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SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, encompasses all the many things you can do to ensure that your website appears as high as possible in the search results on search engines such as Google.

There is a science and an art to SEO, and it is an ongoing process which will not yield overnight results.  But it’s not rocket science, and you can do it yourself. 

This article gives a brief overview of the 3 most important elements of optimizing a web page for SEO – title tag, meta description, and meta keywords.

 

Step 1: Identify your keywords

The building blocks of SEO are your keywords.  Before you do anything, you need to identify your keywords first. 

Think about your business and your site content. What words or phrases are people likely to use when searching for websites like yours? Make a list of these words and phrases, then go to Google’s Keyword Planner and enter them into this tool.

NOTE: In order to use the Google Keyword Planner, you need to create a Google AdWords account, which is easy to do and is free.

Type in your preliminary list of keywords, and you will get search volumes and related searches for each.  You'll want to decide if you want to go for high-volume search words (which are highly competitive), or more niche or "long tail" keywords.

Learn more about researching keywords and the Google Keyword Planner here.

Read more about identifying your keywords in our blog post on the topic

 

Step 2: Use Your Keywords in your Web Content

Once you’ve identified your keywords, you'll want to apply them to the content of your web pages.

In other words, USE the keywords in what you're saying on the page.  If you have a keyword phrase "mobile-friendly website", make sure there's a sentence somewhere on the page using that phrase, like "Anyone can build a beautiful mobile-friendly website in minutes."

But be careful to still write content that is well-written and makes sense, not just stuffing keywords everywhere you can.  

 

Step 3: Create your Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and Meta Keywords

Once you’ve identified your keywords, you'll want to apply them to the content of your page and to your meta tags.

Title Tag

The title tag can be thought of as the title of your page.  You need a unique title for each web page on your website.  The title tag should focus on the unique aspects of the page.

Title Tag Basic rules:

  • It should be short.  This will be displayed in Google search results, and it will get cut off if it’s too long.  There is not a set number of characters, as it depends on the width of each character, but a rule of thumb is between 48 and 62 characters.
  • It should include some of your keywords, as well as being a good descriptor of what’s going on in the page.

More information about title tags can be found in our blog post about title tags.

 

Meta Description

The meta description will show up under the page title in the search listing.

It can be longer and more descriptive than the title, more like a sentence or two instead of a phrase. 

Meta Description Basic rules:

  • Should be longer than the page title. Ideally, your description should be no longer than 155 characters. 
  • It should include some of your keywords, as well as being a good descriptor of what’s going on in the page.
  • After you’ve entered it in, check it on Google search and see how it looks.  

 

Meta Keywords 

Here’s where you’d put your keywords, what you’ve researched as the most important search words or phrases for your website or web page.

Meta Keywords Basic rules:

  • As a general rule, don’t use more than about 10 meta keywords for a single page.
  • They should be different for each page.  Your whole website may be selling jewelry, but you’ll likely have one page for necklaces, another for earrings, etc.  Use the right keywords for that page.
  • Include common misspellings. This will indicate to search engines that your page is relevant to the (misspelled) search query, without your having to include the misspellings in your webpage text.

 

For more information on SEO, view our reference links here.