SEO Explained: Demystifying the Mystery of Search Engine Optimization

SEO Explained: Demystifying the Mystery of Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization

SEO is the process of using keyword phrases and other signalling tools in strategic places on your website (and other online platforms or posts), both in content and in coding, in order to be indexed properly by search engines and to rank at the top of search engine results when users type in the keyword phrases related to products and services that you offer.

One of the easiest ways to use SEO techniques to boost search engine rankings is to incorporate targeted keyword phrases on your website in the following places:

  • Page Title Tags
  • Meta
    Descriptions
  • Content:
    • Header Texts (H1-H6)
    • Bolded/Italicized Text
    • Anchor Text
    • Image Titles

Here are more details about what each of those are, where you can find them, and how to optimize them properly.

PAGE TITLE TAG = The “Title” of Your Page as Read by Search Engines

You want the title tag to tell Google and your visitors what that page is about. The title tag for each page on your site should be different. On your website, if you have input a title tag properly, when you hover over the tab at the top, you’ll see the entire Title Tag of your page.

seo title tag 1.png

The title tag also shows up in search results like this:

seo title tag 2.png

To write a good title tag, follow these guidelines:

  • Should be different on every page
  • Up to 70 characters max (Google will cut off anything longer)
  • Include the following:
    • Business Name
    • Primary Keywords
    • No fluff

META DESCRIPTION = Short Summary of What Page Is About

Your meta description provides you with an opportunity to tell search engines more about what your page is about in order to help them show it in search results when people are searching for keywords related to your products/services.

You don’t see the meta description on your website itself. In search results, the meta description shows up under your title and URL and looks like this:

seo meta description.png

Follow these tips to write a meta description that will help boost your rankings and visibility:

  • Should be different on every page
  • From 50-160 characters
  • Include the following:
    • Business Name
    • Primary Keywords
    • A bit more explanation
    • Very little fluff

To find out if your website has a proper title tag and meta description right now, here’ s a trick. Right click on your page and select “View Page Source” like this:

seo view source code.png

You’ll then see a screen like this and can see whether that page has a title tag and meta description that is readable by the search engines. It will look like this:

seo source code.png

The title tag and meta description are updated on the back end of your website. If you are using a web builder like WordPress, there are typically SEO plugins installed that make this process very easy so you can add the title tag and meta description on each individual page.

If you aren’t sure about how or where to do this on your website, ask your web developer.

When you use keyword phrases in your content, you don’t need to use exact phrases. The search engines are intuitive and will determine what your page is about when you use natural combinations of keyword phrases that users will be searching for.

You want to include those natural uses of the keyword phrases and variations in strategic places in your content.

Here are explanations of those and where to find them:

HEADER TEXT = LARGER TEXT OPTIONS FOR YOUR CONTENT

Search engines read this text differently. When you use header texts (typically sizes vary using labels H1-H6), it tells search engines that this is important.

BOLDED and/or ITALICIZED TEXT

Search engines also read these as an indication that something important is contained in that bolded or italicized section.

seo headers.png

ANCHOR TEXT = Clickable Text That Is Hyperlinked to Another Page

Anchor text uses keyword phrases to other pages within your site.

seo hyperlinking.png

IMAGE TITLES = The Name of the Image File

Most often when you take a photo then save it, the image name is a random series of numbers. Search engines do not read that as having any meaning. Renaming the image as a keyword tells search engines what that photo is about. In the screenshot below, you can see the image file name has the keyword BCorp.

seo image naming.png

Following these tips for adding keywords into your website code and content are some simple ways to boost your SEO and increase your rankings in search engine organic search results.

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