Get the basic Search Engine Optimization done first.
Every website created should have the basic SEO done in order to stand a fighting chance in the search engines like Google and Bing.
I call this Static SEO ( Search Engine Optimization )
What is SEO – Search Engine Optimization is a way to improve the visibility of your website pages in search engines like Google and Bing. The reason we do SEO is to drive FREE traffic to a site that converts into sales of goods and services. This is normally called generic traffic, being found in Google and/or Bing without paying for advertising.
At times we concentrate on so many things to improve our website traffic and stats. These things might be Social media, advertising, promoting and marketing. We might use Google Ad Words or Facebook ads to get traffic for potential sales. These are all great things to do for your business website, but we neglect the most important thing, the basic SEO on our website. The basic SEO should be the most important thing to start off with.
I wanted to create this article in order to help small businesses start off on the right foot for SEO. This article is created from years of experience and from happy clients who have gained more exposure, traffic, and sales.
I have broken down the steps I do in order to perform the basic Search Engine optimization on my clients websites.
Please note *** – These steps are what 360 Web Firm does and what we believe in. We are sharing these with you as a courtesy. If you decide to use any sugesstion in this Article, you are 100% responsible for any issues that may happen. Please ALWAYS take a complete backup of your website files and database before doing any major changes or updates to it.
- Create a website using a CMS ( content management system ).
- Utilize a SSL for complete website.
- Use keywords or phrases on each page and make content unique.
- Set up Meta tags and Header text on a per page basis.
- Images used on website should be optimized and have Alt tags.
- Make sure website content is Optimized and website is fast loading.
- Create a sitemap for Google and Bing.
- Create a Google and Bing webmasters account. Add pages to Google and Bing
- Create a Google my business page.
- What to do after Static SEO has been done.
Create a website using a Content Management System like WordPress
You can use anything you want to build your website and you can still do all the SEO you need. However, I use WordPress for most of my websites because it is widely used and is considered the #1 CMS in the world. Using WordPress also gives you benefits of adding plugins and performing SEO tasks relatively easy.
The first thing you need to do is to find a good WordPress theme that is not too heavy and will load fast. This also has to work with several plugins we need to make the site go faster and for integration of Google and Bing scripts such as analytics and webmasters tools.
Utilize a SSL for complete website.
It is a good practice to make your website more secure by using a SSL certificate. It is also widely known that Google recommends all websites now to use a SSL, even if its not an ecommerec store. If you have two exact same websites and one has a SSl and the other does not, Google will rank the one with the SSL much higher than the one without.
A SSl will make your visitors feel more secure and they might take more action on your website. Therefore, having a SSl is a must for all websites and to better increase your SEO stats and chances with Google and Bing.
Use keywords or phrases on each page and make content unique.
All pages within your website should be set up with their own unique keywords and/or phrases. This allows all your pages to have the ability to be found in the search engines. Over all, this will give your complete website more exposure. Once they are on any page within your website, they have the ability to click on any menu items such as your homepage.
Lets say for instance you have two pages. One page is search engine optimization, while the other page is website design. The search engine optimization page should have keywords and/or phrases that you would like to be found in google for that page. Examples might be: Search engine, visibility, traffic and so on. The website design page might have: website services, web development and website packages.
Each page on your website should be unique with content and have several of your main keywords within the content, Meta Tags and headers like the H1, H2, and H3 headers.
Spend a lot of time on each page to utilize keywords within that page. The page title itself should have one of your main keywords in it.
Set up Meta tags and Header text on a per page basis.
Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a certain page’s content. These tags are added via a plugin or directly on a static web page. They are not shown on the front end of the website, but only on the backend or code part of the website. These tags are read by search engines like Google and Bing and are displayed in search results like the example above. Each page should have different Meta title and Meta description tags. These tags should have in them your Keywords and/or phrases you created for that particular page. A good tool to use in WordPress for setting up Meta Tags is Yoast.
Headers such as H1, H2, and H3 are used as headers for content or titles for content. Please note that you should ONLY use one H1 header at the top of each page. These headers are just what they sound like, headers or titles of a section, article, feed or anything else that should utilize a heading. Again, these should use your Keywords and/or phrases for that page only.
Look at the top of this section, I have “Set up Meta tags and Header text on a per page basis.” This is a H3 header I have used to separate each section or topic.
H1 should use your page keywords and /or phrases, while H2 and H3 should be used for each section or titles on that page.
Images used on website should be optimized and have Alt tags.
All your images you add to your website should be optimized at a certain size for speed. Your images should also be clear and understandable for what message you are trying to show your readers. Once the above is done, your images should then be set up to use a proper Title and also a description (Alt ) attribute for screen readers and visual impaired people.
