When answering this question for a potential client recently –What is your experience with SEO/Marketing/Branding through web development? – it seemed fitting to share my response since I know the question will come up again. So…here’s my answer:
As I’m sure you know, SEO is an ongoing effort. And, Google doesn’t make it easy on us because they like to change the rules – often. Here’s my overview on SEO and what I provide for my clients:
I set you up with a good SEO foundation by making sure that every page and post that I am responsible for has a Custom Title Tag and Meta Description, and that every image has Alt Text (for SEO purposes and when an image might not load on a device) and a Description (important for Pinning). If there are tons of pages, posts or images beyond the agreed upon quantity, there may be an extra fee for inserting everything on those extra pages, posts, and images.
As far as WHAT I actually insert: This is something we can discuss to make sure that I am putting exactly what you want and what you feel will be the most successful for search engines. Typically, for Custom Title Tags, I put the name of the page and the name of the company. I may put a few other key words like where you are located, if appropriate (i.e. Home | The Creative Solutions Project | Web Design and Development in Houston, Texas). For Meta Descriptions, I will usually take a sentence or two from the content on the page or post and tweak it to make sure important words are in there and that I’m as close to the 150-word limit as possible.
Google (and SEO experts) now says we don’t need to insert keywords into any special area on our site. We need to USE keywords in our content, but it’s not necessary any more to actually type them into a separate place on the site.
Once I insert everything, I ask that my clients review what I put in there and then revise as they wish. I explain where these titles and descriptions are located on the pages/posts and how to update them (which you may end up doing more than once based on what you’re trying to focus on – on your site or on any given page or post). Beyond my role, I recommend that clients write and publish blog posts regularly, share their content regularly (which then brings visitors back to your site – which then helps your analytics, which, in turn, helps your SEO rankings). For advanced SEO work (keyword research, ads, etc.), I recommend hiring an SEO expert. It truly is a career/industry in and of itself. So, if this is a big focus of your business and ranking high in search engines is a priority, then an SEO expert might be needed.
And there you have it! Did I leave anything out? Would you like know more about SEO in general or my approach/process? If so, please share it in the comments below.