SEO - we all hear about it, but what is it? How do you actually do SEO for your website? I'll admit when I first started learning about it, I went deep down the rabbit hole (and I still do some days). There's a lot to it, and the good news is there are also some quick, simple and easy places to get started. What you need to know first is that you can't ignore SEO if you want people to find your website organically.
So, I'll break it down for you today with this quick SEO cheat sheet that will help you get started. This is all based on years of research and testing I've done myself personally and that we've implemented at POWR. So I know it works.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of getting the highest number of visitors to a website by appearing high on the list of results returned by a search engine. Basically, you ideally want to rank #1 in Google search for the keywords that are most relevant to your business.
Let's remember that Google isn’t the only search engine, however, it is the most popular. It accounts for over 75% of desktop searches and over 87% of mobile searches worldwide. Google itself has many free tools available to help businesses understand how their websites are performing and even tips for improvement, like this one.
Key SEO Definitions
|Keywords||Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. In terms of SEO, they're the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines.|
|Rank||Rankings in SEO refers to a website's position in the search engine results page.|
|Organic search||Organic search refers to the search results of a search engine that cannot be influenced by paid advertising.|
|Backlinks||Backlinks are links from a page on one website to another. If someone links to your site, then you have a backlink from them. If you link to another website, then they have a backlink from you.|
|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.|
|Impression||An impression means that a user has "seen" a link to your site in search results.|
|Click||For SEO this is when a user has clicked on the link to your website from the search results.|
The Two Parts of SEO
SEO is divided into two parts - On-Page and Off-Page.
On-Page is everything you can do on a website.
Off-Page involves getting backlinks from other high-value sites. Backlinks are a crucial factor in ranking for organic search results.
For today, I'll focus on on-page SEO.
Top 5 On-Page SEO Tips
- Optimize Your Meta Title and Meta Description
- Pay Attention to Your H1, H2, and H3 Tags
- Use Alt Text in Images
- Front Load Your Keywords
- Write Quality Long Form Content
1. Optimize Your Meta Title and Meta Description
Your meta title is the heading that appears in search engine results, and the meta description is the preview text that appears underneath. Use keywords in your meta title and descriptions to help your site rank better for those keywords, and think about what searchers would be more likely to click on.
Even changing the order slightly can help you jump up a place. You can usually update these in the settings of your content management system for your website pages.
2. Pay Attention to Your H1, H2, and H3 Tags
Search engines use your header tags to better understand the hierarchy of the page. Use only one H1 tag (typically this is the title of your page) and only a few H2 tags. The keywords you use in your headers hold more weight than paragraph text when it comes to ranking your page in search results. It's worth carefully considering which terms you want to rank for and make sure you use them in your H1.
3. Use Alt Text in Images
The alt text isn’t just text to make your website more accessible, it also gives search engine crawlers a cue as to what our content is about. Be sure to use keywords here. Most content management systems will let you update alt text in the image itself. It also helps to surface your images in relevant searches in Google Image search results.
4. Front Load Your Keywords
Make sure your preferred keywords are included in the first four words of your title and you stand a better chance of ranking more highly for them. Note that the first 100 words of any page hold far more weight than the rest of the words on your page.
Be sure to add keywords here as well as sprinkling them throughout the content of your site. Be careful to not add more than 15 instances of the keyword in any long form content you write so that you don’t get dinged for “keyword stuffing”.
5. Write Quality Long Form Content
A 2019 study showed that pages that ranked #1 in search results had an average content length of 1900 words, compared to an average of 1700 words for those that ranked #2. After 2000 words there was little difference.
There is a direct correlation to the average number of words and page rank in search results. Where appropriate, write long form content with at least 1900 words on the page and make sure you're using the most relevant keywords throughout.
Resources for Site SEO
There are many free resources online to get you up to speed on SEO. It's worth starting with a website audit using one of these websites:
The audit report will tell you if you have any broken links, how many backlinks you already have, let you know which keywords are already performing well for you, and much more. It will give you a good starting point so you know where to focus your efforts to begin with.
I've talked a lot about keywords and now you know they're important you'll want to know how to make sure you're using the best ones. When researching your keywords take note of the monthly search volume, competition, and keyword difficulty. Here are a few places you can do keyword research for free:
I hope this helps you to get started with your website's SEO. Putting some focus on SEO will help you get more visitors to your website, and for most businesses SEO is a very important customer acquisition channel. Once you have people on your page, the next step is to convert them. To learn more about how to convert your website visitors into customers, check out our free eBook: