SEO is the process of improving a Web page's content (text) and certain tags with the goal of increasing its Search Engine Results Page (SERP) position. Or, SEO is how you describe a page for the search engines to know if it's relevant to the subject on the page.
SEO is applied to the pages of your Web site one page at a time. You can optimize whichever pages you desire. The idea is, apply SEO to any or every page you want to appear in the search engines on page 1 or page 2 search results. That's called Search Engine Results Page (SERP). You can optimize all, some, or none of your pages. The more pages you optimize the better chance you have of getting at least 1 of the pages to attain a good SERP. You can begin with any page you desire.
Optimize all of your pages so that they can work together in an effort to get even just 1 page that good SERP. If you don't, then the pages not optimized may work against your other pages, keeping one (or more) from attaining that good SERP just because the other pages were poorly optimized.
You should know that if you are expecting to get your "home" page in a great SERP, that's probably not going to happen. Usually, we have the home page loaded with "all" the products or services we offer. Then, each of the internal pages has 1 page per product or service. If you have multiple products or services on any 1 internal page (other than the home page, which we already know will probably not attain a great SERP), you can expect that the page "may" not attain a good SERP. If I were you, go back to the pages of your site and assure that each 1 page has 1 subject (product or service). Not only does that increase your chances of attaining a good SERP, but it's easier for you to optimize each page so that you don't have to consider more than 1 product / service / subject on any 1 page.
The more subjects (e.g. products; services) you have on one page, the more difficult it is to attain that good SERP. Just imagine that you are trying to sell to someone and you keep switching back and forth about products / services. How confused do you think that person would be? It's the same with your Web site. If you keep each page on 1 subject, the readers will not be confused, and, they will be more engaged.
Conversational, Relevant Text
Always keep in mind that you want highly relevant text on the page, engaging text, and text that is very "conversational". What does that mean? It means, write the text on each of your pages as if you were talking to someone about your product or service. When you are having a "conversation" with someone about your product or service, you are very passionate about your product or service. You feel the energy when you are telling the person (or people) about what you do.
So here's a tip for you to write good content. Sit down with someone with the intention to have a conversation about your product(s) or service(s). Pull out your phone (or some recording device) and record the entire conversation. When you are finished, transcribe the recording. That means writing everything that was recorded so you have a "hard-copy" - a document with the entire recording written word-for-word. You might think that's too much and that's not really required. If you don't write your content this way, or something very similar, then your optimization may be all in vain.
The search engines can tell if the text on your page is highly relevant, conversational, and engaging. If I went into how they can know that it would be a way too long and technical conversation that is of no value here. What you need to "take away" from this is that you need to write more than 1 sentence. Come on...you know you have several pages and / or products that have 1 sentence you wrote to describe what's on the page.
Ok then. Show that one sentence to people. See how "engaged" they are with that one sentence, or how "relevant" to the product that one sentence was. Oh yeah...and how "conversational" that one sentence - sitting all alone on the page - is for someone to read. You know it's not.
The reason for all of this? You do this so the search engines view your one page as a page readers will really want to...read. If the search engines don't think the page is what readers want, then you can forget getting a page 1 SERP. Technology is so sophisticated with the search engine bots that you cannot trick the bots into thinking your page is something it's not. Any attempt to trick the bots will hurt your chances for that elusive SERP. So just don't do that. Follow the rules and you'll be fine.
If you follow the above approach to optimization you stand a very good chance to get that page 1 SERP. What sells "you" on something? One sentence? Or, someone who's really passionate about the subject telling you all about the product / service. I know "I" would prefer to listen to someone passionate. I'm probably going to look to the competition if the person is just giving me one sentence and expecting me to buy. Wouldn't you?
Rank vs. SERP
Rank is something completely different, but is "often" used (incorrectly) to reference SERP. Web site owners, then, should be only concerned with SERP. SEO Rank has to do with more technical information about your site or the individual pages in your site.
Search Engine Results Position (SERP) is with what you are concerned. You want to see a page (or more) of your Web site on page 1 search results. Right? Well that's not "rank" - that's SERP.
