In this article we will talk about the best methods of SEO (search engine optimization) and why it is so important to our online business.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization, as the title says, is a technique that helps (as long as it's done right) webmasters to get a position in the results of search engines.
Everything is based on keywords mostly, keywords which define our online activity. Those keywords are the search terms that people google (now that the expression "to google" is in our dictionary we can use it as a synonym to "search") when looking to find more informations about a certain thing.
Let's search for example "seo guide" on Google and see what is happening:
Ok...Google returned 14,800,000 results which should be more than enough for us to get an idea about "seo guide". If I was one (like many others) interested in a SEO guide and googled that expression, I think that I would find my answer in the first 10 results or lets say the first page. So what about the rest of the 14,799,990 results, what are those guys doing? How do they get traffic? We will try to answer to all of this questions in my SEO tutorials. I will not (never, ever, ever) guarantee anyone that you will see your page on the top 10 positions, that you will be the first in google or any other search engine. That's almost impossible to achieve with the internet today and when you will find someone who says that I guess there will always be money in it so be careful where you spend them. Everything is changing and so is this SEO techique. Because of this we will stick to the standard things that a webmaster must follow to optimize his website for a better ranking.
The first thing we must do to make sure our website will be well optimized is to think very, very, very well about what our website will be. Gather all you activity (that this website will expose) and concentrate it into 1 word, 2 max. (again - think very well, this will be the keyword we will be working for).
The second thing is to chose a good domain name and title it somehow to containg that keyword (or at least 1 word if you have 2 in your main keyword). For example if I sell software, I would chose a domain name that would contain the word "soft" or "software": microsoft.com, softpedia.com etc. It is very important to do this things right, the way it should be because, otherwise, you will have a lot of work to do later.
Ok. So let's build some pages. The first one and the most important page is, obviously, the home page or the index. This is the page that will welcome most of your visitors and should tell them about your activity. I would suggest a clean page with the most important things you have to say. Not too many graphics or informations because you will scare people away. Tests show that most visitors are just "browsing" and will remain on your page only if they find what they're looking for in no more than 3 seconds so you have to think a way to build this page right. Don't throw everything there considering that every visitor will find what he is looking for. Doing this will only make your website harder to understand and will increase the loading time (try to keep the loading time somewhere between 1 and 5 seconds otherwise there you have another good reason to scare people away - I suugest you this tool to test your pages).
We will start with the title of your page.
The title is positioned inside the <head> elements of the page. My advice to you is to try to use your keyword at the start of your page title because it will weight more for the search engines that will crawl your site. Try not to use more than 150 - 180 characters in it and also try to use more keywords. Be very carefull because this is one of the most important thing in your pages. What ever you do, make it easy to understand, descriptive, keyword rich and relevant to your page content.
Now let's talk about meta tags. What are "meta tags"?
As it's definition (An HTML tag which provides information about a web document), meta tags will help us define our page to search engines. They are positioned inside the <head> of your document. Meta tags are invisible elements to visitors but provide a summary of our webpage. From my point of view, the most important of all is "meta description" and I will tell you why. Based on our "seo guide" search above we had a number of 14,800,000 results with 10 results on each page. Every result has a title and a small text under it which defines (should) the page that our result is linking to - that is the meta description most of the times.
<img src="http://www.roscripts.com/images/seo_guide.JPG" alt="search results" />
- that small description that you see in the above picture is, most of the time, the meta description of that page. If the page has no meta description than we will force search engines to guess the most relevant things from our page and display them or just show the first sentences from our page.
There we have it: a good opportunity to teel visitors what we do before they even visit us. I try to keep my "meta description" somewhere between 15 and 25 words and I also try to use my target keywords in it. Whatever you do, try to be very clear in this small description, don't just throw your best keywords in there and that's it. The title and this small description is all you have when it comes to search engine in order to attract visitors. Ber very specific, use keywords in a smart, clever way and you will see results.
The next thing is the meta keywords which gives you the chance to describe your website once again but this time using only the most important words (or a combination of 2,3 words maximum) separated by a comma. Ex: software, games, music, download etc. My advice to you is to use a number of words that won't be bigger than 25 - 40. Another important advice is to try not to repeat them. It's enough to use it once in the title, once in the meta description and once in the meta keywords section otherwise you will risk to spam the search engines that will crawl your page. A good meta tag tool to help you create your pages.
There we have it. The first step in our SEO guide.
Summary of this lesson:
* a good domain name that should contain our most important keyword
* a relevant, descriptive and (recommended) keyword rich title - between 100 and 180 characters.
* 20, 25 keywords that describe our page as per our meta keywords.
* relevant, descriptive and (recommended) keyword rich meta description - between 15 and 25 words.
* our most important keyword at the beginning of this elements. title, meta description and meta keywords.
Now let's read the 2nd part of our SEO Guide