SEO at it’s simplest is writing copy.
When you are “SEO-ing”, you are writing good copy that is focused and relevant to what you offer and what your audience wants to know about what you offer.
How do you focus your copy, you might ask? Excellent question.
It starts with a keyword (or key phrase – it can be multiple words). A keyword or phrase is the heart of what describes the content of your post or page. Think about how you would sum up the thing that you’re writing, what’s the bottom line?
Some examples of keywords and phrases:
From the very vague:
“hotel”, “hiking path”, “business coach”
To the specific:
“best hotel near the beach in Santa Monica in June”
“easy hiking paths in the Adirondacks”
“business coach that works with neurotic web designers” (just me? Gotcha.)
Of course, your keywords or phrases should be relevant to your audience and to the services or products that you offer.
Specific phrases are often the better choice because there is less competition from other businesses and the people using more specific searches know more clearly what they are looking for. And that could be you!
Where should I use my keywords? (hint: here is a good spot!)
Now that you’ve chosen your keyword or phrase, it should be used throughout your copy as well as a few other places but not to excess. It doesn’t need to be in every sentence or even every paragraph. If it feels awkward to read, like the word or phrase has been said too many times, it probably has.
YOUR SEO TITLE
Your SEO title is the title at the top of the browser window and is the largest part of the text that appears on the search results page.
YOUR PAGE TITLE
The title of your page is the first place it should be. It is the basis of the copy you’re writing and you want that to be clear from the start.
The first paragraph of what you’re writing is in support of your page title. It is the first paragraph search engines AND readers will see so you want it to be clear what you’re talking about.
IMAGE ALT TEXT
Alt text is the text that describes an image. This shows up in place of images should they not load allowing users to get an idea of what the image is about. It is also read by screen readers for those with vision impairments. However, adding this text can be redundant for screen readers in some cases. If the image is decorative and no context is lost, you can omit it.
Your keyword or phrase should be present in some of your subheadings. (see the hint earlier in the page!). Just like your copy, you don’t need to use it in every subheading, use it where it makes sense.
This isn’t a place I often see as a suggestion for adding your keyword but this is also one of my mini-soap-boxes. Search engines do index images and it cannot hurt if your image names are relevant to the context of your page. (Mini-Soap-Box: Not to mention, when you try to find it in your media section it’ll be easier to search by a “website-name-keyword-in-context.jpg” than “IMG_02232023456.78902.jpg”).
The URL is the full address of a page or post on the web, much like going to someone’s house. You need to know the address to get there. The slug is the part that you can create, and comes after the main website name. For example: ‘keywords-are-the-heart-of-your-seo-copy‘ part. When your URLs match your page title, it’s a good thing.
The meta description is the longer short paragraph of text that search engines display in their results. It is a short description of what your content is about and provides a little more info on what is included in the copy.