Search Engine Optimization
While building your site, it's important to think about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Using Jimdo's built-in tools, you can adjust SEO settings like Titles, Descriptions, and Keywords for each page of your site. Below, find information about SEO Basics, On-page SEO, and Off-page SEO.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of updating the content on a website to generate more traffic from search engines.
The more visible and relevant your site is to search engines, the higher up your site will appear when people search for particular keywords. Your goal should be to appear on the first page for the keywords that your customers are searching for—for example, if your business is repairing spaceships, you want your site to appear first when someone enters the search "my spaceship is broken."
In the next few sections, we'll talk about how search engines work and how choosing the right keywords and domain can make your site rank higher in search results.
Once you get started with optimizing your site for search, you'll want to improve your process by using several free SEO tools.
How do search engines work?
A search engine is a constantly updated index of pages on the web.
Search engines have spiders that crawl the web looking for new pages. The spiders start with popular pages and follow links to other pages, creating an ever larger network. While crawling the web, spiders look at all of the significant words on each page to get a sense of what the page is about. Using a search algorithm, a search engine ranks all of the pages in its network for various keywords and phrases.
Nobody knows the exact algorithms that search engines like Google and Bing use to rank pages. It's clear, however, that certain things—e.g. meta tags, titles, alt text, and inbound links—are very important factors. We'll talk more about these topics throughout this article.
The paragraphs above are a very brief description of search engines, which are a very complicated topic. For more information, consider reading the HowStuffWorks article "How Search Engines Work".
Keywords are the words or phrases that people enter in search engines when they are looking for something.
It's important to use the same keywords on your site that you think your potential customers or visitors are looking for. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the people you want to find your website and imagine what keywords they use in search engines. If you own a board game store, your potential customers could be searching for "family games" or "games for couples"—you want to be sure to use those keywords on your website.
A powerful tool for finding more information about keywords is Google Trends, which shows the historical popularity of various keywords. You can also use Google Trends to see keywords that are related to a given keyword—that will help you add some variety in the keywords that you use on your site.
Check out the screenshots of the Google Trends history for "cats" in 2012 and 2013 as well as keywords related to "cats."
A domain name is the part of a web address that specifies one particular website (e.g. http://www.yoursite.com).
Choosing the right domain name is an important step in optimizing your site for search. Here are three things to consider when making your domain:
- Branding: You want your domain name to be memorable and unique so that people can make an immediate connection with your website and your brand.
- Length: A domain name that is too long is difficult to remember, and people are prone to enter it incorrectly from memory. Try to keep your domain name short—usually three words or fifteen characters (whichever is shorter) is a good limit.
- Keywords: If possible, include one of your most important keywords in your domain name. Don't do this at the expense of branding or length, however.
For more information about how domain names affect SEO, read SEOmoz's "Domain Best Practices."