A Guide to Search Engine Optimization

This resource will help you improve search engine optimization (SEO) for your website using fundamental guidelines and free tools.

… but before that, let’s look at an overview of what SEO actually is. 

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the science of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
How does SEO work?
Search engines like Google use bots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages, and putting them in an index. Next, algorithms analyze pages in the index, taking into account hundred of a ranking factor, to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query (search term). Click here to learn more about it.
What should you focus on?

Achieving a complete error-free website!

  • Meta Data: The first step to achieving an error-free website is to focus on the MetaData on your site. The Metadata consist of 3 major parts: 
      1. Meta Title or Meta Tags
      2. Meta Description
      3. H1 Header tags
  • Content Optimization: Next step is to focus on your content. This is important to your SEO ranking as well as User Experience. It is important to focus on the length and quality of your content. It is important that all images have ‘Alt’ text attributes and valuable title names.
  • Page Speed Optimization: Page speed is how fast the content on your page loads. Most users today expect the content to load within 2 seconds, at most! A fast page speed provides a better user experience and it affects conversion rate. The page speed matrix is also a factor Google utilized in their search index, so to land on the first search result page you need a fast page speed.

Step by Step Comprehensive SEO Guide

How this guide works

Every day, Google gets approximately 5.6 billion searches. Each search produces a “Search Engine Results Page” that lists what the search engine thinks the searcher might be looking for, ordered according to what the search engine calculates is the most relevant answer. On the first page of the Search Engine Results Page, there is room for 10 or so organic (non-paid) website results for any given search. These sites are the best of the best in terms of SEO. If you are trying to grow your business, blog, or web app, you have to be competing for these top spots. Why? When was the last time you clicked your way past the first page of results on Google? Or even scrolled down to see the results at the bottom of the first page? Yeah thought so.

If you are launching a website and you ignore SEO, your site will be one of the millions of more or less anonymous sites on the internet.  If you are intent on creating a site that users enjoy using, you have to optimize it. It isn’t a matter of marketing dollars. It’s about who designs the best website for users. Search engines recognize this and reward you for it.

How we built this resource.

Resources and outside learning materials have been collected within each article on the site. Every page provides insights into different factors contributing to website rankings, use each page as a small guide to help you along the journey to an optimized site.

Where should you start?

If you’re completely new to website creation or optimization, we recommend starting with the “How Search Works” article. This provides a baseline for how Google, Bing, and other engines rank your website. Then move on to the other topics, in the order in which they are presented.

For more advanced readers, check out the “Keywords” section to get started on analyzing your own words, phrases, and placement to drive traffic to your site.

Got questions? Reach out to us; we’d love to hear from you. Team member contact information is here.

Have some ideas for additional content?

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