- Optimize image for speed of your web page. Optimizing your website images is a process of showing the high-quality images in the right size, and resolution while keeping the smallest possible size the website will load suich as in a mobile view. Say for instance the website uses small size for that image on a desktop because the content is in a column. When you switch to mobile, the image now uses 1 column and is twice the size. The higest size that image gets, is the size you need to use for your website. Using images that are smaller and then get bigger on your website will distort the quality of the image. Alwasy use images are high quality and at correct size. Example – If you upload an image that is 2MB in size which comes to like 5000 pixels wide by 5000 pixels height, your website will on average only use 800 pixels wide by 800 pixels height. Even though your website uses a smaller size, it will still load the 5000 px by 5000 px image each time the page loads and this will SLOW your website down. Crop the image to the largest size the webiste will use first before uploading it. You could also use a plugin that woudl help out. I receommend using the plugin Smush Image Compression and Optimization.
- Always use an image that is revelant to the content you are using it for. Example – If you have an article on swimming pools, make sure you use an image that is related to this.
- Set up a description or alt attribute and an image title for each image you add to your website. if you are using a CMS like wordpress, this is very easy to do which each image. Alt – Specifies an alternate text for an image. This text appears inside the image container when the image can not be displayed for some reason. It also helps screen readers describe the image to visually impaired people. Title – is used to provide a title for your image.
Make sure website content is Optimized and website is fast loading.
There is a few steps to optimizing your website for speed and performance. The below is taking into account that your images have already been optimized.
- Utimize a cache plugin. WP Rocket is the most popular premium caching plugin for WordPress. This is what 360 Web Firm uses on our website. It is easy to use and implament. This is a paid plugin, but you are can use a free plugin for caching your website. Caching is a way to speed up a website and also give the website better performance.
- Enable GZIP – Gzip is a method of compressing files (making them smaller) for faster transfers from server to browser.
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) – To make your website load faster, a CDN minimizes the distance between your server where the website files are located to the browser where the visitor is loading your website. It stores multiple cached content from your website in several locations to allow for the files to come together quicker to be viewable by your vistors. Basically, it delievers the content from your website much faster.
- Hosting – This is very important because your website needs to load fast and having a web hosting account that is fast will help improve the speed of delivery to your visitors. I recommend a VPS hosting account. A shared hosting can really bog down your website and make it load slow. Shared hosting resources are normally shared with other people on the same block and if one is using too much resources, it will slow your website down. I use a VPS server for all my clients.
Here are a few links to check the speed and performance of your website. These sites are what we use for testing purposes.
Create a sitemap for Google and Bing
Creating a sitemap for your website is very important. When you craete a sitemap, you then go into Google and Bing to add these sitemaps. XML Sitemaps are important for SEO because they make it easier for Google and Bing to find your site’s pages. This is important because Google and Bing ranks your pages, not just your website.
For creating a sitemap, we use a few tools. Here is what 360 Web Firm uses for our sitemaps. Please note that creating a Webmasters Account will be discussed below.
- XML – Sitemaps – Just create and then go into your Google Webmasters tools and uplaod the sitemap. Do this also for BING Webmasters tools.
- Yoast Sitemaps – This is also easy to do once you install the Yoast plugin. You then Just create and then go into your Google Webmasters tools and uplaod the sitemap. Do this also for BING Webmasters tools.
Create Webmasters Account Google and Bing and submit all your website pages
Creating a Google and Bing webmsters account will allow you to submit your web pages directly for indexing. It will also allow you to submit sitemaps as well. This account will show you what has been indexed and what is missing or if you have any crawl errors. You can also use this account to request pages ot be removed from Google or Bing. Its free and easy to set up and manage. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites.
Create A Google My Business Page
You should always create a Google My Business page for better search results. This will allow people to view your business, read or leave comments and reviews, and allow people to view images of your work. The Google My Business also has a quick map address, phone and link to your website. This shows up on the RIGHT side of search engines and also the top three on the LEFT of the search results. ( see images below ).
Its easy to set up. You need to add your business with Google and then verify by waiting for a post card with a code to come in the mail. Google wants to make sure you are a legit business with a legit address.
Google My Business is a FREE tool from Google and this will help you gain much more exposure for your business.
Create Google My Business Page now
In order to continue your SEO on your website and for your business, you should consider some of the following:
- Run a BLOG on your website to talk about your services or your products.
- Be active with Social Media. Add your blog articles you created above to your social media sites. Get a huge audience for your social media. Get Facebook likes, Google +, Twitter Likes, Get reviews and so on.
- Keep your websites content up-to-date and on a regular basis.
- Add your testimonials to your website.
- Runs ads in newspapers, radio and even the television.
- Run ads with Google and Bing.