Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most asked about topics in web design. While we do not claim to be experts, we do study what the experts say and understand the basics.
In the next few weeks we will pass some of those basics on to you.
First, let’s define SEO. According to Wikipedia, “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via natural search results.”
Search engines determine which sites appear on their results pages by the words used on the page. While beautiful graphics, audio and video can help the visitor understand your message, a search engine can only read the words. This makes the words you choose when writing and coding a website of prime importance. Choosing the proper words and using them correctly are what SEO is all about.
Now that we know what it is, we need to know how it is done.
The first thing you need to know is:
What keywords do you want to be found on?
This might elicit a slew of answers. It also often brings an “I don’t know” response. So how do you decide? Here are some questions that might start you thinking in the right direction.
- If you were looking to check out your competition, what word or phrase would you search on?
- What are the most common words used describe what you do?
- Is there a generic term for your product or service?
You can also check to see how people have found you in the past. Check your website’s usage statistics. Most hosts offer a free, or low cost, statistics program. Google offers Google Analytics which is a free service. These programs will tell you what keywords were searched on by people who came to your site.
Once you’ve determined which words describe what your business does there are several things that must be done with them in order to make your site as search engine visible as possible.
In the next post we will discuss how to use the keywords you’ve found to create powerful web page titles that attract search engines.