“I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.” – Marie Curie
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process of increasing the visibility of a website or web page in a web search engine’s unpaid, or organic search results. The objective of SEO is to get your digital presence to appear earlier or higher in a web search results page. The higher you appear in the web search results, the more clicks you may get to your site. More site visits may create more customers. More customers are why we are in business.
When you consider “the numbers” for web traffic analysis, it can be intimidating. Today we are going to scratch the surface on SEO. Our objective is twofold:
- to make you aware of SEO
- give you some information and guidance to consider if you want to learn more
A Very Brief History of Social Media Marketing
Our discussion starts with you – specifically with your content. You can’t optimize the visibility of anything if there is nothing to optimize. In the “old days” SEO revolved around your “metadata”. This term may be familiar to some of you. For context, we will define metadata as the data that describes your data – possibly keywords about your content. As search engine algorithms evolved, metadata also evolved. Your content was absorbed into the greater void with other content and analyzed against what people were looking for in a web search engine, like Google, to produce a “relevance ranking”. Basically, if your content included the words that people were searching for today (right now), your content “could” appear higher in a web search. This is a very simple explanation of a complex concept.
We have touched on the “science”, now let’s talk about the tools. There are tools that Google provides to access and target SEO. To use them, you still need to invest some time doing research. Yes, unfortunately, to accomplish SEO requires effort.
SEO Points to Consider
Look at a SERP.
A Search Engine Results Page. Do a search on Google or Bing relating to your content. The results you see are the SERP. You are simulating what someone would search for to find your content. This gives you an idea of what might come up if someone searches for your content.
Enter the tools. Google has a Keyword Planner that can help determine some keywords to include in your content’s metadata. There are many tutorials online to use this powerful tool. Once you identify the best keyword(s) to use, integrate them into your content (like a blog) and/or in your metadata (video and other).
Consider including headings in your content if possible. This means using HTML tags. Most of the time, this is done by your content authoring tool (i.e. WordPress for a blog, etc.). There are 6 levels of headings in HTML h1-h6. The h1 is the top-level heading and reserved for the title of your content. The h2 tag is for sub-headings. The search engine algorithms look for the h1 and h2 tags in some cases to analyze your content. There are plenty of tutorials on using these tags online if you are interested in learning more. If you upload an image, consider naming the image file a meaningful name. For instance, if I wanted to upload a picture of my favorite place to visit. I would not call the file “DC43567.JPG” which might have been the original name of the image file. I would rename it to “Corpus_Christi_Beach.JPG”.
If you can refer to other content on your site in your post (especially in a blog), this is very helpful to SEO and can drive traffic to your site. Obviously, this requires some thinking and planning. There are many places to find more information on the web – just do a search!
The last point to consider is review, check and recheck your post. If you have access to the “permalink” (with an SEO plugin tool), make sure it is optimized. This is a blog topic itself (along with each of the points I have mentioned above). Do a search online to get more information on this item. We may tackle them in future blogs!
As a summary, to approach SEO, consider the following in your planning:
- Do research relating to your content
- Identify the keywords to describe your content
- Integrate the keywords into your content
- Try to use headings effectively in your content if possible
- Make sure uploaded content (images, etc.) has a meaningful file name
- Refer to previously posted content to drive traffic to your website/webpage.
- Don’t forget about the “permalink” for your content
I use a tool called Yoast SEO as a plugin to optimize my social media marketing in addition to the Google tools. Happy posting! Cheers!
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