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Search Engine Optimization.

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image of google-analytics screen

 

SEO = Search Engine Optimization.  This means making your website easily searchable (and find-able) on search engines, like Google.

 

Think about how searching online works: You put a word or a phrase into Google that describes what you’re looking for:

Then you pick the search result link that seems the best or most useful for your search, from pages of results that look something like this:

But there are millions of sites in your search results! How does Google figure out which sites should be at the top of the list? How do you figure out which site is the most relevant to your search? Webmasters who use search engine optimization help Google match their site to the right search results.   There are lots of different strategies to make your website appear higher in the list of search results and to make it more likely that someone will click on your link.

SEO Tips

Did you know that Google takes into account more than 200 different factors to help it determine which search results appear each time you search? There is lots and lots of SEO methods that take advantage of these factors (which change all the time).  For this activity here are a few you can try!

  1. Page Title: Make sure you’ve added a good, clear title for your page inside the <Title></Title> tags! Keep your page titles short. Google only shows a certain number of characters in their search result pages.
  2. Keywords: Keywords are the words you enter into a search engine to find what you’re looking for. Keywords for our unicorn example might be “buy unicorns” “unicorn shopping” “unicorn store” etc.  Think about what words people might use to find your site, then make sure to use these words all over the place:
  • In your URL, Page Title, the text of your website should be filled with helpful keywords.
  • Bold your keywords with <strong> tags.
  • Add keywords to headings: <h1> or <h2>.
  • If you add images, change the file name of your image to include a keyword, and put your keywords in the Image Alt Attributes.
    • Example:  <img alt=”buy a unicorn” src=”unicornforsale.jpg”>
  1. Meta Description: In your site header, add a “Meta description”. This allows you to decide how Google describes your page in its results. Keep the description short (1-2 sentences) to make sure you do not exceed the maximum number of viewable characters.  Example:
  • <meta name=”description” content=”This is an example of a meta description. This will often show up in search results.”>

 

4.Use only one H1 tag. The <H1> tag in the body of your site is the most important text on a webpage. It tells Google exactly what the page is about. If you have several H1 tags, you can confuse Google crawlers and your page will appear lower in the search results

 

  1. Social Networks – Share your site! After your site is ready, take some time to share it on your social networks; ask your friends to share it, ‘like’ it, ‘+1’ it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.  Google uses a site’s popularity as a signal to determine it’s quality and legitimacy. You should also get other sites to link to your site.  Ask a blog to write about your site and link to it, get people to review your site. etc.

6. Make your site awesome.  You can ask a thousand people to go to your site, but if there’s nothing interesting there, they won’t stay or share! One of the best ways to get your site seen, liked and searchable is to create great content. Whether it’s a video, writing, cool graphics, a comic or another resource, great content naturally attracts links as people visit it, share it and talk about it.

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