Search engine optimization is an internet marketing specialty all its own, and if you don’t work in the industry, it can seem overwhelming to try to fish the important terms out of a sea of SEO acronyms. No worries, though; we are here to help!
Here are a list of some of the key SEO terms and strategies every business owner will want to become familiar with:
1. ALT Tag—An ALT tag is found in your HTML code next to the images you insert on your website. When you fill in the ALT tag information, it allows search engines to index your images, which benefits your organic visibility in search results. As an aside, it is also beneficial for individuals with special needs who cannot see images well. In this case, the computer will read the ALT text so they have a sense of what the image is.
How to do it—Go to a page on the backend of your website with an image. Choose “HTML” view. You will see code next to your image that looks like this -> <img alt=””…>. Simply add a brief text description between the two quotation marks for the search engines to read. Include keywords relevant to the image in your text if possible. Below is an example of what this would look like in HTML view.
2. Anchor Text—This is the text you see for a hyperlink on a website. Search engines look for natural link text on a website. Oftentimes the link text will say “Click Here,” the company name, etc. By optimizing the link text for your hyperlinks, you can make your website more search engine friendly. Note: Your link text should be natural and not overstuffed with keywords.
How to do it—Here is an example of a common, non-optimized bit of link text:
“Click here to learn more about our custom made sweaters for chickens.”
Here is an example of an optimized link:
“Learn more about our custom sweaters for chickens.”
Instead of Google seeing “click here,” it will now find the more relevant link text “custom sweaters for chickens.” And yes, they do exist.
3. Black Hat SEO—This term refers to aggressive and often spammy SEO practices that will quickly boost your rankings on search results pages. However, avoid working with an SEO firm that practices these tactics like the plague because your website, and your business, can be severely penalized as a result, as many companies have been finding out the hard way with Google’s Panda, Penguin, and other algorithm changes. If you suspect that your SEO professional is using any of the tactics below, find a new one.
How to avoid it—Here are a list of common black hat SEO practices to avoid:
- Mass website directory submissions
- Article spinning
- Doorway pages
- Duplicate content
- Keyword stuffing
- Buying/Selling links
- Hidden text
- Social media spamming
- Link farms
- Spam comments
4. Content Marketing—This is an internet marketing practice where you produce high-quality content (i.e. a blog post) and promote it in various ways to get leads and drive more traffic to your website. It also builds brand awareness and authority within your industry. This produces natural inbound links and boosts your page and domain authority (how highly Google rates your website).
How to do this—Let’s say you have just written a great blog post. First, you would post the blog on your website. Be sure to add share buttons to your blog so that readers have the opportunity to easily share with others. Then you can start promoting your piece by posting it on all of your social media channels and including it in an email/newsletter campaign. There are a variety of other things you can incorporate into your content marketing plan. For more ideas, check out The Ultimate Content Marketing Checklist by Neil Patel of QuickSprout for 40 tips to content marketing success with your blog posts.
5. Internal Links—Hyperlinks that link to other pages within the same website. This is different than external links, which are links to another website URL. Internal linking, when done correctly, helps show search engines where various pages on your website rank in importance, improving your search visibility. From a usability standpoint, it helps visitors navigate your site content more easily.
How to do this—Check out The Seven Commandments of Internal Linking that Will Improve Content Marketing SEO from KissMetrics for great tips on how to handle internal linking for the best SEO benefits.
There is a lot of SEO information here to digest! Stay tuned for part two for even more search engine optimization terms and techniques to know and use to your advantage.
No time to optimize your website? We understand. Our Boston search engine optimization experts can help your website stand out in search results with legitimate SEO techniques that won’t get you penalized by search engines. Contact us online or give us a call for more information or to get a free quote.
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