What is Search Engine Optimization?
In a nutshell, search engine optimization (SEO) means to optimize website content, code and links for optimal placement in the organic search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO helps to ensure that a site is search engine friendly and can be indexed by the search engines. Organic listings appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and are ranked according to the search engine's algorithm. Most of the time, search engine optimization does not give you instant visibility. It's a long term process that can yield long term rewards when done properly. Not as hard as you might think, optimizing a website for the search engines is also not easy either. It requires patience. a long-term ongoing committment and hours of "manual labor". SEO is not a "quick fix" to attain rankings.
example of an organic search engine result
for the search term "affordable search engine ranking"
What is Involved in Optimizing a Website?
Optimizing a website to make it "search engine friendly" includes both internal factor (on-page and linking) as well as external factors (server & linking). To take your website out of stealth mode it must be coded with "search engine friendly" code as well as optimized for visibility. That includes using keyword phrases that real people actually search for. Sure you want to rank well for your company name because there is a percentage of the population who will be looking specifically for you, but what about those who are just looking for what you have to offer? What words will they use in the search engines?
Discovering the right keyphrases to use is like panning for gold and finding the nuggets that can make your business skyrocket. Keywords coupled with optimized code, a clean server and recognition from other websites will make all the difference in the world.
On-Page Factors: The Basics
Search engine optimization (SEO), is a process that takes time to implement and experience change. Using only one or two optimization techniques is generally not enough to ensure proper ranking. Both on-page and off-page factors together must be used to ensure maximum results. It is a long term and on-going process that requires diligence and patience.
Each page of your Web site should be focused and themed to target a specific set of keyword phrases. If you want people to visit you from the search engines, you will need to use the words they are using to search. So do your homework and perform extensive keyword research to know which words to use.
Know the best keywords to optimize your site for and to bid on.
Target the keywords that will attract qualified visitors to your site.
Once you know what keywords and key-phrases to use, the next step is to assign them to pages on your Web site. You might decide to create new pages if your existing site doesn't have the pages you need. In fact, you will likely need new pages and since content is king and bigger sites with more pages tend to rank higher, go ahead and write away. Be sure to include your keywords and phrases in your content and also in the html code, don't forget about the behind-the-scenes code such as the Title tag, Description & Keyword meta tags, H tags, alt tags, links, file names and anywhere else it is appropriate. Sometimes it won't count for much but it will all add up. Don't go overboard though and get spammy. If you make sure it reads well and looks good to a human visitor and you should do ok with the electronic visitors as well.
Writing for both the search engines and human visitors can be challenging. Copywriting is an art, especially when it comes to developing content for the web. When applied with a little science, professional copywriting for the web can prove to be one of the best investments you can make for your website.
Off Page Factors: Links and Servers
An important part of search engine optimization includes inbound, outbound and internal links. Major search engines are utilizing links more and more to improve the relevance of their search results and rank pages higher. In theory, exchanging links with other related sites can improve how well pages rank in search engines that analyze links. The simple definition of "link popularity" is "how many other quality sites link to your site”. But "link quality" is what really counts in an effective link building campaign.
The way a website is set up on the server can also impact rankings in the search engines. A dedicated IP address will ensure that no one else's spammy ways will affect your website. In addition, setting up a reverse DNS will help the search engines crawl your pages correctly. Although it may not be an issue for Google, other search engines may not be as sophisticated.
Although the search engines do not change their algorithms on a regular basis like they used to, the Internet is dynamic and changes happen due to new filters being put in place to combat spamming and websites competing for top positions. You will want to be sure to include ongoing optimization in your online marketing plan to keep up on what is happening in the search world. Perform periodic reviews of your website to make sure you are conforming to the search engine's webmaster guidelines and taking advantage of the many optimization techniques they recommend.
Contact us today to find out how we can help so you can keep focused on your business and doing what you do best.
Getting Ready for a SEO Campaign
- Keywords = Foundation : Keyword Research: Keywords and Keyword Phrases or Keyphrases
- Establishing a Baseline: Ranking and Other Reports
- Website is in Development Stage: Website and Server Assessment for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Website is Built: Website Development Analysis and Consultation
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