How to Make SEO work for you & your client’s sites

Happy Monday morning everyone,

As a part of continuation of my post from several weeks ago on using social media to help land yourself an interview and a job; I want to talk today about how to properly use SEO to increase the visibility of websites you build for both yourself and your clients.

What the heck is SEO?

So SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and much like what the term implies the idea here is to improve your websites ranking in search results provided by the major search engines.  While the exact ‘secret sauce’ each of the major search engines Google, Yahoo, & Bing use to generate their rankings are closely guarded secrets, there are a few basic improvements we can make as developers that most commentators on the subject agree compose a sizeable portion of the rankings pie.

Update Update Update

The first recommended way to keep your rankings high are to update your site’s content on a regular basis, weekly is a pretty good place, but the more often you can do the better.  Regular updates are crucial here because the indexing software the search engines use are continuously looking for fresh and relevant content for any given set of search terms and the more recently any content you’ve created was posted the more likely it will be to rise to the top.  Now the key thing to remember whilst you’re doing all of this is that while this might seem like a duel of wits between you and some algorithm it’s not.  What’s really making all the difference here is that your content is relevant to what your visitors want to know and eventually they’ll be seeking out your site specifically because you’ve built a reputation for high quality content.

Titles & Tagging

Thing to consider when developing your sites are your page titles & meta tags.  Now your page title is just as you would imagine it to be is that title any given page on your site.  So while it might be tempting to call it something simple like home, contact or posts the title will be the text visitors click on when visiting your site from a search result.  So with that in mind the title will need to communicate a bit more about what your site is all about.  For example: “Bob’s Used Bookstore | finest used books serving xyz area since 1997.”  Once you’ve come up with a title your happy with the next thing to consider are meta tags, now these are the actual terms that your site will appear under when someone is conducting a search.  So take your time to choose the most relevant ones as your site will be penalized if you try to spam a cloud of terms and more to the point visitors you do receive won’t be as likely to be interested in what you have to say.