Not too many years ago, the web was a haven for graphic designers who would make the most complicated websites, with flash introductions and all sorts of nifty additions, that looked great but did absolutely nothing for the website in terms of getting found on the internet. Pages were often very slow to load, with heavy graphics and perhaps the addition of music in the background. They may have been beautiful websites but most people got tired of waiting for them to load and would navigate away. The search engines simply regarded the graphics as irrelevant noise, or couldn’t find the site at all.
That trend has changed after the realization that the most important thing for a website was search engine optimization, or SEO. Keywords in text, page titles, meta tags, meta descriptions and tables are like little hooks that the search engine bots or spiders read to ascertain what your site is about, so the site can be indexed accordingly.
With well over 100,000,000 websites on the internet today, and one million pages being added every minute of every day, you will probably see why the need for correct SEO is vitally important if your website is to be found.
Using a keyword tool is vital to search engine optimization; these give insight into how people search for a particular item. Some of these search terms often called “long tail keywords” can be quite goofy, but if you have the knack of being able to write coherent sentences around terms like “easy make money”, you have the potential to attract an extra 90,500 people to your website. That many searchers put that exact phrase into Google and were looking to make money online last month (unless they were looking for ways to forge bank notes!)
Optimization is the key, if you use your chosen keyword with a 1% frequency throughout your written content, Google will be perfectly happy. But if you use that keyword thirty times in a 500-word article with the sole intent of attracting the search engines, you will be penalized. Search engines call this “keyword stuffing” and they don’t like it.
Before Google’s big Panda algorithm change in February of 2011, unscrupulous SEO’ers thought up all sorts of ways to try to trick the search engines. After the change, the majority of these websites plummeted in ranking, and rightly so.
Your SEO efforts should always be woven into the design of your website, especially when writing articles and building internal and external links. It is virtually impossible to do it after you have designed your site. It’s not hard, therefore learn how to do it properly before you set out to build a website. Every page on your website will be indexed (unless you specifically don’t want it to be), correct SEO on each page is essential. Each of your pages is about different aspects of your niche, your choice of keywords should be unique for each page.
Write good quality articles, properly optimized then add them regularly to your site to keep the search engine spiders coming back. They love fresh content.
When you write your page title, the body (main article), headings, bullets and links, think SEO. Because of the ability to search by image, always ensure you use SEO techniques/keywords are in the label of your images too, as this is often overlooked.
If you really can’t get the hang of SEO and you’re not sure if you are doing it correctly, there are companies that will do it for you. If you haven’t yet built your site and the whole process seems scary to you, try using WordPress to build your site, they have a number of little programs that will help you SEO your site for free, called plug-ins. There’s a popular one called ‘All in One SEO’ that works very effectively.
Do you have any tips for optimizing a website that we haven’t covered here? Please leave a comment – we would love to hear from you.