In this article I will look at some of the basic techniques of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
What Is SEO
SEO is a process of choosing the most appropriate targeted keyword phrases related to your site and ensuring that this ranks your site highly in search engines so that when someone searches for specific phrases it returns your site as high as possible. It basically involves fine tuning the content of your site along with the HTML and Meta tags. It also involves off site activities such as link building. The most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, AOL and Ask Jeeves.
How do they decided what ranks well?
Search engines keep their methods and ranking algorithms secret, to get credit for finding the most valuable search-results and to deter spam pages from clogging those results. A search engine may use hundreds of factors while ranking the listings where the factors themselves and the weight each carries may change continually. Algorithms can differ so widely that a webpage that ranks #1 in a particular search engine could rank #200 in another search engine. New sites do not need to be “submitted” to search engines to be listed. A simple link from a well established site will get the search engines to visit the new site and begin to spider its contents. It can take a few days to even weeks from the referring of a link from such an established site for all the main search engine spiders to commence visiting and indexing the new site.
SEO Technique: Use Keywords In Page Titles
It is important to use keywords in page titles. Whatever text you place in the title tag (between the <title> and </title> portions) will appear in the title bar of browsers when they view the web page. Search engines also rank this as an important factor when deciding which terms your page should rank for, if any. It is also the title your page will be listed as in SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages), so it needs to appear attractive to humans also.
SEO Technique: Keyword Density
Keyword density is an indicator of the number of times the selected keyword appears in the web page. If you repeat your keywords with every other word on every line, then your site will probably be rejected as an artificial site or spam site. The accepted standard for a keyword density is between 3% and 5%, to get recognized by the search engines and you should never exceed it.
Simple steps to check the density:
- Copy and paste the content from an individual web page into a word-processing software program like Microsoft Word.
- Go to the ‘Edit’ menu and click ‘Select All’. Now go to the ‘Tools’ menu and select ‘Word Count’. Write down the total number of words in the page.
- Now select the ‘Find’ function on the ‘Edit’ menu. Go to the ‘Replace’ tab and type in the keyword you want to find. ‘Replace’ that word with the same word, so you don’t change the text.
- When you complete the replace function, the Word will provide a count of the words you replaced. That gives the number of times you have used the keyword in that page.
- Using the total word count for the page and the total number of keywords you can now calculate the keyword density.
Free Keyword Research tools
To decide what terms you should target you need a keyword tool to find out what terms are searched more regularly. Both of these tools are ideal for this job:
- Overture Suggestion
- Free Wordtracker Service
Other SEO Technique which I haven’t covered
Here are a few more SEO Techniques outlining the basic principles of SEO which I haven’t covered already:
- Create a site with valuable content, products or services.
- Place primary and secondary keywords within the first 25 words in your page content and spread them evenly throughout the document.
- Use your keywords in the right fields and references within your web page. Like Title, META tags, Headers, etc.
- Monitor your competitors and the top ranked websites to see what they are doing right in the way of design, navigation, content, keywords, etc. Also use Yahoo Site Explorer to find out where they are getting their links from, then get links from the same places.
- Use reports and analytics to see where your traffic is coming from. Analyse your visitor location and their incoming sources whether from search engines or links from other sites and the keywords they used to find you.
- Search google for terms like SEO Tips.