Wondering how to SEO?

If you’re feeling dazed and confused by SEO, you’re not alone. In a recent consultation, one entrepreneur told me that (despite having a solid grasp of SEO basics) she felt like she and her small business just couldn’t keep up.

SEO is complicated and ever changing. Google endlessly updates its search algorithms and sometimes rolls out initiatives, like Panda or Google +1, that shake up the industry entirely.

It can be overwhelming. And most small businesses don’t have the time (or inclination) to become SEO experts. (Even I don’t claim to be an SEO “guru”, just someone who’s learned the trade and can help you wade your way though it.)

But certain SEO best practices are tried and true, and if you abide by these you’ll be ahead of most do-it-yourself websites.

How to SEO your webpages

Let’s assume you know enough about search engine optimization to know what your keywords are. Do you know what do do with them? Or, where to put them on your website?

Here’s a quick checklist of places you should be using your keywords:

  • Your URL – A keyword relevant domain is best, but you can also set up subdomains and individual webpage URLs using your keywords.
  • Title tags – Replace “home,” “about,” and “services” with more descriptive, keyword-rich titles. (Remember these page titles show up in search results, so you’ll want them to encourage people to click.)
  • Description tags – Here you’ll use keywords in full sentences to describe the content of each individual page on your site.
  • Image alt tags – When you insert images into your website make sure to format them with alternate text that uses keywords to describes the purpose (not necessarily the content) of the photo.
  • Headings – Use keywords in headlines and subheadings, and format them using a “headings” font (in code these are indicated by <h> tags).
  • Links – When linking from one page on your website to another make sure to use keywords for the anchor text.
  • Footer – Include keywords in the footer content. This is a particularly good place to include your location based keywords.
  • Content – Quality SEO copywriting is essential to your SEO efforts. Keywords should be thoughtfully sprinkled throughout your website content.

Most importantly, remember that SEO is a process, not an overnight miracle cream. It takes time and effort and must be constantly monitored and tweaked. If you’re looking for more comprehensive SEO help consider investing in an SEO software such as SEOmoz.

Still feeling dazed and confused? Contact me for a free consultation.