So, you’ve built your company’s website. That’s great news and a major milestone, for sure. Unfortunately, your work is just beginning. If you want anybody to be able to find you among the billions of sites that make up the internet, you’re going to need a little bit of help.
The first and best thing you can do for your new site is to optimize it for SEO.
SEO is shorthand for “Search Engine Optimization.”
A long time ago, search engines weren’t all that smart. Back then, site owners could get away with things like “keyword stuffing,” which is to use the same key word or phrase up to a hundred times in a given web page’s content, thereby ramming the point home.
The search engines took a dim view of that, and the phenomenon was thankfully short-lived.
These days, search engines are much smarter. They can skim through your content and gain an understanding of what each page of content is all about.
The important thing to understand however, is that every search engine uses a different algorithm, which means that the optimization strategies are different for each one. Given the fact that Google is the dominant search engine on the web, when most people talk about Search Engine Optimization, what they’re really talking about is optimizing for Google.
If you use a content management system like WordPress, you’re in luck!
WordPress has tons of great plugins that help you optimize your site for Google. These will literally walk you through the process while helping to ensure that you’re making good use of titles and meta tags. Those titles and tags help web crawlers understand what your site is about.
If you’re not using an SMS, then you’re going to need to validate your HTML by hand, which is a somewhat time-consuming process, but well worth the effort.
The other big thing you can do is to make sure your website’s structure is logical and easy for a human to follow.
If your site is just a random mishmash of poorly interlinked pages, then neither humans nor web crawlers will be able to find good information on your website. You can bet that neither will spend much time looking. Organization is key!
Finally, make sure your content is “human readable.”
All the major search engines use LSI, which is short for Latent Semantic Indexing. That’s just a fancy way of saying that if you build a site about the latest Apple products, web crawlers will “know” that your site is about technology and the results won’t show up when someone types in a search request for something else. Your site will not come up for “Apple Recipes”, for example, since that person is probably looking for food items.
SEO optimization is a very deep rabbit hole, but quite intuitive. The basic idea is that you want to make sure your content is highly organized, clearly labeled, and easy to navigate to.