about Google’s stance on the keywords meta tag here:
Keep these SEO tips in mind as you manage your website, and let your own personal experience with other websites be a guide. The best websites are inherently readable, with easily-found information and real language that relates to keywords used. Search Engine Optimization may be intimidating, but small tweaks to your site’s content can be beneficial to your site’s performance in search results pages.
Do you have a quick SEO tip? Share it in the comments below.