When it comes to SEO most business owners leave everything to the “experts”. The problem is that not everyone who sells SEO services actually knows what they are doing. Think about it this way, you may trust your accountant to do your taxes, but you still have a basic understanding of concepts like income, deductions, and extensions. It’s the same thing with your online presence. Learning a few of the basic terms will help protect yourself, your investments, and your business.
- 301 Redirect: If you have ever launched a new website, or thought about expanding into a new area, chances are you’ve needed a 301 redirect without even knowing it. When you remove old pages or launch a new website, you’ll need to make sure you don’t lose customers in the process. A 301 redirect is basically a sign that says to Google, “Hey We’ve Moved!”
- Analytics: Analytics helps you discover data that relates to your website. This can be things like the number of visitors in a given day, or the amount of time customers are spending on your home page. Just like investors watch the stock market every day, you need to keep a regular eye on your analytics.
- Authority Websites: Authority websites have lots of everything. Lots of good links, lots of great content, and lots of people visiting them each day. If you own a business website, you’ve probably been approached at least a few times about buying links. The problem is not all links are created equal, and only those links from authority websites will count. Wikipedia, is an example of an authority site.
- Duplicate Content: Duplicate content is pretty much just like it sounds, content that is copied from somewhere else on the internet. When you hire a writer or attempt to add content yourself, always be sure it’s unique and original to your website. If it’s duplicated completely or at least partially, Google won’t rank it as highly in search results.
- Long Tail: Customers online use primarily two kinds of searches, long tail and short tail. Shorter searches are very specific like “Plumbers”, and are very difficult to optimize for. Longer tail searches are things “Dallas Emergency Plumbing Repair”, and are much easier to target. The majority of customers use long tail searches to find businesses online, so don’t discount their value to your business.
- SEO: Most people know SEO stands for search engine optimization, but few can explain what that actually means. SEO is simply put, the process of improving your website’s visibility online. This can be everything from adding great content, modifying your existing website, or finding opportunities to gain links from authority websites. There is a science to SEO, and it’s vital to work with someone who can explain it in a simple, easy to understand way.
- Site Map: An HTML site map is a page on your site that provides a map to all the other pages you have. This should be updated as often as you update the rest of your website, and should be linked to from your home page. An XML sitemap is hidden from customers, and is usually only seen by search engines. This is the same as an HTML site map, it just provides search engines like Google with an easy to follow map of how to find everything on your site.