Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Beginner's Guide to SEO - Part 1

5 Tips to Aid Your On-Page SEO Campaign. 
Search Engine Optimization Tips Presented by CC Communications

By now, most people have a basic understanding of what SEO is or at least know how crucial it is to implement a strong SEO campaign to expand and maintain your online presence. If you're a new kid in town or need a refresher, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is essentially the strategy and techniques that are used help a website achieve high rankings in the search engines, like Google and Bing. The better your website ranks for relevant keyword terms that one would use to find your business online, the better optimized your website has become or is becoming. You can reasonably assume you'll have more website traffic and more potential clients exploring your products or services.
Truly, if your website is not ranking well in the search engines, your competitors websites are...

Website Content 
While engaging in an SEO campaign or correctly conveying your services to your website visitors, content is king...Hands down. What content you have on your website truly is of utmost consideration for your SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Be mindful; just because you have a lot of content on your website, it doesn't mean it is always helpful. Make sure to infuse keywords or keyword terms (common terms that one would use to describe and find your website) into your content as you're able. For example, it's no secret that 'Charlotte web design' is obviously a keyword term that we'd like to rank well for and through our content, we take the consideration to implement that term as we're able.

Also consider hyper-linking specific keywords to internal (hosted on your website) and external (outside of your website) destinations, which is of huge benefit, too. Make sure that the keywords that you link to are relevant to what one would find on the linked page. Avoid using phrases like "click here" as you're missing out on an opportunity to fully optimize the phrase. An example of this practice would be adding a link here for our webpage on SEO services.

Side Note: Save the flowery writing, or what I call 'puppies and kittens' writing for somewhere else. I'm an admitted 'puppies and kittens' writer, but when it comes to SEO and keyword driven content, there is no room for that. Make your content as focused and meaty as possible.

Blogging has multiple benefits for your business. When you create relevant, keyword-rich, original content, not only does your website benefit, your business savvy spreads by positioning yourself top-of-mind to your audience. If you create posts that are useful, interesting, and original, you add value and take the steps to earn your spot as an industry expert. I must caution that haphazardly posting a few blog entries will not cut the mustard; you need to be consistent with blogging and keep posts coming at a steady pace.

Name Your Website Images
When you save a document or image to your desktop or server, how are you labeling the image? Search engines do not read images as we do; they read images by the title. Take this for example. Your business is in the food & beverage industry, specializing in creating sweet treats. You're adding a new image to your website via your CMS and you title it Pic1948459.jpg. How does that benefit your SEO? It definitely doesn't. Take the extra few seconds to correctly title the image:  Charlotte-MiniCupcakes-CCBakingCompany.jpg. Not only does your image include your region, what the picture entails, it also includes your business. Much less, fully and correctly labeling your images will go a long way to ensuring that you're able to stay organized, without flipping through hundreds of pictures.

Leave Out the Meta Keywords 
In the past several years, Google has publicly noted that they do not take keyword meta tags into consideration for an SEO campaign. Check out what Matt Cutts of Google had to say about this fact. In the past, search engines 'read' the keywords that were embedded websites.  However, some websites began an unethical approach called 'keyword stuffing', where they would input dozens of keywords into their website meta data that they wished to rank for, whether it was relative to their to their business or not.  Put your focus into filling out your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions instead, which are of great consideration to your On-Page SEO.

Don't Forget the ALT Tags 
Similar to labeling images copiously, ensure that you also fill in the ALT tag associated with your images. An ALT tag is the text that is associated or alternative to viewing your image. You don't need to write a novel about your image; instead, just a few words that describe what a picture entails. For example, if you have a puppy training business and you're looking to create an ALT tag for a picture of puppy training, consider having the ALT tag read, 'German Shepard Puppy Training Charlotte NC.

There are obviously more than five things that need to be done for a strong SEO campaign, so please consider this blog post one in a series. Take a second to follow the CC Communications blog to ensure that you don't miss a beat!

Can we help you in the meantime? If you're interested in the comprehensive SEO and Internet Marketing services that CC Communications offers, or would like more information, please contact Marketing@CCCom.com or call us at 704-543-1171.