The Basics of Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization means the literal optimization of the web pages to improve their ranking in the search engine results. The good news is that it is easy and you can begin implementing SEO tactics within the next hour!
Understanding Search Engines & Complex Algorithms
There are over 150,000,000 active websites on the Internet and search engines are faced with the daunting task of sifting through these websites to find useful and relevant information. The search engines job is to give users the most helpful and relevant information related to their search. To do this, search engines created algorithms, which are mathematical instructions that tell a computer how to complete a task.
The algorithms that are used by various search engines are very complex, so there can never really be any “fixed” rules that place your web pages on the coveted #1 Google spot. These algorithms keep changing from time to time and search engine optimizers are expected to constantly update their knowledge and expertise. Although rules keep changing and they are very complex, search engine optimization can certainly help you improve the ranking of your website, if you know what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Google and other search engines do the work for a user by searching out websites which contain keywords the user searched for. Next, the search engine assigns a rank to each page based on many different factors, like how many times the searched keywords appear on the website or web page. These higher ranked pages will appear further up in the Search Engine Results Page, or SERP. Theoretically, the highest ranked page on Google is the best website for whatever the user was searching for.
Understanding & Identifying The Purpose Of Your Website
As an experienced internet marketer, I believe SEO begins with a simple Business Analysis. Before creating any website, you must know the purpose of the website you are building, the business model you are following and how you are going to execute your plan. It is important to know about the products and services you are offering, how you are going to reach your audience and how much it will cost you.
After determining the business purpose, you must do a lot of keyword research, you need to know which keywords you are targeting and the reason for it. You need to find the most relevant keywords related to your business and make a list.
Next, out of this list, choose the most valuable keywords. It is also important to give importance to long tail of keywords i.e. any phrase or a line or any set of words, which is relevant and not just stay confined to single words. In order to be able to conduct a proper keyword research, you need to learn how to use different keyword research tools such as Google AdWords, Wordtracker and many others.
Creating Content For Users & Search Engines
After knowing your business strategy and selecting the keywords for your website, you need to create content. On the Internet, content is the King and is Google’s best friend. Always remember, content needs to be created for users. Do not create content for Search engines.
Create the highest quality content for your website users, if you cannot write articles yourself, you can hire professional writers or buy media, which is not free. Once your content is written, it will need to be optimized for search engines. So the ground rule is, write content for the users and optimize it for the search engines.
To optimize your web pages, put the selected keywords in the appropriate places, such as headers, titles, links, etc. It is also helpful to write keywords in the meta tags. Meta tags are ignored by the search engines, but they help you organize the keywords you are using for later tweaking.
Do not forget to optimize media, such as pictures, videos, audios, slides, etc. Choose web addresses which are simple, easy to remember, short and relevant to your website. You should also create a sitemap on your website and make sure that all the web pages are linked properly with no page being left out.
Create A Sitemap For Your Website
Creating a sitemap is like creating a tour guide that welcomes a search engine and shows it all of the wonderful information you have. Without a sitemap, search engines may not find everything within your website, which can hurt your SEO goals. Sitemaps are written in Extensible Markup Language (XML) and are easy to create at xml-sitemaps.com.
The Importance Of Creating Backlinks & Marketing
Backlinks are links on other websites that point to your website, also known as Inbound Links, or IBL’s. The importance of backlinks is similar to telling the search engines that your website is popular because so many other websites are linking to it. This helps SEO because search engines will give your website more credit if you have a large number of backlinks.
It is very crucial to have quite a bit of inbound links to your website. You can submit your website to relevant places on web via link building strategies including email bloggers, various social media channels such as, Facebook pages, Twitter updates, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit etc. You need to engage your audience, replying back to comments, curating content and sharing it with your audience.
Monitoring Your SEO Progress
Now that everything has been set up and you are constantly making a few changes here and there, you need to track down the success of your website. Find out what is working for you, not working for you and working against you. You need to monitor your competition, traffic, from where it is coming, bounce back rates and a lot of other things. You can use various kinds of monitoring tools, but to begin with, you can use Google Analytics.
These are the bare basics of search engine optimization that you can start implementing right away. It is constant work that you must do regularly, however, knowing SEO is highly rewarding and will definitely boost your page ranks!