Found several great articles on getting started with SEO and some of the basic ideas/techniques behind search engine optimization.
Create unique, accurate page titles
A title tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is. The <title> tag should be placed within the <head> tag of the HTML document. Ideally, you should create a unique title for each page on your site. If your document appears in a search results page, the contents of the title tag will usually appear in the first line of the results. Words in the title are bolded if they appear in the user’s search query. This can help users recognize if the page is likely to be relevant to their search.
The title for your homepage can list the name of your website/ business and could include other bits of important information like the physical location of the business or maybe a few of its main focuses or offerings.
Accurately describe the page’s content
- Choose a title that effectively communicates the topic of the page’s content.
- choosing a title that has no relation to the content on the page
- using default or vague titles like “Untitled” or “New Page 1”
Create unique title tags for each page
- Each of your pages should ideally have a unique title tag, which helps Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your site
- using a single title tag across all of your site’s pages or a large group of pages
Use brief, but descriptive titles
- Titles can be both short and informative. If the title is too long, Google will show only a portion of it in the search result.
- using extremely lengthy titles that are unhelpful to users
- stuffing unneeded keywords in your title tags
Page titles are an important aspect of search engine optimization.
Make use of the “description” meta tag
Summaries can be defined for each page
A page’s description meta tag gives Google and other search engines a summary of what the page is about (1). Whereas a page’s title may be a few words or a phrase, a page’s description meta tag might be a sentence or two or a short paragraph. Google Webmaster Tools provides a handy content analysis section that’ll tell you about any description meta tags that are either too short, long, or duplicated too many times (the same information is also shown for <title> tags). Like the <title> tag, the description meta tag is placed within the <head> tag of your HTML document.
Description meta tags are important because Google might use them as snippets for your pages. Note that we say “might” because Google may choose to use a relevant section of your page’s visible text if it does a good job of matching up with a user’s query. Alternatively, Google might use your site’s description in the Open Directory Project if your site is listed there (learn how to prevent search engines from displaying ODP data). Adding description meta tags to each of your pages is always a good practice in case Google cannot find a good selection of text to use in the snippet. The Webmaster Central Blog has an informative post on improving snippets with better description meta tags. Words in the snippet are bolded when they appear in the user’s query. This gives the user clues about whether the content on the page matches with what he or she is looking for.
Accurately summarize the page’s content
- Write a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw your description meta tag as a snippet in a search result.
- writing a description meta tag that has no relation to the content on the page
- using generic descriptions like “This is a web page” or “Page about baseball cards”
- filling the description with only keywords
- copying and pasting the entire content of the document into the description meta tag
Use unique descriptions for each page
- Having a different description meta tag for each page helps both users and Google, especially in searches where users may bring up multiple pages on your domain (e.g. searches using the site: operator). If your site has thousands or even millions of pages, hand-crafting description meta tags probably isn’t feasible. In this case, you could automatically generate description meta tags based on each page’s content.
- using a single description meta tag across all of your site’s pages or a large group of pages
Use description meta tags to provide both search engines and users with a summary of what your page is about!
Hope this gives you a basic idea of how to get started, there are many steps to SEO and many techniques out there impossible to list them all but if you at least understand the basics it’s a great start! If you need help with your sites SEO or do want to do this on your own please do not hesitate to contact us today.