The secret to SEO is there is no secret. Google tells you exactly what you have to do.
There are many steps to quality SEO. The first and most basic is to establish a list of “keywords” for your business. Think of things that people actually searching for your business would put in a search engine. Too often people get tied up in their business and it’s identity. You have to look at this assuming that the person doesn’t know you exist. That is why they are searching in the first place. OK, so what words would they use if they were looking for something in your industry. At a minimum you should have a dozen.
Now, go through your website and the pages that relate to those key words, are they there? Is every one of them used on that page? Does the page read well? Each page should have at lease 300 words. Don’t try too hard to use the keywords and become guilty of what is called “keyword stuffing”. That is just as bad if not worse than not having them. That is unnecessarily using a word too many times. Like “I like Tom’s sandwiches. Tom’s has the best sandwiches…” that kind of thing. If you are not a gifted writer then it is best to hire someone that is. It is that important.
After you have your pages properly written make sure you have quality images associated with the article/page. And properly name that image. Name it what it is. Don’t blow this off. It is important. Put all the details you can relating to the image. ‘alt’ tags, descriptions and captions using key words of it applies. That is what you need to do for the front end.
In the back you should fil lout your meta tags. Some say they are not important anymore and others say they are. Here is my take. If it is between you and a competitor do you want to leave any stone un-turned? OK then, I guess they are important then aren’t they? My reasoning is that if you and a competitor come up in a search and Google has to determine which one goes first and you both did everything else well but you have meta tags that have great descriptions in them and they don’t I bet Google is going to give you the nod. You’ve done your due diligence. Crossed the ‘T’s’ and dotted the ‘I’s’.
Go in the back end and fill in the stuff for your meta descriptions and your keywords as well as tags. Do that for all your articles, menu items and images. Yes images. everything. It is a lot of tedious work. You can’t copy and paste keywords. They have to be fashioned for that particular page.
Once that is all done then the work in the site is done. Now you need to get out there and link and sell it. But you have to be careful of that too. In 2011 Google did an update that punishes people that buy into link farms. For the most part they have been driven out of business but there are still some that are trying to find a sucker. A link farm is a company that buys a lot, thousands of domain names that you would think belong to a business. Common names like “AluminumSiders.com”. They focus on an industry and buy up thousands of these domains and put up a directory page on the site. A directory page is like a yellow pages and just is a listing of your business. Name address and the all important, link back to your site. Google recognized this was manipulating rankings and did away with junk links to support how you rank. Now it actually hurts you and can even get you suspended from organic search results.
You need to find other quality websites related to your industry and frequent them or build a relationship with them in some way. If you are in the home building or remodeling industry there are sites like Houzz.com and others that are highly respected websites and you want to appear on them. And get the all important links back to your site.
Why do I call them the all important links? Because they are now. Since Google did away with the crap links now links weigh in again but they have to be quality. A bunch of links to crappy sites are worse than no links at all. This is one of the keys to SEO. Links to and from quality sites. Gotta have it. You can’t skip this step.
And the final thing is to make your site really fully functional is you need internal links. If you mention something on one page where there is an article or page about that, link to it. It is called internal linking. This shows that your site is very reader friendly.