Search Engine Optimization


Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful web marketing technique. Search engines are sophisticated computer programs called crawlers and spiders that are constantly trolling the web and ranking one's site higher than the millions of other sites in response to someone’s search query. Success on the internet begins with SEO.

Here Are The Basics

Search engines are text-driven, so the crawlers are scouring the web looking for “words” (keywords) to get an idea of what a site is all about in order to perform a ranking. Elegantly designed webpages, audio, videos, “talking heads” and the like on web pages do not enter into a page ranking because for the most part they are not viewable by crawlers, and thus are not indexed.

Search engines perform several activities in order to deliver search results – crawling, indexing, processing and calculating relevancy.

1. Crawlers and spiders crawl the Web and follow links from one page to another and index everything they find along the way and store the data in a giant database from where it can be retrieved later. Crawlers visit the same site daily in many cases (the reason to have constantly changing textual content).

2. The process of indexing amounts to identifying the words and expressions that best describe the page’s content compared to the particular keywords being targeted. Sometimes spiders might not get the meaning of a page quite right, so optimizing the page, i.e., being as clear and specific with your web pages’ content will make it easier for the spiders to classify your pages correctly and for you to earn higher rankings.

3. After a search request is made the search engine processes it, i.e., compares the search string in the search request with the indexed pages in the database.

4. Since millions of pages likely contain the requested search string, the search engine starts calculating the relevancy of each page in its index against the search string. There are various algorithms to calculate relevancy and each has different weights for factors like keyword density, links or metatags.

Here’s A Sound SEO Strategy

Effective SEO strategy is organized and should follow these basic steps:
1.    Keyword research and competitive analysis
2.    Organize your content
3.    Optimize your pages
4.    Build links

Keyword search … is the determination of the keywords you want to define your site. The process is logical … decide the words and phrases that best define “who you are” in terms of the content your site offers. Use the web and conduct searches of your own. Use the free application from Google, Google Keyword Tool. The more defined and less generic you can make your targeted keywords, the better for your site’s optimization and speed to success. For effectiveness, put your most critical and important information up front on first pages. As well, text in heading tags is considered more important than regular page text. Most search engines cannot index your site if it uses “frames,” so stay away from frames when you can.

Content organization
… is the process of taking your keywords and conforming them to the pages that make up your website. Not every word needs to/should be on every page, your homepage included.

On-page optimization
… makes sure your keywords are evident in your site’s title tags, meta descriptions, image alt tags, header tags and have respectable keyword density within your site’s content. This process has to do with your site's navigation structure and your site builder/coder should be responsible to affect these deliverables. There is no cost to execute this part of the process right the first time. There is a big cost to having to redo it.

Link building
… is key, particularly to rank well with Google. Link building is how your site interfaces with the sites of others. Place a link to your site on the site of another, that’s one form of link building. Other link building strategies are directory submissions, syndication (RSS), social media outreach (Facebook, Twitter, others), blogposts, etc. Build links methodically and slowly, don’t make the mistake to attempt to set up a lot of links quickly thinking if some is good more is better. In SEO this is not so.

 What's more, Google will not only index links from other sites to yours, but will note the page rank of those sites. Links from highly ranked sites provide more benefit than links from lower ranked sites.

Does “Social” Data Enter Into A Site’s Rankings?

Search engines themselves continue to evolve. Increasingly, as you might expect, social data is being crawled and incorporated in a site’s rankings. Search engine results are positiviely affected by social signals such as tweets, Facebook “likes,” and Google’s “+1s.” The links you can build for your site through social media and the references and authority you can refer all have an impact on how your site will be ranked.

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