When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, there are a few key techniques that every website owner and developer can do to help improve rankings overtime. But first it should be known that when it comes to SEO, it is never an overnight technique, nor should it be. Can you imagine finally getting to #1 on Google, only to be pushed to the 20th page overnight because 300 new website became available? Wouldn't work out very well for you or the person searching for the best results possible. SEO is something that should be a constant focus and thought through when writing content, adding website design updates, and even planning your marketing strategy. I don't call myself an SEO "Specialist" only because I can't guarantee the #1 results all my clients are looking for, but I can work with you on a plan for the best SEO implementations for your company. Here are my basic guidelines to get your started:

1. Plan for how you want to be found and do some keyword research.
Take some time to really narrow down a group of key phrases that you want to be found under. Rather than having something broad and robotic-like such as "Pediatrician Columbus Ohio" think of what you would search for if you were looking for your company. Maybe its "Highly recommended Pediatrician located in Dublin, Ohio" or "Top list of Holistic Pediatricians in Dublin, Ohio". Don't be afraid to throw in what makes you different amongst your competition. This will not only help your listing show up in search results, but also bring in more qualified leads. Pick a handful of these phrases and use these as your SEO foundation to build around and also as a means to measure your listing's improvement overtime.

2. Use your heading tags appropriately
Most client's managing their own content in Wordpress or similar CMS's use the WYSIWYG editor as a means to style their content. The WYSIWYG which stands for "What You See Is What You Get", is the text editor that shows up above your content areas. You'll notice a list of headings starting with a large "Heading 1", then a slightly smaller "Heading 2", and so on. These shouldn't be used as a means to call out content areas on a page like "Important" or "Attention". These tags are actually used to show importance on a page. The Heading 1 or "H1" tag should be used only once on a page should describe the page in 1 short sentence. An example would be "Children's Pediatrics offers expert medical care for children's health in Dublin, Ohio". would be in the top and utilize the H1 tag. After that you'll want to use the H2 tag as sub-headlines outlining of what makes Children's Pediatrics experts in medical care for children's health in Dublin, Ohio. This would be a good time to sprinkle in some of your important key phrases such as "Highly recommended" or "Holistic Practices" etc. Use the paragraph tags for descriptions under each sub-headline for more explanation for each sub-headline. In general, use these tags as a level of importance of content for each individual page... not for styling or grabbing attention.

3. Titles of your web pages
This SEO tip is an important one! Titles of your pages tell search engines what your page is about and appear in three key places: browsers, search engine results pages, and external websites. Because this one is really important, you might be tempted to stuff a ton of keywords in your title, but know that search results will only display about 50 to 60 characters and will cutoff the rest. Do keep the important key phrases towards the front of your title and keep it relevant and unique to each page it will live on. Also note that when pages get shared on social media outlets, the title will be the first item that appears and should be enticing enough for others to want to click or share it.

4. Write quality content
Write content that is unique, quality, and goes beyond self-promotion of your business. If you are a pediatrician, write articles on subjects that interests you and ties back to your business. Show your expertise in the field and educate your readers on topics that you feel is important when it comes to pediatrics and healthcare. Don't just write keyword rich content for search engines, but for the interest of your audience. Also once your article is written, think about not only publishing your blog articles on your website, but also sharing a slightly different version out on other blogging platforms such as Medium, Reddit, or Tumblr with links back to your original article. These platforms are just waiting for new content to share with their own followers and remember, the more attention it gets, the more importance it will have in the search results. I'll expand more on Content Marketing in a later article.

5. Be multi-device ready
Having articles that are mobile, tablet and desktop friendly is important when search engines serve up results. Not only will your pages need to be relevant, unique and important... it will need to be optimized to render legibly and elegantly on every screen size. Every year there are hundreds of articles showing stats on increased mobile browsing and with this, search engines now know which websites are responsive and which ones are not. They will rank multi-device ready websites higher because they are more accessible and have a better user experience.

These are just a few SEO best practices to follow when thinking about making improvements to your search engine strategy. Wether you are in the beginning stages of a website design for your business or need to take your existing website to the next level, feel free to contact me to discuss your next project.

Julie