SEO for the Totally Clueless AND People Who Love Tacos
You hear it all the time, all over the place: SEO this and SEO that and you have to have good SEO! But what the heck does that even mean? And what does it mean to be “spiderable?”
Are we talking about websites or Arachnophobia here?
Well, the truth is that SEO or Search Engine Optimization is really important for any business with a presence on the web. The major goal for SEO is to get your URL as high up as possible on search results pages like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
The most basic SEO means looking for ways to increase your website’s appearance in search results, which sends more traffic to your site. So, let’s say for example that you’re a Rhode Island based maker of tacos. When someone searches for “Tacos, Rhode Island” you want your site to be one of the first to come up. Heaven forbid your competitor’s site with their subpar pseudo-taco is the first to come up! That’s why you want to rock your taco website with SEO goodness! Splash a little hot sauce on it and dig in! Arriba! Cilantro! Pico de Gallo!
We’re feeling a GLAD WORKS taco night coming on very soon….
Anyway, there are some simple things you can do yourself to help out with SEO a little bit. You’ll need our help with some of the more complex stuff like site restructuring, but here’s a list of stuff you can start thinking about doing on your own first. If you get stuck, give us a ring: we do this all day long!
Keywords are, well, key.
Keywords are words that will get the attention of search engines, so you need to intentionally sprinkle and repeat a few keywords throughout every aspect of your website. Your titles, image names, content, and URLs should all be spiderable, meaning that when people type in a search term like “black bean tacos” yours will be the most easily found by search engine spiders because you will have labeled several things (urls, images, articles) with those key words, as well as using “black bean tacos” repeatedly in the body of your pages. The spiders crawl all over your site looking for little nuggets that match the search terms. But beware, the spiders are smart and they detect when sites have deliberately stuffed as many keywords as possible into their content. If you do this, they will scoff at you and move on because they know when they’re being manipulated and they’re not having it! You saw Charlotte’s Web. Spiders are smart. The best thing to do is to keep your keywords in mind as you’re creating the site in the first place, and just giving them a little more emphasis and frequency.
This is the easiest thing you can do! Try to link back to yourself whenever relevant. When creating new content, like adding new menu items or writing a blog post, make sure you figure out a way to link back to some other part of your website. Again, be careful. Too many links are annoying and people aren’t going to want to taste your taco if you’ve already left a bad taste in their mouths from your website. So be sure to obey the golden rule: don’t be annoying. You can also direct more traffic to your website by linking to other sites that you have a good relationship with. Make sure it’s as fine and upstanding a website as yours or they could bring you down big-time. Relevant cross site links are always welcomed.
Have you ever come across a URL that looks like this www.thebesttacos.com/omg/s201/whatisthis/?s=”huh?” It makes no sense whatsoever, does it? URLs should look clean and the contents should be easily identifiable, just like your tacos. They should look something like this instead: www.thebesttacos.com/blackbean/ so that people know exactly what that URL contains.
Cool it with the Flash
We know Flash is super cool looking, but it does absolutely nothing for SEO because you can’t link to a single page. While Flash and things like it are still good to use, they need to be used sparingly if you want SEO results. Similarly, spiders can only search text, so when you have images, you need to make the words associated with your images very descriptive. Add captions to all of your pictures, too.
Keep in mind these three main topics are just the tip of the SEO iceberg. Not only that, but SEO is constantly evolving as search providers continually refine and tweak their ranking algorithms. People make livings on keeping abreast of these changes and integrating them into contemporary website design; people, incidentally, like us!