Posted On 05 Jan 2020
Marama Carmichael

The keys to SEO – What every business owner needs to know about how to be found on Google.

SEO or (search engine optimisation) is a pretty complex topic. There are over 200 “ranking signals” that Google uses to decide what to show when people search for something. It can be overwhelming. BUT here are 5 key things that even the most Google phobic business owners need to know that will unlock the power of Google.

1. Meta Title tags and Meta descriptions – Vital for SEO

Honestly if you just make sure that every page you have on your site has “meta” titles and descriptions you will be ahead of a LOT of other business owners out there.  We do free web audits at Oracle Tree (get yours below if you want one) and by far the biggest thing we find are missing or duplicate descriptions.

But what does that even mean?

Meta titles show up in search as the blue links and descriptions as the few lines of text afterward.

If you don’t write them yourself, Google will decide what to use (in the case of a description it will be the 1st few lines of text from your page (even if that text is code or doesn’t make sense).

This is THE most important thing you can do for rankings.  It tells Google you care and tells people who see you in search what the page is about.

Most website content management systems will have a way to add this info when they write a new page or blog post. If you use WordPress a great free plugin to use is SEO by Yoast. But any site that lets you add content will have the ability to add titles and descriptions.

TIPS: Write for people first, not search engines.  Use keywords in the title but don’t go overboard or it will do more harm than good.

What about “meta keywords”?  Some systems have the ability to add meta keyword tags as well as title and description. Don’t use them. They do more harm than good – Google pays no attention to them and they don’t show up anywhere. The only way Google looks at them is as a signal of “keyword stuffing”. It reads the actual content on your page to decide what is relevant to show in the results.