Throughout my website development career, I have been asked by many people about SEO (Search Engine Optimization); what does it mean, what does it do, and how can I have it to drive massive amounts of traffic to my website? The short answer is, there is no short answer to good SEO.
Doing a quick Google search will bring up a sea of conflicting information and numerous companies promising SEO dreams. My professional advice to you, is to avoid dealing with these so-called SEO companies. Many of them employ cheap tricks that may not only harm your business, but end up costing you tons of money.
The truth to good SEO, is good content, because ultimately content is king. No matter how well a website is designed or built, unless there’s good content, you won’t see any improvement in true meaningful traffic.
You Have Good Content, Now What?
How a website is built matters. Code needs to be semantic, in other words, it has to have meaning. When search engines crawl your website, they’re not only going to be looking for good HTML5 markup, but also, they’ll be on the lookout for Microdata.
Your web pages have an underlying meaning that people understand when they read the web pages. But search engines have a limited understanding of what is being discussed on those pages. By adding additional tags to the HTML of your web pages—tags that say, “Hey search engine, this information describes this specific movie, or place, or person, or video”—you can help search engines and other applications better understand your content and display it in a useful, relevant way. Microdata is a set of tags, introduced with HTML5, that allows you to do this. – Schema.org
Another way to put it, a search engine won’t know the block of text on your website is an article, poem, movie review, or biography. Utilizing proper Microdata goes a long way to help search engines discern your content.
Putting it All Together
Having good content and well constructed code is just good practice to hitting Google’s checkboxes, but there’s so much more. Ask yourself these questions, how fast does your website load, are there any bugs under the hood, is your website truly mobile friendly, and do you have an SSL Certificate installed? In short, don’t fall into traps with SEO companies who aren’t touting these tidbits and instead first invest time creating exceptional content above everything else.