SEO Basics – where to begin

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an essential element of online marketing. If you’re not on Google, are you even on the internet?

You can’t just send an email to  Google to get your business listed. Here are a few simple steps to follow for all those new to SEO who want to become visible on Google or other search sites (such as BingYahoo). Even so, bear in mind that these steps will need you to work with a developer or have some coding skills of your own. Either way, you need to know these steps to direct the developer in the right direction.

Site Health

Before we begin to attract visitors, the first thing to do is ensure that search engines will notice your website. To list you online, Google and other search engines use ‘crawlers’ that go through your website. These crawlers are programs that analyze your site content and loading speed to determine where to rank it in their search results.  

Here are a few points to consider to improve site health.

Meta tags and descriptions

Every page or post on your site needs to have Meta Tags. Meta tags are content descriptors that tell search engines about your web page. These tags are not visible on the web page but are embedded in the page’s source code. A good meta description with relevant keywords improves searchability and attracts users to the site.

Broken links or missing pages

Search engine crawlers won’t rank your site higher if there are many broken links on the page. It also makes navigating difficult for visitors and leaves them with an unpleasant first impression of you as a business – don’t let this happen!

Slow loading speeds

There can be multiple reasons for slow speed; however, the most common are coding problems, large images, or a webserver low on computing resources. Work with an experienced coder to fix the coding problems and image optimization. Webserver issues may require support from your cloud service provider.

Sitemap formatting errors

A sitemap is a map of the site with the details of all the pages on site. Sitemaps are used by search engines to understand the website structure; therefore, you must format them in a certain way to allow the crawlers to read them. Ask your developer to format the sitemap for your site appropriately.

Low content to code ratio

For searchability, your pages need to have an appropriate amount of content. Search engines do not prioritize pages with very little content as they are usually not useful for users. One way they analyze pages is the content to code ratio. Heavily coded pages with many design elements should ideally have more content to present to the user. Otherwise, it just becomes a beautiful webpage with nothing useful to offer. Another reason a webpage may have more code is if the code is poorly written and optimized.

Therefore, it is crucial to work with a competent developer to create pages with optimal code and have an adequate amount of content.

Unnecessary redirects

Old websites usually contain a lot of redirected links and URLs. Redirected links cause difficulty for site visitors and search engine bots to navigate the site and make your site less searchable. 

We at Opel Solutions have the expertise to analyze and fix the issues mentioned above if you need help. We are a Marketing Agency. See our SEO services here.

SEO friendly content

After fixing the site health by working on the above points, you have to move on to content creation. Please remember that the above recommendations can make your site search-friendly. Still, they alone will not drive traffic to your website. The best way to do that is to create engaging content that will interest your customers and make them want to visit and stay on your site. Stay tuned to this blog to see our guide to creating engaging content!