Ever wonder how to make your website show up higher in Google? In just three minutes, learn the essentials of search engine optimization (SEO) and get tips on how to improve a website’s ranking.
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SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and refers to everything you can do to help your website come up high on search results for relevant queries. For example, let’s say I’m a hypnotherapist working in central London. Ideally, I want anyone wh0 searches “hypnotherapist central London” on Google to see my website in their search results.
In order for this to happen, I need to optimize my website. I need to think about the content, design, images and links with SEO in mind. So how do you do that? While we have created a whole lesson on this topic, I will give you the Cliffs Notes version here: Google and other search engines scan your website in much the same way that a person reads a newspaper.
They start with the big titles, then look at subtitles and images, and finally read the blocks of text, starting at the top of the site and working their way down. As they scan the site, search engines look for key words and phrases to understand what the website is all about. That way, they can display the site in search queries that are relevant to the website’s content. Start by choosing a few key phrases that are relevant to your business.
These are terms that you think people will enter into Google when looking for you. Then, use them in a natural way when you update the SEO settings for each page and on titles, headings and content throughout your site. Why “natural”?
Because Google and other search engines look for text that sounds like it is written for humans. They penalize websites that practice keyword stuffing – writing content with strings of key terms that are meant to impress only search engines.
Next, consider your H1 and H2 carefully and make sure you have included them on every page of your website. Your H1 and H2 are types of headings; they are like newspaper headlines and you want them to include key terms about your business. I will show you one way to add headings to your site. For Google, the H1 is the most important heading on each page. The H2 is the second most important heading – and so on and so forth.
Next, you want to optimize your images. Search engines use robots to scan websites. They can’t actually “see” images so they read their alt text. Write accurate descriptions for all the images on your site and be sure to incorporate your key phrases.
Next, keep in mind that for search engines, location matters so be sure to include your exact address on your website. Google and other search engines will adjust search results based on the location. Let’s say someone is searching for a hairdresser. Google will automatically display the salons and barbershops nearby.
Finally, another good, free way to improve your SEO is to connect your website to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Linking to social networks can help boost your website’s ranking. SEO is one of the hottest words in the web industry and while it can take a bit of time to see results, we’d like to offer one piece of free advice: make sure you keep the content on your website fresh and high quality – well written, original, updated and clear. That alone
will go a long way in boosting your SEO!