Saturday, November 22, 2008

SEO Crash Course

SEO stands for search engine optimization. You probably already know this, but it pays to be safe so let’s take a quick look at what this acronym is really all about. SEO is the art and science of identifying the right markets to promote via Web search, and then helping the search engines rank your sites highly within their results.

Good and effective SEO involves creating pages and sites that are easily indexed and reviewed by the special software used by Google and other search engines.

These special software programs are referred to as spiders or robots, and they
literally crawl the entire Web (thousands of links per second) in a never-ending
effort to index and rank all files within the search results listings.

SEO also includes generating a large number of quality back links to your
website and individual pages, as doing so will increase the number of “votes”
the search engines see when they index your sites.

These two areas of SEO are called on-site and off-site SEO respectively. This
article is about offsite SEO, or link generation.

Keyword Selection

Choosing the right keywords for your site is important. Obviously your keywords and keyword phrases need to be targeted and descriptive, but you also want to select a number of phrases that are not being used by all the competition.

Online, as elsewhere, most people go for the low hanging fruit. Most of your
competitors will be trying hard to get traffic using the simplest, most obvious
keywords that come to mind.

The trouble is, this usually means thousands of people are optimizing for the
same search terms. What you need to do is find good keywords that are being
ignored by most webmasters.

For instance, the key term “Web Design” is wildly competitive. On the other hand “affordable we design” and “cheap web design” are much less competitive, while still being queried by many people every month.

Keyword Usage On-site

You’ve probably heard that your site, in order to be search engine friendly, needs
to have a solid keyword density and properly optimized tags. This is true, but
none of these elements are as important as the back linking strategies and
tactics you’ll learn in this article.

Making your sites search engine happy:

Good Title Tag - Your HTML Title tag for every page needs to be your top keyword phrase(s). It’s ok to use two or three keyword phrases and separate these with the | pipe character.

Keep your title short and to the point. If your site is about Web Design your title needs to be simply < TITLE >Web Design | Affordable Web Design Service< /TITLE >

Correct Use Of Heading Tags - Most of us use < H1 > tags to create big, bold headlines for our sales pages. This is great, but you also need to understand that search engine spiders read anything between < H1 >. < H2 >, etc. as important keyword content; it’s a good idea to add one or more of your top keyword
phrases here.

Smart Keyword Density - Be sure your main keywords are used often but naturally within your content. Should you use a 2% keyword density, 5%, or what? I have no idea and this has never stopped me from nailing top search engine rankings virtually at will.

If you want to study keyword density that’s great, but for now the least you should
know is to be sure and include your keywords within your page content. Be sure
not to “stuff” your pages with ridiculous, unnatural use of any terms as doing so
could get you penalized by Google and other engines.

Take good care of these basics and you can literally spend the rest of your
time building the right kinds of back links.

Watch out for the next part of our SEO Crash Course.

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