Website SEO or Search Engine Optimization in its simplest form is about getting the word out, to the right people, that your website exists.
“If you build it, they will come.”, might have worked for Kevin Costner's character in Field of Dreams, but that kind of thinking can equal failure for a website. Unless you are creating a website for your own pleasure and don't care if anyone will ever see it you will need to let the world know. And the world uses search engines!
So...What is SEO and how do you do SEO?
SEO involves techniques to increase a website's ranking in search engine results, so that the website appears closer to the top of the list when relevant terms are searched. The closer to the top of the list, the more visitors a website will have from the search engine users.
The Basics of SEO
To simplify; lets break it down into two categories: On Site SEO and Off Site SEO
On Site SEO would include: Your Website platform, Design, and Content
Website Platform and Design:
The platform you build on needs to be SEO friendly. Elegant Eagle Web Design uses WordPress for that reason as it is naturally friendly to search engines. Recently with the increase use of mobile phones your sites performance and useability on mobile phones and tablets will affect your rankings. Again WordPress gets high marks for being mobile friendly.
Is your website mobile friendly? Use this simple Google tool to find out.
When creating your website, even in the very beginning stages, you want to be sure to keep SEO in mind.
SEO starts with awesome, relevant, unique content. Your website should contain information that is useful to your intended audience. You should research the words and phrases people are searching already and incorporate those into your titles and text.
Social media is a part of SEO as Google takes into account if you have a facebook page, a twitter account, YouTube, and a Google + account among others.
Great content is content that is shared, with links back to your site is a big help to high page ranking. It tells the search engines that people find what you are saying relevant and important to others.
Pictures can be great for increasing your visibility. The biggest easily fixed mistake I see is people not filling out the “alt text” field for their images.
Off Site SEO is all about BACK LINKS
That is; links to your site from sources outside your site. Back links are important because search engines judge the importance and relevancy of your content by how many others consider it important, ranked by quantity and quality of external links back to your content.
Where do back links come from?
Social media • YouTube • Guest blogging • Press releases • Commenting on related blogs
When your content is shared, or you create content for other websites, be sure and obtain links back to your site.
Email marketing (not technically SEO, but a good way to get more visitors)
High Quality Links vs Low Quality Links
High Quality links are held in higher regard and give you more “points”. Examples include pages with high PRs (Page Rank). If you manage a link to your content on the front page of The New York Times you will get more points than having a link on www.NewSmallTinyWebsite.com that gets no visitors...ever.
Learn more about good SEO company practices and more on "What is SEO" here: White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO