If you want more people to see your website, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the way to go. SEO is the process of improving a website to increase the amount of traffic the website receives from high rankings in search engine results. Basically, the higher up your website appears when someone searches for something in using Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc., the more likely you are to get new visitors. Therefore, you want to have the highest ranking as possible in order to have more visitors coming to you instead of your competition. At the very least you want to get to a point where your website appears on the first results page, but ideally you want your website to rank in the top five positions.
Proper SEO is a time consuming process of constant researching, analyzing, updating and optimizing; it’s practically a full-time job. If you are a part of a large company, you’re better off hiring someone that can do all of this for you. However, if you’re just starting out there are a few things you can do so you’re starting off on the right foot. Below is a quick list of some things you can do in your HTML code to improve SEO.
- Provide Meta Tags: Meta tags encompass a wide range of informational tags, such as author, description, keywords, and more, and they are all contained within the <head> section of your website’s code. While many sources indicate that the keyword meta tag is becoming less and less relevant, it’s still important to optimize your description meta tag. The description you write will be what is displayed under your website’s title on the search engine results page (SERP), so it’s vital to include appropriate keywords and information within this tag to be indexed.
<meta name=”description” content=”Fresh Swirl Cafe breakfast restaurant provides a wide variety of omelets, fruit, biscuits and other pastries at an affordable cost.”>
- Write a Descriptive Title Tag: Just as the description meta tag will appear in the SERP, so does the text you put in the <title> tag; the text you put in this text will display the title of your website as a link that users can click on to visit your site, so you have to make sure enticing and informative. The coding for the title tag also appears within the <head> section of the code, but unlike the meta tags that remain hidden, this text appears at the very top of your browser window. It’s very important to include only relevant keywords that concisely describe your page’s content, as only the first 60 or so characters will appear in the SERP.
<title>Fresh Swirl Cafe – Breakfast Restaurant</title>
- Keep Order with Heading Tags: Heading tags include <h1>, <h2>, <h3>… and so on. These tags define the hierarchy of your web page. The page’s main title should appear within the H1 tag, and you should only have one H1 tag on each page at a time. However, you can have as many H2, H3, etc. tags as you’d like, since these should act as subsections of your H1 tag that not only help break up your content in more readable chunks, but also help web crawlers (also known as spiders) categorize your information.
<h1>Fresh Swirl Cafe</h1>
- Create URL Links that Make Sense: You should always try to incorporate your web page’s title and other keywords into the URL of each page. When you link to this URL (within an anchor <a> tag, for example), these keywords will be indexed by web crawlers. In addition, it may help users remember your website easily since the URL will accurately describe the website’s contents.
<a href=”http://freshswirlcafe.com/about-us.html”>Fresh Swirl Cafe</a>
All the information I’ve provided here barely scratches the surface of SEO; even though these tend to be the most important tags to try to optimize for, you should also aim to make sure your body text is also optimized. Keywords that you use in your title, description, and headings tags should also be reflected within the site’s content. However, try to avoid keyword stuffing, and only write what is relevant and what sounds natural.