4 Steps to SEO Success

SEO is a method of increasing the ranking of your website on Google and other search engines. The objective of SEO is to help prospects find your site. You get more traffic when your site shows up on the first screen of Google’s search engine results page for the most important keywords potential customers search when looking for what you sell.

To get that high ranking, you must deliberately practice SEO, which involves taking these four important steps that can help search engines find you on the web more readily:

1. Keyword research

The first step is to come up with a list of keywords and phrases for which you want to optimize the page you are writing. These should be the keywords and phrases people use when searching for your product or service on the internet.

You can brainstorm what these words might be, then use any number of online tools to find out which ones are the most popular. Two tools that you can use are http://www.wordstream.com and https://adwords.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner

2. Write the best copy you can—for the human reader

Just sit down, and write the best damn copy you can about the topic. Don’t even think about keywords as you write. Concentrate 100 percent on sounding like one human being talking to another about a subject you are enthusiastic about and want to share. If you are writing strong, specific copy and content, your text will contain the right keywords naturally.

3. Insert keywords from your keyword list.

Now, go back and insert keywords from your list into the copy, wherever and as frequently as you can, without disturbing the style, tone, meaning, and persuasiveness of the copy. If forcing a keyword disrupts the flow of the copy, don’t do it.

4. Write keyword-rich meta tags for each web page

Meta tags are HTML code specific to the pages on your site. This code is not visible to the viewer and is in effect hidden behind what you see on the screen. Yet the search engines use this code in ranking your site.

The most important meta tags are the title and description tags. The title tag is what your visitors see at the top of their browser windows when they visit your site, as well as what they see in their bookmark lists. Failure to put strategic keywords in the title tag can result in pages being poorly ranked. The title tag should be a maximum 95 characters including spaces but ideally no longer than 6 or 7 words. The description tag should be a maximum of 220 characters with spaces.

When your website comes up in a Google search, the description tag is what the user sees on the search engine results page (SERP). It should incorporate strategic keywords and clearly communicate what you offer, who it is for, and the key benefit. Your major keywords should also be placed in the keywords meta tag, though Google pays less attention to the keyword meta tag than to the title and description tags.