TRIO Tips: SEO

Good search engine optimization (SEO) is all about making small modifications to your site that can end up making some noticeable differences in your organic search results and also in your site’s user experience. There are several different steps you can take to make your site more effective in the SEO arena. These tips can be used while building your site or as edits after your website has been launched. It’s never too late to optimize your site! Getting your site ready for search engines is as easy as creating or editing some HTML tags, organizing your site structure and perfecting your content. Once you make the necessary edits, your site should start performing better with search engines and with your end users.

PAGE TITLE TAGS

In creating page titles, you want to make sure to create unique names while making sure the names are accurate to the content within. You’ll need to change your page titles within the HTML title tag and each page should have its own unique tag. In the tag you should include the site name as well as the page name. The page name should be short and concise to the page’s content.

So how do page titles actually help your site? Well first off, in search engine results the HTML title tag appears in the first line of your listing in a Google search result. This also helps users determine whether or not your website page is relevant to their search.

DESCRIPTION TAGS

The description tag is a summary of each of your pages. It not only helps search engines determine what is going to be within the page, it helps users as well. While a page’s title should be short, a description is where you will want to give the details about the page. It can be as short as one sentence or as long as a paragraph. You’ll want to create a description that is not only accurate in relation to your page but also something that will capture a user’s attention.

Where are descriptions used? Google will use your page description in its search result under the page title tag. If you have different descriptions on multiple pages they will all show under each page listing in a search result.

SITE STRUCTURE

Not only is a clean site navigation helpful to visitors, it’s also great for search engines. Search engines are a lot like visitors in the fact that they like to be able to find a page quickly and easily. You’ll want to structure your site in multiple levels. Your top-level pages should be organized into folders with subpages listed underneath. All files and images should be contained within their own folders. This will help your users go from general content to more specific sub-pages. Make sure to add pages where it makes sense – but be careful not to cut up your content to multiple pages. This will make it to where a user has to make a lot of clicks to get to specific content.

The best way to present your site structure on your site (other than navigation) is by including a sitemap within your pages. A sitemap lists out the site structure with links to each page. Users can use this as well as search engines. This is actually a search engines’ preferred method of searching though a site.

URLs

Another way to help with SEO is by improving your URLs. If you have accurate, descriptive page URLs and filenames for the documents on your site it’ll help not only keep your site better organized but also it will also help when users try and share your site with others. If you use relevant URL names it will help both search engines and users identify what is going to be within the page.

Some tips to create good URLs? Use words. Try not to use symbols and avoid using a long slew of numbers. URLs should be like page titles, short and concise. Also, make sure that your site folder structure is set up cleanly and accurately. This will determine your URL formation.

CONTENT

Finally we’ll get to the most important aspect of SEO, content! You can have great meta tags and site structure, but without good content your site can’t perform as well with search engines. Interesting and relevant content influences your site in SEO more than any other factors. Your content needs to be fresh and unique. Make sure that your content is easy to read text and that you have no spelling or grammatical errors within. As stated earlier in site structure, you’ll want to break up your content into reasonable bits so that it’s easier to search for and easier to scan and read through.

So, how do you create good content for your site? Research. Use Google’s Keyword Tool to research what users are searching to find the topic your website is based on. You need to think about your users and how they will understand your topic and search for it. The Keyword Tool will provide you with plenty of keyword variations and also gives you the search rate for those words. When writing your content you’ll want to use a mixture of these keywords. That way, when someone searches for your site, it will register in the search engine results that those words were used within the content.

So there you go, some simple tips on optimizing your website for search engines. There are no secret ingredients, only good thought through site development and content. As noted before, always keep in mind that you’re not only optimizing for the search engines but for your end users as well. It doesn’t matter if a user finds your site if it doesn’t turn out to be beneficial to them.