When I built my first website I new quite a bit about building websites but nothing about SEO and getting traffic. Now when I talk to clients about their first site, I know it has to be the first thing on their mind. It doesn’t have to be difficult.
1. Who are your visitors and what are they looking for? Will they be Googling “winter clothing” or “cool winter duds”? If you can think of roughly five 2-4 word phrases that your visitors will use to find your product, service or topic on the net, that’s your start to discovering your “keywords”. Your goal is to have a great keyword phrase for each page of your site. Or at least those pages that you want “found”.
2. Once you have your list of phrases, Google them. If the search yields 5,000,000 results, you will never rank in the top 10 or even the top 100. I know it’s counter-intuitive, but you have to get results that are more in line with 10,000 or maybe 100,000 at a stretch. So refine those keyword phrases until you have ones that really are focused on your target market, your specific product or service offering, and doesn’t come back with too many search result findings. Remember, it’s better to be seen in a pool of 10,000 than be invisible in a pool of a million.
3. Got some great, focused, keyword phrases? Great. If you can incorporate the primary words into your domain name, that’s even better. Try to find a domain name that includes those key words along with your company name.
4. Now to your site. Work with your designer to put that page’s key word phrase
- in the page title (that’s the name that shows on the browser tab)
- in the page headings (the bolded words on any of your pages… these really have to be coded as headings, tell your designer)
- in the alt tags (for every picture or image on your site, there’s a name attached to it that is used for people with accessibility challenges.)
- in your file names (every page has a unique name that shows up in the address line allowing the browser to find the page); believe it or not, the search engines do look at these. Another reason to use nice permalinks for those bloggers out there.
See, that wasn’t so bad. But better to do it before you begin than to try to fix later.