Lauren Marinigh

SEO 101 For Your Business

By Lauren | July 8, 2014 | 0 Comment

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), one of the most commonly ignored online marketing tools, yet one of the most important. In fact, a huge amount of companies and brands aren’t utilizing SEO at all with their website and they don’t even realize it. Why? Because they are huge, and fancy companies with great websites, and they are just assuming they are optimized, I mean they have to be right?

WRONG!

Just because your company spent thousands to millions of dollars on your website, does not mean they were properly optimized. It is important to remember that Designer’s aren’t SEO experts, and just because you hired a great design agency for your website revamp, does not mean your websites were also optimized. Here are some tips to get you started on search engine optimization yourself, or at least to get you thinking about SEO.

Wordpress PluginStep 1: Download a Plug-In
First thing you should do, that makes SEO easy for just about anyone, is download an SEO plug-in. WordPress for example has hundreds you can download, I have All in One SEO on my website (the one you’re reading right now)! I have tried out different ones and this was the one I settled for. There’s literally a bunch that you can choose from. Choose which one works best for you!

The plug-in will basically guide you through everything you should include on each page, image, blog post etc. that will allow for your page to be optimized. This includes a proper SEO title, description, and keywords.

Step 2: Page Title SEO Title
When I say page title I’m referring to the title that shows up at the very top of your web browser. There’s a few key things that are important with this title that many people miss.

1) People often think it’s best to keep it with their branding, for example, our blog at Student Union was called The Circuit.ca, but most people would not look for it by searching “The Circuit.ca” as it wasn’t very well known. Instead it’s good to use some descriptive keywords in your title like: “Sheridan College Blog – The Circuit.ca”.

2) It’s also good to have your descriptive keywords come before your title. This doesn’t always apply for every business. Places like McDonald’s are pretty well known by just their name, but many smaller-medium sized businesses aren’t. My website used to be “Lauren Marinigh’s Portfolio” until I realized many people wouldn’t be searching for that. Therefore I changed mine to, “Social Media, Public Relations, Marketing, Freelance – Lauren Marinigh”.

optimizeStep 3: Optimize your titles
Your plug-in will allow for you to easily plug this in without having to go mess with the HTML code. Remember your titles should include keywords, and be descriptive of what your reader is about to read. Your SEO title does not need to be the exact same as your blog post title.

For example: I recently did a post titled “Delicious Toronto Wieners”. It was a review on a gourmet hot dog restaurant, since my blog title didn’t seem to be easily identifiable, I made my SEO title “Delicious Toronto Wieners – Lets Be Frank Restaurant Review”.

One thing to note – use your keywords but don’t over stuff your title with keywords. You still want people to want to click it, and it not to sound like spam.

Step 4: HeadingsSEO Headings
Headings on your website are essentially the anchor text that divides your content and copy on your website. For example, my headers on this post would be the sub-heads that are bolded. Many people don’t realize the importance of this, but these are actually similar to a table of contents. This not only helps the Google spiders that crawl around and scan your pages for listings, but also your users to easily read and navigate your content.

Step 5: Get Rid of Messy URL’s
Keep your URL’s simple and straight forward. Many times websites don’t pay attention to this and you end up with extra long links of mumble-jumble.

For example: www.canadiantire.ca/bbq/uwiIShkdlskdsjlej vs. www.canadiantire.ca/bbq/napolean-electric-silver

Make your links optimized just like everything else. Use keywords, and make them straight to the point.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 7.34.35 PMStep 6: Photo Titles
Believe it or not the titles of your photos are just as important as everything else. Many people make the mistake as saving images as random titles, but Google also scans the titles of photos – ever wonder where Google Images gets their images?

Keep your photos straight to the point, keyword optimized, and NO titles that just don’t describe what the images is. Photo 1, photo 2, photo 3… is not proper labeling!

Step 7: BacklinkingBacklinks
Use links throughout your posts! Especially if you have a blog. Link to related websites and pages throughout your copy. Having links helps justify your post and website, but keep in mind Google is smarter than you think. Don’t try to link every single word, so your copy actually looses value. Backlink important, relevant links. If you refer to a service you offer, link the reader to the page with more information, etc.

Google AdWordsStep 8: Keywords
Last but not least, tag all your posts and pages with relevant keywords. You can use Google Adwords keyword planner tool for free to help you get an idea of relevant keywords, and what people are searching for. If you don’t know how to use Adwords, you can also just come up with keywords yourself. Think of what the post is about, and try and stay clear of keywords that are too broad, like: girl, boy, food, oven. Keep in mind you can use short phrases for keywords, and not just 1 word.

Alright, so there’s 8 places to start with your search engine optimization. This post either did one of two things, confused you or got you thinking! Look into what your company is doing on their website, you may be surprised on the opportunities they are missing with SEO. Remember, don’t just assume your website is optimized, because many aren’t!

Lastly, click here for a great website for checking out your source code on your website to check if it’s optimized

Cover Photo Credit: seoinvancouver.net

Lauren

Sharing my inspiration, advice, opinion & fun stuff one post at a time.

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