Part of SEO mandates certain code to be found in the page for which you are hoping to increase the SERP. This includes: H1; meta="title"; meta="description".
The most important part of SEO is the content of the page. Do not confuse content to include anything other than text. Technically, content is everything. But for our purposes, referring to "content" means the text alone. And we've already discussed content (above) so you now have plenty of information about what's important and why.
Meta Tags, Headings and Titles
Although the text is most important, unless the "support" tags are used correctly, your text could be perfect, and yet your SERP still suffers. Why? Because you need your text as we've outlined, but you must also have the meta tags, headings and titles.
So where do you find or edit those? Meta tags are part of the code in each page of your Web site. I'm not going to go into all the technical parts of the tags because it's not important for your purposes. You only need to know how to find the tags.
Each Content Management System (CMS) is different. You have WordPress which makes it difficult to edit meta tags. So you install a plugin to create "fields" that allow you to enter text into the tags in order to optimize each page of your site.
Then you have Joomla! which is designed to make it simple to edit these tags. Each article you write has every field you need. You just need to fill in each of them and you are set. Joomla! also allows you to enter the same or different text into the "same" fields in the menu item. That means, when you create a menu item for a page, you can also enter the text for the meta tags. There is no need to install anything to help you apply optimization for a Joomla! Web site. There are many more CMS' available, but this covers the two most popular.
If you are thinking that I forgot to outline "where" you'll be able to edit or add the meta tags in WordPress, you're wrong because it all depends on what you installed to do that job for you. And, each of the various plugins does it differently and is too complicated to provide instructions here. But, if you need help with this, you are in the right place. Just get in touch through the contact page and we'll go from there.
Each page or your Web site has 1 subject, as I already outlined (above). The subject of the page needs the H1 tag as high up on the page as possible, and that H1 tag needs to be the 1 keyword term for which you wish that one page found in the search engines with a good SERP. Having the H1 high on the page indicates immediately what the "bots" should find in the page.
Let me try to simplify that. When you are preparing to write your content for 1 page, you need to research what people are searching in the search engines in order to figure out what "keyword term" people search for your product or service. Once you find that most popular term, use that in your H1 tag.
Each of these steps are going to be outlined in more detail in other parts of this site. This page is to simply answer some basic questions about optimizing your Web site.
You should "not" use the H1 tag more than once on any one page. Doing so will negatively impact your SERP. For google, you can have the H1 on 1 page more than once. But, don't do it several times. Two times is more than enough. And, quite frankly, there is no need to have more than 1 H1 on any page.
But, and this is critical to remember, some other search engines do not allow more than 1 H1 tag on any page. So you have to decide. Do you completely disregard all the other search engines just to concentrate on google? Or, do you consider the fact that you may get into a page 1 SERP with other search engines before google? Take this next bit to the bank. I'm telling you straight that if you do even a good job with your optimization you will probably attain a page 1 SERP with several search engines - even if you are still nowhere close in google. Just because google has more searches doesn't mean the others have none.
When combined with the meta tags, the H1 will tell the search engine "bots" that the page is all about (whatever is in the H1 tag) and is supported by the title, description tags as well as the
text on that same page. So the content, then, "must" follow suit by being "highly relevant" to the meta tags and H1 tag.
Once you have your content written, you'll need to re-read the content several times to assure that it's done well and anybody could understand what you wrote. If you use terminology that may
cause people to get out a dictionary, your content suffers. If you don't include enough details and expect people to "understand" or "assume", that's the kiss of death in SEO.
If you do the above, the "bots" will report back what they found in your page and provide a quality report. If the page is done properly, the report will be awesome! That is what pushes your page
to a great SERP.
You may think that there is "enough" information in this page to begin your process. NO! There is not! I'm going to teach you by providing detailed information about the process and you need to use everything. This page was only created to help you understand why you are doing any of this process.
Now, you are prepared for the first step in the process - researching keyword terms. Not only is this the first step, but it's critical in proper optimization. Your SEO will be all for nothing if you do not do the research for keyword terms. It's those terms that make your content valuable to both search engines and readers.