The Reality of SEO Basics: Focus on Communication
“When you hear ‘search engine optimization’ — or, more commonly, SEO — you might feel like you’re swimming in alphabet soup. But have no fear: learning SEO basics is not nearly as technical as it may seem. SEO is less about filling your site with the right keywords (what people type into Google searches), and more about writing great content that your audience finds useful. You may be surprised to learn that Google is actually pretty savvy when it comes to figuring out whether or not a website is helpful.
Let’s explore the quality indicators Google uses when determining your site’s usefulness, and what you can do to increase your odds of showing up in a Google search.
Share what you know
Chances are you have a lot more knowledge about all things related to your business than the average person. If you own a lamp shop, you likely know what types of lamps work better in a dining room versus a bedroom, how to match a lamp to a person’s aesthetic, and which light bulbs to use. Instead of worrying about whether you should use the word “chandelier” or “overhead lighting,” focus on writing articles people will find useful and compelling when choosing lamps for their homes. Think about the questions people commonly ask you about your business and answer them with the content on your website.
Don’t try to cover topics you don’t know as much about — say, how to pick the perfect mattress — just because you want your business to show up in more searches. Stick to what you know best, and over time Google will come to recognize you as an authority because of the valuable information your site provides.
Make it accessible
Another quality indicator is how easily visitors can move around your website. Make sure all of your links go to a live, functioning page, and not one showing a 404 error, which appears when a web page can’t be found. Also, if you take down a page on your website, make sure you delete any links that lead to it…
When you include images, it is important to use alt text to write descriptions of the image. Alt text refers to the words that describe your image for screen readers, or if the image doesn’t load. The default description for your image will be the file name, but you can change the alt text after you upload the photo. Say you sell artisanal teas and upload a photo of an orange rooibos tea whose file name is ‘orangetea3.jpg.’ You’ll want to change the alt text to say something like ‘small-batch orange rooibos tea.'”