Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a byword among webmasters. Businesses can only prosper if they have customers and the latter usually arrive via the search engines. Optimizing our websites for search engines is therefore indispensable if we are serious about making money online.
After a week or two installing and tweaking and a few (or a thousand) dollars poorer, we’ve finally have a website ready for our content. Then, WHAM! We run into this search engine optimization stuff and realize our real work has only begun. Experts make search engine optimization sound like rocket science and, as a consequence, there is a flourishing web industry for eBooks peddling optimization “secrets.”
Fact is, the only secret about SEO is the algorithm used by the search engines in indexing content. It’s not a science either, more like 90% informed guesswork and 10% luck. Most regular guys can learn and do SEO basics in 24 hours. Fundamentally, Techniques are grouped into on-page and off-page SEO.
On Page SEO
On-page SEO is what we do in our websites. It usually revolves around the concept of keywords, which are simply the words mostly used by surfers to search for something using the SEs. We need to choose our keywords carefully.
As an illustration, both “search engine optimization” and “SEO“ are keywords. Wordtracker says that there were 24,416 searches for the former and 2,370 for the latter the past month. We want this page to rank high for “search engine optimization” so we spelled it out in the first two paragraphs. If possible, always spell out acronyms as almost every word is a keyword.
How do we use keywords for optimization? First, we use them judiciously in our
content. Second, we put them in our meta tags and description. Third, we put them in the titles where they are automatically enclosed in header tags.
Fortunately, there are many plugins to popular content management systems that will enhance our SEO without us learning to code. Simple search for SEO and
sitemap in the
Off-page SEO is what matters most when it comes to page ranking. It is about getting quality and relevant inbound links or links from other sites to ours. How do we go about this? First, we submit our sites to the major search engines and
directories. Second, we can request reciprocal links from fellow webmasters. Third, we can join forums, social networks, and blogs where we can place links back to our sites. Fourth, we can fill our site with quality and authoritative content so others will naturally link to our pages.
Please remember it’s called a web because all sites are ultimately linked together. A high PR site can also pull up our rank so we have to exchange links with those of our own level or higher than us. We also have to be careful linking (outbound) to bad sites like those selling drugs and porn as it can hurt our PR.
It didn’t even take us 15 minutes to read this article and we already have a fair idea of what SEO is and how we can implement it. We should focus more on delivering fresh quality content as both the SEs and visitors will love us for them and that’s the best SEO technique there is.