For all starting website owners: What you need to know about search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective ways to attract potential customers to your webshop or website. SEO is a difficult concept to understand and to implement. When the starting marketeer finally gets grip on this, Google has often already changed the most important trends and developments. Through Wix, Wordpress or Jimbo, you can create a website relatively easy, but how do you make sure to get visible on Google eventually? These are thé starting facts and steps for our members.
To understand SEO, it is important to control the definition of the word:
“SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO includes all work you perform to make sure your website gets a higher position in search engines, like Google. Zoekwoordenonderzoek is onmisbaar als je gericht aan de slag wilt met SEO.” – DoubleSmart, 2021
What is this higher position on Google exactly? The image shows the highest positions on Google when a customer searches for “Mobile Phone” on Google. On top, you can see the Search Engine Advertising (SEA). These are paid advertisements from websites! You can recognize these advertisements by the word ‘Advertisement’ added to the websites. Therefore, this has nothing to do with SEO. It is important to understand this difference. SEA is paid advertising, which causes a high ranking in Google. With SEO, you earn your ranking in Google for free, but this often takes longer.
Now that you know the basic differences between SEO and SEA, here are the starting tips to make sure your website will get a higher ranking in Google through SEO.
1. Meta descriptions
Meta descriptions is a difficult word with a simple meaning: It is the description of the content of a page. When you start a website, this is one of the first things you will have to deal with. Nowadays, this is not the most important factor to improve your SEO anymore, but it definitely is the basis. On top of that, with a good call to action, more people will click on your website, instead the one of the competitor. The length of a meta description changes every year, but it is always around 155 characters. A longer meta is not good, but a shorter one is also not the best! Keep this in mind and before you start, you should always search for the latest trends within this topic.
2. Title tag
Besides the meta description on the image above, you can also see the title tag. This is the top blue-coloured title. This is the most visible element of SEO. The length of this title tag should be around 60 characters. Just like the meta description, this title tag should also not be too long, or too short than this maximum number. Besides length, the title should be understandable and easily readable for Google, as well as your customer. It is also important to determine the search word you want to be found on, per page. This search word has to come back in the title tag. A title tag consists of 3 essential elements: your company name, search word and unique selling point or call to action. Vary with your USP and CTA. When you sell cheap products, your USP might be ‘cheap’, but because of the limited amount of characters, you should make a choice between a CTA and a USP. A CTA can be ‘buy here’. This all depends on the goal of your website and concerned page. I often use USP’s for CEO and CTA’s for SEA. No idea what a good title tag could be? Take a look at your competition. Everything in the online world is based on the principle: ‘better stolen than badly conceived.’
3. Search word investigation
The last thing in the definition of SEO is that search word investigation is essential to get started with SEO. Search word investigation is research into your ‘keywords’ in which you want to be found. There are many different programs, which you can find on Google, that show the range of each keyword. The most famous one is probably Google Trends. Have you started your own company with the sale of your own clothing line, you obviously want to be found on the keyword ‘clothing’. Did you make a page on which only jeans are for sale, then this will be your main topic. Think about your target audience, what would they type in on Google to find jeans? Repeat the best keywords on your website! The more times this keyword is on your website, the more times Google ‘reads’ this word, which causes an increase in your SEO.
Search engine optimization goes far beyond good meta descriptions, title tags and search word investigation. It is a broad concept with different trends and developments every year. A starting website owner should always understand the basic principles to have success with SEO. Hopefully these small facts will help you get a better place in the Google rankings.