As marketers we often hear the importance of SEO and the increasing need of seeing our websites ranked highly on Google search results pages for attracting targeted traffic. In today’s post we are going to have a look into the four main rules of Search Engine Optimization.
But first of all… What is SEO?
What is SEO?
SEO comes from search engine optimization and it describes a diverse set of activities that you can perform to increase the amount of targeted traffic that comes to your website from search engines. This includes things you do to your site yourself such as changes to text or HTML code.
It also includes communicating directly with the search engines or requesting links with other sites. Tracking, research and competitive review are also part of the SEO package.
It is important to know that it’s main goal is to gain targeted visitors without doing advertising nor public relations.
And why is it important?
Because those sites that appear on page 1 of Google Organic search receive 36% of the clicks.
What can we do to maximize our SEO efforts?
The four main rules of Search Engine Optimization are:
• Keywords and Tags
• Link building
Let’s analyze each one more closely….
It can take the search engines months to index you for the first time. Google in particular can take up to 6 months.
Yahoo and MSN might index you in as little at 2 months.
So, it is important that you do everything correctly regarding your website building so that once you get indexed they will give you good rankings. To determine if your website and all links are indexed you simply go to Yahoo or Google and type in the search box.
You can submit your site to Google here: http://www.google.com/addurl/ and your site will probably be indexed in around 1-2 months.
If Google finds your site by following the links from other pages that have already been indexed and are regularly re-spidered, chances are you will be included without any submission. These chances are much higher if Google finds your site by reading a directory listing, such as Yahoo (dir.yahoo.com) and DMOZ (www.dmoz.org) the Mozilla Business Directory.
Submit your site and it may help, but links are the best way to get indexed.
Text must be crawlable. Spiders can only crawl and index actual text. This is why it is recommended to remove or reduce the use of flash.
Our website page text should reflect our main keywords describing our activity and what we offer in our pages.
Keyword rich copy is good for both search engines and customers to help reinforce what they searched on. Each page should have its own set of unique keywords to increase your odds of being seen.
Also keep in mind that search engines will only go down so far on a page to find information thinking the most important information should be at the top of the page. So be careful how you lay out your site. Typically a search engine crawler will only go down about 80% of the page.
If you feel strongly that you want a picture or other non-text design as your main element on the home page or designated landing page, then put text below the fold.
3. KEYWORDS AND TAGS
Careful keyword selection is the heart of the SEO campaign.
One should check every 6 months to ensure keywords are still appropriate and competitive
Keywords are the single most important part of an SEO campaign.
They are the short descriptive phrases that you want to be found with on the search engines.
If you put the time and effort into choosing the right keywords, you will not only be rewarded with a higher rank but also:
• A well optimized site
• More click-throughs because your keywords will be more relevant
• More conversions because you are attracting more qualified leads
In addition, viewing the source file of your competitors will allow you to see what keywords they are targeting
To view the keyword list for any webpage have the page open and right click then select view source.
The HTML code will pop up for that page showing you the key word listing
Once your keywords are determined you then need to assess their relevance. Do not repeat them in the list and limit your list to 15 or so keywords (the fewer the better).
The more specific and focused your keywords the more likely Google will be able to properly classify you for searches.
Remember that every page should have a different set of keywords.
The four areas where you will use keywords on your site are:
• Page text/copy
• Page titles
• Meta Description Tag
• Meta Keyword Tag
4. LINK BUILDING
Inbound links are a vote of confidence. In the Digital Marketing world we call this “credibility.”
Remember, we must search for quality not quantity when in comes to links.
The search engine crawlers or spiders look for links that direct to your website, not only to follow those links to find you, but also to determine more information about you.
So…when exchanging links with others have them be specific about the link text and not just say “Click Here.” There is a lot of information we can loose if we keep links too simple.
In general, one should spend 50% of their time working on website optimization efforts towards building high quality link popularity.
Remember that the greater the number of links from other sites pointing to a website, the more popular the website and therefore the higher quality resource for search engines.
But…it is better to have a few quality sites linking to your site than to have a few hundred “spammy” sites or link farms.
Building links can be time consuming, frustrating and sometimes end up with little or no results.
Remember, this effort is a must if we wish to establish good PageRanks (good position in the search engine’s results)
If you want to broaden your knowledge in link building strategies you can find more information here:
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