Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a one-time process. You can’t launch a site, add some content, and then walk away. If you build it, they will come is not a guarantee for websites. However, there are some technical things you can do with your site that will put you ahead of the game while you are determining your social media and site content strategy. If you have a content management system for your site, like WordPress, many of these technical suggestions are fairly easy to do. If you are not able to make changes to your site, talk to your webmaster about these modifications that will enhance your SEO ranking.
In the simplest terms, think of page tags as a way to describe your site. There are lots of debates about the most important page tags and I would have to say that the <title> tag is at the top of the list. To view the title tag when you are on a web page, move your mouse to the tab of your browser, but do not click. When you hover there, you should see the title tag displayed. If you have trouble seeing it that way, you can also right-click on a page and choose “view source” from the pop-up menu. This will let you see the title tag within the source code. Try this on the ASPE-ROI Blog by going to http://www.aspe-roi.com/blog/. If you look at the source code, you will see <title>ASPE-ROI Blog | ROI News, Updates and Blog Post</title> which is a great description of what this page is about. You want to fit your company name and keyword in here while keeping it to 60 characters.
The next tag to consider is what’s called the meta description. This can be up to 160 characters so you can provide more information about your site. The meta description is important to searchers because Google may use it in the search results when someone finds your site as a result of using Google.com. You want the results to catch the eye of the searcher quickly so they can make a decision about whether clicking on your link will answer their question. (Hopefully the answer is yes!) You can see whether this is on your site by using the “view source” tip mentioned above and searching for the word “description.” You can also test it by doing a search for your site on Google and see how your site is displayed in the search results.
H1 is another important tag to have on each page. It’s similar to an outline heading and represents sections of web page content. For blogs, it is usually the title of the post or could be another section of the site you want to emphasize. Best practice is to only use one H1 per page and H2-H6 tags for additional, less important sections. Please note H2-H6 tags are not as important, so focus first on proper use of H1.
Any time you add an image to your site, you want to have an alt tag for each image. What this does is provide a text alternative if your image is not shown for some reason. Displaying this text is a user-friendly feature for visitors who may be using screen readers. It’s also displayed if images were disabled. In addition to creating a good experience for users, the alt tag is what search engines use to “see” your image, therefore increasing your rank when using a keyword within the image alt tag.
If you maintain a blog on your site, ensure you have a solid Google Plus profile set-up because you’ll want to connect it to your site through Google Authorship. Once this is done, you can improve your site rank as well as establish your credibility as a knowledgeable expert in your particular area. The searcher will see an enhanced snippet which can show the Google Plus profile picture next to the search results. Although adding content is clearly an ongoing process, establishing authorship is a one-time step. There are a number of helpful resources online about how to do this, including Google’s support guide.
These technical tips do not mean you’re totally off the hook with other SEO efforts. You still need to think about quality content for your site and a backlink strategy. However, implementing these technical pieces will put you into a good starting place with your site while you are developing a plan for other ongoing pieces.