Basic Pillars of SEO
If you have built a website that you are looking to promote and bring visitors to, then SEO should be something that interests you greatly. SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’ meaning in other words that you are ‘optimizing’ the site for search engines (primarily Google) to find them. This means that when the search engine spiders find your site, they will find it easy to index and to search around, and this will result in all the pages coming up in search results, and on them being placed high up in the list of search results. As so many people use Google to explore the web, this is of incredible value and it’s a very good way to make sure you get the lions’ share of visitors without spending a fortune on paid advertising.
So what does this SEO entail? Well there are various elements involved in good SEO which we shall look at here.
Link building involves securing as many in-bound links to your site as possible. In other words then you get links to your pages on other websites, forums, comment boxes and more. The effect of this is threefold – first of all it means that people will find your site organically by discovering it on other sites they trust; secondly it means that Google’s spiders will be directed toward your site by following links (this is how they navigate the web); and finally it means that Google will recognize your site as being of value – because it sees inbound links as ‘testimonials’ from other sites.
When someone searches for something in Google, the search engine looks for matching phrases or synonyms in your text. You’d be surprised the amount of bizarre and unusual things people search for in Google, so quite simply – the more content you have on your page the more likely it is that someone will find it.
At the same time though there are some phrases and terms that people search for more often than others as you can imagine. These are ‘keywords’ and ‘keyphrases’ and by making your content and your site itself target those precise terms, you can make sure you are writing for the right audience. Once you have your keywords, you then use these repeatedly throughout your text (but not overly so in such a way that it becomes distracting to the reader), in the file names themselves, in the META tags, in the ALT tags and more. You’ll also use these as the anchor text when you build links so that it’s the keyword you want that links to your pages.
Certain elements of your site design will affect how Google and the other search engines respond to it. For instance if you include an index page, then this will help Google to quickly find lots of your pages and to learn its way around your site. Likewise you want to avoid things like frames which segregate your navigation from your content and can thus confuse Google.
These are the basic pillars of SEO, but there is more to it than that. For instance you need to think about the precise ratio of keywords to use, about the use of synonyms, and about the changes that are constantly happening to Google. Someone who is smart at promoting their site will keep afloat of all the changes and up coming revisions to Google’s ‘algorithms’ and will respond accordingly by increasing or decreasing the density of keywords or by making other changes. For instance a recent change to Google meant that having more than two ads above the ‘fold’ of the page (the bottom of the screen) would result in the site being demoted. By recognizing this, smart web owners could remove any offending ads and thus avoid being penalized. This is a constantly changing science and it’s important to do your research if you want to succeed and make your site a hit.