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In my previous post SEO and Key Ingredients, I touched on the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimizatin), especially if you own a website. I also talked about the key ingredients search engines need for your web pages to get a higher ranking. Today, I will share some steps you can follow along with free tools to use when doing SEO.
1. Crawl your website
When you crawl your site, you will get a sitemap of all pages that exist on your website that got indexed by search engines. Once you finish crawling your website, the crawling allows you to download the results into an excel file. The exported excel file will provide you with a list of very useful information about your website such as:
There are a lot of website crawler tools out there. I recommend using Website Crawler Tool and Google Sitemap Generator.
2. Audit, organize and prioritize
Now that you have a list of your website pages, you should do a fun exercise to organize and prioritize your website page. Before starting this exercise, I would suggest downloading SEO Tracker template. Once you download the template, do the following:
Step 1: Copy and paste three columns from the exported sitemap to the SEO Tracker template.
Step 2: Organize and prioritize your website pages by defining the content type of each page in your site.
3. Review Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
The SEO Tracker template allows you to get a high-level overview of your website. With that, you will be able to determine whether you need to update your page titles and/or page descriptions. There is a recommended number of characters that SEO likes for page titles (between 50 – 60 characters) and page descriptions (between 150 – 160 characters).
Columns (D) and (F) automatically calculate the length of your current page title and page description. You should consider updating them if the length is not within the recommended limit.
SEO prefers page titles to be in this format "Keyword Phrase | Context." The goal of the page title is to lay out the purpose of the page without being redundant.
5. Set new page description
Your page description needs to be short and descriptive and easily communicate the purpose of the page. Make sure to incorporate the same keyword that’s being used in the page title.
6. Add target keywords
SEO keywords are keywords and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your website via search engines. Finding the right keywords that represent the content in your website pages is of an essence.
Keyword Planner by Google is a great tool and it is free. You can search for keywords, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together. Also, you can get statistics like search volume to help you decide which keywords to use.
You need to find the keyword(s) for every page on your site. Once you settle on the keywords, update column (J) in your SEO Tracker template with the keywords you’re targeting for each page in your website.
One mistake some people fall into is “Keyword Stuffing”, which means overloading the page content with keywords thinking that will get their pages ranked higher on the search engines. Search engines cannot be easily fooled nowadays. Focus on creating valuable content where keywords are used properly and in context.
7. Weave keywords into page tags
Once the SEO Tracker template is complete, you will need to incorporate the new or updated page title, description, and keywords into meta tags of each page. For reference, meta tags are HTML page data tags that lie between the open and closing head tags in the HTML code of a document.
Here’s how you can update the meta tags in your website pages using the SEO Tracker template you completed:
8. Analyze meta-tags
After you incorporate the meta-tags to all of your website pages, you can run a quick test to analyze the meta tags on each page.
This Meta Tag Analyzer tool is a great tool that can give you an in-depth analysis of your meta tags. This SEO tool analyzes not only the meta tags but also the keywords on the page, from the images, from the heading tags, and from the URLs.
SEO is a deep topic, and we just scratched the surface. You should be off to a good start with the information provided in SEO and Key Ingredients blog and this blog. If you need any help or have questions with anything in this post, please contact us!