Lesson 3 of 4
SEO basics: Five tips & best practices to consider for your website
Time to complete:
You may know that SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization,” which sounds important, but what does it really entail? In this lesson, we’ll explore the basics of SEO and learn about a few SEO best practices.
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO for short) is the process of making your site better for search engines. For example, if you sell children’s clothes, it would be great if people can find your website when they search for things like “toddler clothes” and other similar terms.
If you have a physical store, you might decorate your shop window to show off the types of products you sell and entice people to come inside. SEO is just like this, but on the internet. When we talk about SEO, we’re talking about how your website appears online in search results. The goal is to make your website just as enticing and informative as your shop window display would be.
SEO best practices
When it comes to SEO, there are many best practices you can adopt. After all, people have whole careers around SEO! SEO is about using the right words and serving relevant information to your potential customer on your website. Here are some tips and best practices to get started:
1. Provide useful product or service information
Think about what types of information would be useful to customers considering your offerings. This could include selections of your products or services, how much they cost and, if relevant, how much inventory you have or delivery options. Make sure that this information appears on your website so that people who visit have a complete understanding of what you offer.
2. Use short and meaningful page titles and headings
If your website has multiple pages, take a look at the page titles and headings you are using on each page. Do they clearly explain what a customer will find on that page? For example, if you have a page that includes information about the types of shoes you offer for toddlers, use a heading like “Shoes for Toddlers”.
3. Include details about your business
Add “About Us” information like your contact information, a description of your business, and countries where you operate (if relevant). If you have a physical location, include your store address and operating hours.
4. Check image and video tags
Search engines might not always interpret images or videos in the same way people do, so it’s important to use words to help the search engine understand these items. This also helps users with disabilities. Let’s say you have a photo of a yellow raincoat on your site. Instead of letting the photo file name be “photo1”, “IMG 4583” or whatever name your camera may have automatically saved it as, consider labeling the photo as “yellow raincoat” or something equally descriptive.
5. Use descriptions that your potential customers can relate to
Let’s say that you know people often come to your children’s clothing store looking for items in a particular color or character. When you list your products on your website, include this type of detailed information. For example, a description of a sweater might read “Sparkly purple unicorn sweater perfect for fall nights”.
These five SEO tips and best practices are all examples of basic steps you can take to improve your website. You’re making changes that will help potential customers and search engines better understand your business. However, sometimes people suggest SEO methods that don’t add any value to website visitors and are only there to try to manipulate the search results. For example, someone might try to put invisible text on a page in the hopes of making a search engine think the page contains something different. Watch out for these types of tactics that don’t add any value for your website visitors and might cause damage to your presence on Google Search in both the short and long term.
If you’re ready for more advanced materials around SEO, check out the links below:
Or, if this all sounds overwhelming, talk to the person who developed your website or consider hiring an SEO specialist. Our lesson on hiring an SEO specialist can help you understand what to look for.