The Scoop on SEO: Basic Elements

SEO

In today’s article for “The Scoop on SEO” series, we are sharing the basic components of SEO used on your website! Check out the elements you need to be aware of to be successful in the SEO world!

Note: Be aware that every content management system has a different way to implement these various elements onto your site!

• Content: Content creation is key for driving traffic to your site. Through blog posts, service pages, interviews, lists and more, there are several methods of creating content you can use to keep your audience engaged! Check our our content-specific article and take an in-depth look at the different types of content that are popular today!

• Keywords: SEO keywords are IMPORTANT! These are the phrases used in your content that will, if used correctly, place you higher in search engine results! You may be asking yourself, “how do I know which keywords are going to be successful?” RESEARCH! There are plenty of tools on the internet to research what keywords are working: SEMrush, KWFinder and AccuRanker are keyword tools that will help you find what will be useful for your particular business. Taking time to research keywords on the front end can make a huge difference in optimizing your SEO and seeing results down the road!

• Meta Title & Meta Description:
The purpose of meta titles and descriptions? They describe your content and how it relates to what a user is searching for. Think of the title as a header for your content, and the description as the short summary of your content. The title will show up on browsers, external sites (think social media) and the results pages of various search engines.

The description will be where you want to “hook” the reader, whether that’s through a call-to-action or giving them a hint of what you offer so they have to keep reading to learn more. For both your title and description, you want to make sure they are both compelling and relevant! If you would like to rate your meta title and description for recommended lengths, add the Yoast plugin to your site.

• URL: Your URL is the web address of your site that shows up in the bar of the user’s browser! URL’s are important because the terms that you use in your URL show up in a search engine’s results, as well. The content after the / in the URL, called a slug, is also taken into consideration when ranking for search. You want to keep your URL succinct, and you want to be sure to use your relevant keywords. For example, for “Optimizing SEO On Your Site,” we would suggest removing the words “on” and “your.”

• Alt Text: Visuals are of great worth when it comes to SEO, as an aesthetically pleasing visual can be appealing to your audience! You will notice that when you are on a search engine site, there is an “images” tab that shows when you search for something — and sometimes, images appear even before text results! For these two reasons, alt text is important. Alt text is what will appear in the place of an image if the image fails to load on a viewer’s screen; it is used to describe your image to entice your readers. It’s also important to make sure your site is accessible for those who may be visiting your site that are visually impaired; in fact, accommodating visually impaired site visitors is why alt text originally formed! Alt text helps your site rank higher in SEO because you’re catering to everyone when you add the alt text. Keep in mind to be descriptive and specific!
• Links: Links are great for ranking with SEO, because links show that you’re providing your audience with additional content and guiding them to additional resources. There are two types of links: inbound and outbound. With inbound links, you’re creating a flow that guides your visitor throughout your site based on the content they’re interested in; for example, see the first paragraph of this article 😉. Additionally, inbound links can come from other websites, which tells search engines that your content is worth promoting on other sites, increasing your SEO. Outbound links allow you to reference additional content that your site resonates with, while also encouraging that website to link to your content. 
The more links you have, the more likely you are to rank in SEO. However, it’s important to note that search engines evaluate not only the quantity, but the QUALITY of your links. Fake friends are easy to see through — and that applies to links, too!

• Heading Tags: Heading tags tell search engines what your page content is mainly about with H1, H2, H3 and so on. Your most important content titles (usually the page or post title) should be tagged with H1, followed by sub content titles as H2 and H3. You’ll primarily want your content to reflect the keywords you’re trying to rank for.

We hope that this article was informative in regard to the basic elements of SEO!
Be sure to check out our previous SEO articles, The Scoop on SEO for Your Business and The Scoop on SEO: Creating Content! Also, be on the lookout for our next article about link scheming vs. link building!

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