February 16, 2017
From Alt Tags to Keywords – Learn SEO Basics
“We need to improve our SEO! What is our SEO rank? How do we do better in SEO?” These are the cries heard across the country as SEO becomes the new buzzword in digital marketing strategies.
But what is SEO really?
Search Engine Optimization, most commonly known as SEO, is the methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. (Webopedia). Before we get into SEO best practices, let’s dive into some basics:
SEO keywords are the words and phrases in your web content that make it possible to find your site through the searches they type into Google (or any other major search engine). By identifying keywords, you are telling Google what the content on your page is about. The goal is to select the keywords that are most likely to match up to what the visitor will search.
Ex. If your article is about how to make decorate your room on a budget, you may want to pick a focus keyword like “cheap DIY decor” or “DIY home decor”.
Google will then assess the relevancy of your content to that designated keyword by how many times they find “DIY home decor” or related keywords in your article. The frequency to which these keywords are found on the page is known as keyword density. Increasing keyword density for your focus keyword and relevant phrases is one way to boost your overall SEO rank.
There are a few different types of tags when it comes to SEO:
Title tags are the name of the page that will appear of in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). It is important that your title aligns with subject and content of the page. Ex. If you have a page that details a specific service you offer, let’s say for a law firm specializing in immigration law, your title may read something like “Immigration Law Services at Generic Law Firm”. However, what you may think is a relevant title may not align with how other’s search.
Meta tags are snippets of text that describe the page’s content. These tags do not appear on the page itself, they exist within the code of the page. Since the best usages of meta tags have become a bit trickier over time, this article may help.
Alt tags (short for alternative tags) exist on images. For example, if you were to upload a picture of a dog in a field, you may want to add the following tags such as “dog”, “puppy”, “golden retriever”, “golden retriever in a field”, “dog in the grass”. By adding multiple tags, both basic and descriptive, you can increase your chances that Google will display your image in search results and increase your SEO rank by determining the relevancy of your content to your focus keywords, and other tags. Google’s algorithm is only capable of processing text, meaning it cannot determine the content of your images, videos, etc. In order for Google to be able to “see” this media content, you can append alt tags. Alt tags serve as a text description of your media content, allowing Google to assess how relevant this content is to a search entered by a visitor.
Blog Post Tags
Adding tags to blog posts on WordPress allows you to better categorize the content of your posts, while also adding more information for Search Engines. Using the same above article as an example, you may want to tag the blog post with such terms as “Political News”, “Christian Politics”, “2016 Election”. These tags may vary depending on how you would like to categorize your blog post entries.
While using these tags may not have a direct impact on your SEO rank, it will indirectly help your rankings by improving the usability of your site and lending more information about the content of your article.