How Do I Start Improving Website SEO?

I recently attended an Accelerent event and had the opportunity to talk to a lot of businesspeople about the work I do at Balance Interactive. While my work focuses on website development, the people I talked to had another focus – search engine optimization or SEO. I was asked over and over, “How do I do that?”

Makes sense. If you take the time to have a website you want it to be found. And most of the finding happens through search engines. Exactly how to make that happen is simple and complicated at the same time.

First, you have to know who you are trying to reach. Who are the people you want to visit your website?

Next you need to know their web habits. Which search engines do they use? (In most cases the answer here is “Google” but not always.) What words or phrases are they using to search for what you offer? Is it your brand or a variant of your brand name? Is it a question? What words do they use to describe the products or services that you offer? You can get this information by:

  1. Asking
  2. Looking at words used in emails or other written materials from your intended audience/customers
  3. Doing your own searches and seeing the words and related words to your products/services/content
  4. Using a keyword tool like Google Keywords

Armed with this knowledge of words and phrases your target audience uses, look at your website. Are they present? Here is a rough order of places that search engines look to give your website ranking of a keyword or phrase:

  • URL of the website
  • Meta description of the web page
  • Headline of the page
  • Subheads of the page
  • Content of the page
  • Title tags of images on the page

If you know what these items are, you can add keywords as needed to these key areas. If items on that list are not clear to you, then you will likely want to engage some professional web help to get rolling with your SEO efforts.