Imagine asking customers to visit your store or business without giving them the address. It might be a little challenging. So envisage if they take the time to try and find you and they just get lost along the way. It’s a bit like visiting a website that doesn’t really say what it is about when you first land on the page so people just leave because it’s all just a bit too hard.

This is very similar to SEO keywords. When you think about it Google and other search engines have to go through, trillions of bits of data, to find what a person is searching for in a matter of seconds. If those search terms were clearly set up properly behind your website you have just made Google’s job much easier to find you. It’s like having the correct address clearly marked on an envelope for your business. The postman can deliver it to you in a timely manner with no fuss. Do you think the postman would search around and guess what your address is for an envelope that is incorrectly marked? No, it would just go back to the sender or into the dead letter pool.

The concept of SEO is very similar to snail mail in the old days. Here are a few of the basics of SEO:

Meta Data

Meta data is composed of 2 elements: page name and meta description. The Page title can affect your rankings in an investigation depending on the significance of your keyword and how you’ve used it. The meta-description shows information that influences your readers.

Page Title

The page title gives readers a short summary of the content on a page. Each title ought to be unique for each page and ideally include no greater than 55-70 characters (yes that includes spaces!). It must contain your relevant keyword for that page.

Meta Description

The meta description gives you a bit more room to clarify what the content on your page is all about. That is where you will need to sell your page to your readers using a mini sales pitch. You need to convince them that this page contains all the information that they’re searching for.

The elements to include in a meta description are:

  • Needs to be unique to each and every page
  • Contains no more than 155 characters including spaces
  • Contains relevant key words without merely repeating it
  • Contains a call to action to drive users to your site
  • Encourages the reader to click through

Google declared in 2009 that Meta-descriptions don’t have any effect on search rankings. But that’s not to say that they aren’t vital for SEO. Meta descriptions pose a major opportunity to convince searchers your page is well worth navigating to.

Using a convincing meta-description can be the difference between a searcher that clicks through to a page and one who clicks elsewhere.

H1 – H6 Header Tags

The header tag is your headline on the web page that the keyword should be included in. (if it is H1, H2, H3 etc.) If the keyword is relevant to the page and the content on the page, then it should be in the heading. Header tags have a hierarchy. H1 to H6, with H1 being the most important.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. SEO best practices dictate that anchor text be relevant to the page you’re linking to, rather than generic text.

So what does that mean in simple terms? I bet you’ve all seen text that says “For more information, click here”, and the word “here” is highlighted as the text to click on. In this case, the word “here” is the anchor text. This is a commonly used phrase and is a waste of an SEO opportunity. If you can phrase your anchor text in a way that includes your keyword, or is relevant to your topic, you’ll be helping your SEO.

For example, instead of “For more information on SEO techniques, click here” it would be far better to say something like “My article on The Ultimate Beginners Guide to SEO will give you more information”, where “” becomes the anchor text. If this is also your keyword phrase, and it’s relevant to the page you’re linking to, you’ve ticked all the boxes!

Image Alt Text

When you load an image into your website, you’ll normally see areas for you to enter the title of the image, the alternative text, and a caption. The alternative text is the alt text, and this is the main one you need to fill out. When you look at a page, you see the image. But when the search engines crawl the page, they rely on the alt text to tell them what your image is about. Completing the alt-text field for your images not only helps google, it also helps the visually impaired understand the context of your image.

The reader bots can read the image file name and tell the person searching the site what the image is about instead of the image saying something like “1234.jpg” like most images are labeled.

So what should you write in the alt text field? Try to incorporate your keywords, but keep your alt text short and sweet. Around 5 words is plenty. Make the text a description of the image as much as you can. This will also help your chances of the image (and therefore the page that it lives on) show up in Google Image search results.

Understanding the basics of SEO can make your business more visible online. Make Googles job easy and yours will be too! The find out more about SEO and how it can help your business, feel free to download The Ultimate Beginners Guide to SEO here.