The One Thing You Need to Know About SEO

The constantly evolving world of social media can be overwhelming for busy business owners, but one social media reveals what you need to know in a nutshell

Written by Meredith Birchall-Spencer


ennifer Osborne, Search Engine People

Understanding search engine optimization (SEO) can be like learning a new language—what the heck are uniques, in-page factors, outbound links and metatags? For busy business owners, the key to SEO success boils down to understanding just one thing, says Jennifer Osborne, president of Ajax, Ont.-based Search Engine People: keywords.

It’s common knowledge that you can increase your relevance if your website contains the same keywords your target customers would use in their search engine queries, such as “cosmetic dentistry in Vancouver.” What’s not so well known is how to deploy those keywords.

Osborne offers these four tips on how to use keywords to increase your search engine rankings.

  1. Title tag: If your company’s tag line is vague and non-descriptive (e.g., “Think Different”), don’t use it as the “title tag” of your web pages. Instead, use words that will make the user understand what your company does (e.g., computer, technology, hardware), because that’s how they will phrase their search queries.
  2. Anchor text: Any hyperlinked (i.e., clickable) text on your site is anchor text. Search engines read this text to determine the nature of the content it links to. The more accurate your description, using as many of your essential keywords as possible, the better the ranking of the linked page will be for queries containing those keywords. “Click here” doesn’t cut it.
  3. Quantity of links: Increase the number of internal links within your site’s content. The more you link to your own content, the higher search engines will rank you. Also vital is to link to external sites and, ideally, to get them to link back to you. This makes the search engines see you as an authority. Try to form reciprocal linking agreements with suppliers and clients.
  4. Quality of links: Content on your site should be valuable to your audience and, to the greatest degree possible, editorial in nature. If it’s just marketing fodder, search engines won’t deem your website to be authoritative—and won’t refer people to your site.

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