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Beginners Guide to SEO

This article was originally posted in April 2013. The world of SEO is constantly changing however, most of what we wrote in 2013 is still relevant. We have updated this post to reflect the optimal meta tag lengths.


What is SEO?

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.

SEO is the process of improving a website's visibility in order to increase the volume and quality of visitors in the search engines. 

But Search Engine Optimisation is not just about search engines. It's also about how you can make your website better for people.

To be truly effective, search engine optimisation needs to be an ongoing process and not something that can be set and forgotten.

Why do I need SEO?


To put it simply, if you want people to find you online, you need to be considering optimising your website. Search engines provide "targeted" traffic - people searching for your product or services. Unless your customers can find you on the 1st or 2nd page of Google, Bing or Yahoo, you will be missing out on the opportunity to promote your brand.

Can I do SEO myself?


While SEO can be a complex and time consuming process, there are some simple things you can do to improve your website ranking and drive more targeted traffic to your site.


Here's some tips to get you started:

~ Content

  • Write for people not search engines. Insert keywords into your copy but make sure it makes sense.

  • Keep content original, fresh, and update regularly. The key here is "Original". Google will penalise you for duplicate content. Write targeted content for each specific page. e.g. a page targeting "Keyrings" should have content related just to keyrings. Don't be tempted to blanket content.

  • Limit keywords to 3% of your page content. Any more & you could be penalised for "keyword stuffing" by the search engines.

  • Internal Links: Link your content to other pages in your website. e.g. in a news article on "The latest keyring designs" select one of your keywords, like "keyrings" and link it to your web page titled "Keyrings".


~ Heading tags (H1, H2, H3 etc)

  • H1: Describes what page is about

  • Use only one H1 tag per page

  • Use keyword in H1 tag

  • Make headings relevant to content on your page


~ Meta Tags

        ~ Title Tag

  • Shows up in the search results.

  • Tells people and search engines what your page is about.

  • Most important keywords should be located first with least important keywords following.
    If you're using your Company Name, put it at the end, unless it's a well known brand and is part of your important keywords then put it first.

  • Each Title Tag must be original on each page - no duplicates.

  • Make it relevant to the page.

  • Use pipes | to separate important keywords phrases.

  • Keep title under 55 characters (including spaces)

            
         ~ Description Tag

  • Shows up in the search results.

  • Tells people what's on your site and, if written well, entices them to  visit your site.

  • Limit to 155 characters in length

   
        ~ Keywords Tag no longer relevant for major search engines.



Related articles: More Handy DIY Search Engine Optimisation Tips
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