Search engine optimization, better known as SEO, is the driving force behind people finding your website on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. It's really complicated, but there are some easy things you can do to help your ranking.
SEO is a complex algorithm that would be impossible to delve into in a single post. That's why Google pays so much attention to it, and is willing to essentially "punish" those who try to cheat the SEO algorithm.
When people Google something, Google builds a list of related items based on the keywords found, and popluarity. That's why by the time you get to page 10 of your search results, it has nothing to do with what you're looking for.
You're probably wondering, "how does one cheat the SEO algorithm?" I've never done it before, but some people will buy a bunch of different [unrelated] backlinks that point to their website. Some people or companies invest in SEO consultants who may not use honest business practices to legitimately shoot them to the top of the search engine results.
Paying for backlinks, which is considered cheating SEO, is a huge violation of Google's policies, and will have a very nasty backfire if you're caught.
Here are a few things that you can do to legitimately help boost your SEO. Always remember that if your product or service is in demand, and you have great content and great photos, people will come to your site and boost your ratings.
Tactic #1: Use keywords
Use keywords in every title and product or service description. Obviously you'll want the text to be coherent, but you'll want to be crafty.
For example, instead of describing your handmade scarves as:
You could say,
"Wool-blend scarves locally made in Dallas, Texas. Each scarf is made by a skilled artisan, and knitted with organic wool yarn."
So with the new description, you've captured the following keywords and phrases, which could be picked up in any combination.
Tactic #2: Change your image file name
We've all been guilty of leaving the generic file name on photos we've uploaded. You know, image_02243.jpg. You have to change that name. Let's say you sell men's dress socks. You could change the name to:
Be sure to include dashes between each word so that the search engine picks it up.
Tactic 3: Embed your keywords or phrases into your site
Search engines work by finding related keywords. So it only makes sense to have your keywords embedded into your site.
You can do this by writing detailed descriptions of your products, and including your keywords. It may seem redundant, but as long as the writing is appealing, it won't matter.
Your 'About Me' page is also a great opportunity to incorporate a lot of keywords.
I've made the error in times past by creating an infographic, and not adding the same text elsewhere on my site. Search engines won't be able to pick up text in a graphic.
What are your SEO tips?