The easiest way to drive traffic to your website is through SEO (Search Engine Optimization), a system of helping search engine locate, understand, and prioritize your content. SEO helps search engines, like Google, analyze what each page is about and how it could be helpful to readers. When you are optimizing your website’s SEO, you are essentially competing for a position on the first page of the search results. The pages in those positions are ordered by a rank of quality and usefulness as determined by search engine algorithms. It is no surprise that the higher your website is on the top of the search results page, the better traffic it will drive. Although search engines have increasingly intelligent algorithms, they still cannot read and interpret a web page the same way you and I do.
While SEO optimization is decidedly complicated, understanding the bare basics go a long way in ranking your website:
Dealing with non-text
Search engines struggle the most with understanding any information that is not text. When you look at a photo, it is easy for you to determine it is a picture of a bed with a purple duvet, but the best search engine in the world could never draw the conclusions you do. The same goes for videos, gifs, and java plug-ins. Your job is to make those easier to read. How? First, assign "alt attributes" images in gif, jpg, or png format to give search engines a text description of the visual content. These clues help the search engine understand what you have posted. For video and audio content, it is helpful to include a transcript that can be indexed by the engines.
When people think of SEO, the first thing they usually want to talk about is the usage of keywords. While SEO is much more sophisticated, a good understanding of how to use keywords is extremely important. When you input a query on a search engine, the engine attempts to retrieve pages based on the keywords entered. Search engines measure how keywords are used on pages to help determine the relevance of a particular document to a query. Generally speaking, You want to use more specific keywords. Instead of using “architecture”, for example, “Scandinavian studio,” will help you narrow the selection of search results, and therefore improve your chances of ranking higher. You also want to carefully place those keywords in the title at least once. Try to keep the keyword phrase as close to the beginning of the title tag as possible. Once prominently near the top of the page, at least two or three times in the body of the page, and once in the URL.
Clarifying the links
Once you have a good amount of content on your page, and a competitive amount of those keywords, you want to leave a clear trail of links for the search engine to find that content. Search engines use links as the roads to arrive at your content. Thousands of websites make the mistake of creating posts and pages without a clear link navigation. It’s like expecting people to know how to get to a city that has no roads in or out. Every post should have a parent page that is somehow attached to your homepage.
At times, complicated algorithms of search engines seem impenetrable. In fact, while there are many suggestions for how to improve your SEO that are backing years of study and theory, sometimes SEO is also about testing to see what works specifically for you and your brand. It can be both overwhelming and time consuming for a novice marketer. If you find your website still is not ranking the way you want it to after following these tips, it may be time to talk to a professional. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss what we can do to help improve your SEO.