SEO for local businesses pt. 1

SEO for local businesses in Hawaii

An in-depth series — Part 1 — SEO Basics

SEO basics for local businesses in Hawaii: the health check. In the first of a series on SEO, we will go over details of the basic SEO health check. This series discusses comprehensive website analysis. Another series will address on-page SEO analysis.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the science of optimizing your website for search engine robots. The top five most popular (non-private) search engines in the world are:

  1. Google
  2. Bing
  3. Yahoo
  4. Baidu
  5. Yandex 

(For a list of private search engines see this article by VPN Mentor. For a complete private browser see Tor Browser.)

An overview of each word contained in the acronym SEO:

  1. Search: occurs when a member of your audience
    • is connected to the Internet
    • opens a browser (such as Firefox, Safari, or Edge)
    • searches for information or a product
  2. Engine: a computer program that accepts input and searches the Internet for the best response
  3. Optimization: making something the best that it can be

Search engine optimization is the effort of making your website the best it can be for search engines—and, thus, humans. 

Search Engine Optimization is meant to make your website easy for robots to read and understand the layout and content of your website. Theoretically, if it is easier for robots to understand then it will be easier for humans to understand. The idea is this: if a robot sees that your local web designer has spent a lot of energy ensuring the website passes all of the SEO checks, then it will be deemed worthy of attention by humans. 

In the context of Hawaii Internet marketing,  this means making sure your website is easy for robots to index and navigate; if the robots can easily navigate your website then the search engine is more likely to rank it higher in the search results. 

Search Engine Optimization has evolved into a profound science examining every aspect of a website. Some argue that it is a waste of time to chase after a perfect SEO score because it can deter one from the primary purpose of the website. While it is important to focus on the primary purpose of your website (i.e., to sell a product, present information etc...), it is nonetheless quite important to carefully consider the suggestions of SEO experts. 

A comprehensive website audit will address the following aspects of your website: 

  1. Basic Health Check
  2. Pages Analysis
  3. Meta Analysis
  4. Content Analysis
  5. Links Analysis
  6. Images Analysis
  7. Mobile & Desktop Optimization
  8. Usability & Technologies

This article will go over details of the Basic SEO Health Check. Other articles in this series will address the remaining aspects.

SEO Basics: Health Check

  1. WWW redirect: whether or not your landing page begins with www is not a concern for search engines; it is important, however, to choose one or the other (www or non-www URL). Otherwise the search engine will see duplicate content.

  2. URL rewrite: ensure your URLs are easy to read. Vague, long URLs are not human-friendly; and search engines agree.

  3. Trailing slashes: ensure all of your URLs end with a trailing slash (i.e., "/")

  4. Redirect HTTP to HTTPS: NEVER use HTTP! The standard protocol across the web is that every page, every element, every image must be served over HTTPS.

  5. Robots.txt: ensure you have a robots.txt file at the root of your domain and that it contains relevant directives (always include a link to your sitemap).

  6. XML sitemap: ensure you have a .xml sitemap.

  7. No flash: avoid using Flash. 

  8. No Iframes: avoid using Iframes. Search engines can not crawl Iframe content.

  9. No duplicate content: ensure your site does not have any duplicate pages.

Local businesses in Hawaii can benefit from following the directives of SEO experts; Vital Tech Results can help. If you are interested in executing your own SEO plan, I recommend using SE RankingHawaii SEO CompaniesTheir plan includes 35 SEO tools to help you optimize your site. Otherwise, I recommend running our FREE on-page SEO audit. This is a free SEO audit for a single page. A future series of article will provide more details on the SEO audit referred to as "on-page SEO." We understand you have your choice in Hawaii SEO companies, that's why we are committed to providing neutral advice; consultation that is truly in your best interest. For an objective approach in SEO web design in Hawaii, contact us.