I was concerned. JD had just launched a redesign of our simplyelegantphotobooks.com website in December, and after a couple of weeks we weren’t showing up at all on Google. I decided to make sure we had all the SEO basics covered. After walking through the process, I thought this might be something you’d be interested in learning about for your website too.
Step 1: I went to the SEOWorkers free website analyzer tool. This is by far the most useful tool I’ve found to give you a quick rundown on what Google sees when it looks at your website. If you run this tool and fix all the problems, you’re website will be head-and-shoulders above most of your competition. I discovered a dozen SEO problems instantly I never would have known otherwise.
Step 2: Keywords are critical. After running the report, I saw that my top two keywords were “photo” and “book”, and that my top key phrases were “simply elegant” and “photo books.” Great. Those were the keywords I used when I was writing the text for the homepage. Now I just have to make sure Google sees them too.
Step 3: The title of your website is the sentence at the top left in the browser window, and often what Google first shows in the search result. Like most folks, my title had the business name in it. But Google gives you points if your keywords are in the title, the more important keywords at the beginning. Here’s the change I made in the code on my home page:
Old title: <title>Simply Elegant Photobooks | Welcome</title>
New title: <title>Photo Books, Custom Calendars | Simply Elegant Photo Book</title>
Note I did something sneaky here: since I don’t know whether people are searching for “photo books” or “photo book”, and since Google reads them as two different key phrases, I put them both in my title. In a couple of weeks I’ll check which terms folks are searching for and make any minor changes.
Step 4: The description is what Google normally shows on a search page immediately after the title. I needed to make sure my keywords were in here too:
Old description: none.
New description: <meta name=”description”> content=”Photo books calendars & more printed from your images at a real Pro Lab. Easy. Fun. Great prices.” />
Step 5: The Keyword tag isn’t used by Google for SEO anymore, but some other search engines use them. I decided to put on my belt and suspenders and plug them in just to make sure.
Old keywords: none.
New keywords: <meta name=”keywords”> content=”photo books, photo book, photobook, simply elegant, simply elegant photo books” />
Note here again that two keywords that aren’t exactly alike are different keywords to search engines. Sure, Google is smart enough to guess that “book” and “books” are similar, but all else being equal, exact beat similar every time.
Step 6: I want at least one anchor tag (the text you can click on) for each of my keywords. Since I didn’t design the site, I’ll need to contact the designer and get this taken care of.
Step 7: Every image has an <alt> tag, which is the text the browser will show if it cannot show the image. I noticed some empty <alt> tags, and stuck my keywords in. Just a couple though…otherwise, Google thinks you are attempting something called “keyword stuffing” and penalizes your site for it.
Step 8: Wait for Google. It usually takes 1-2 weeks for the search engines to re-index a changed home page. When I search for simplyelegantphotobooks.com and see my new title and description, I will know the re-index is complete. And if I’ve done my work right, I should at least start to rise in the search engine rankings.
Tags: SEOpermalink |