Effective Search Engine Optimization

Web Site Search Engine Optimization Could be the Most Important Step in Your Internet Marketing Campaign

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a collection of various techniques that help your site rank higher in SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). It is a long process, which involves keyword selection, HTML source code (Hyperlinks, Meta tags, Alt tags...) configuration, content (all "visible" text of your pages) optimization and restructure of the whole web site.

Search engine optimization is very powerful weapon in internet marketing world. If used correctly, it can be the only marketing tool that you'll ever need. Many businesses have realized that and have employed search engine optimization firms to help their sites rank higher. Top placement in search engines can be very lucrative for any web site owner.

There are hundreds of millions of people all over the world searching for information everyday and this number is growing at exploding rate. As some studies say, 85% of people go to search engines and 80% of them look only at first 3 SERPs when they search for information.

Having this in mind, it's absolutely essential to have a web site at the top of SERPs by selected keywords and keyphrases. High search engine rankings will bring enormous amount of traffic and will boost your company's sales tremendously.

Keyword Research

The first step in proper search engine optimization process is researching keywords and keyphrases that describe your site. Doesn't matter if you already have one or just planning to have, keyword research is a must thing to do. Basically, it means choosing the words and phrases that describe the content of your site.

It is pointless to have a web site about "search engine ranking" and be found by keywords like "web design" or "website hosting". Visitors will click away, because they won't find what they're looking for. Before starting any optimization, define your keywords first. What people type in search engines to find your web site? What would you type in search engines to find your site?

After researching, you should optimize your pages for those selected keywords.

Search engine optimization is not only about gaining high rankings, but also about gaining targeted traffic. Try to attract people who are interested in particular information or services that can be found on your site. Then find the right keywords and optimize your pages properly.

On-Page Search Engine Optimization

After doing a keyword research, you should start creating or optimizing your existing site. On-page search engine optimization, as many call, is a process of optimizing html code, content, internal linking structure of your site. In other words, everything that is inside your web site.

On page search engine optimization includes:

  1. Title Tag
    It is one of the most important parts of a page. Page title is seen in bigger font in SERPs. It's crucial to put your most important keywords in title. You should put meaningful sentences there, not only a bunch of keywords. Keep in mind that if a visitor is not convinced of your title, he'll click on your competitor's link. So spend some time on creating good titles for your pages.

  2. Meta Tags
    Meta description and keyword tags should be different on all pages. Also, keep in mind that repeating the same Meta keyword tags could harm your rankings. It's called keyword stuffing and is treated as search engine spam.

  3. Headings, Bold and Italic Text
    As search engine optimizers claim, SE's give some weight on Heading Tags, bold, italic and underline text. So try to surround your important keywords with these tags.

  4. Internal Linking
    When you link from one page to another in your site, put your keywords in the anchor (Text that you see in a hyperlink) text.
    Like <a href=”page.html”>Your Keywords</a>. Keep in mind that those keywords should be found on a page where the hyperlink leads.

There are more factors determining site’s rankings, but those tips above should help you in your on-page search engine optimization process.

Off-Page Search Engine Optimization

This term describes everything that is outside your web site. That means all other factors used in search engine optimization process that determine your rankings. Very important off-page technique used right now is link popularity, which means all links from other domains pointing to your web pages.

It’s almost impossible to rank high for competitive keywords if you don’t have a decent amount of external links pointing to your site. All search engines have chosen to include link popularity factor in their algorithms when ranking sites. Links are the only way to reach top SERPs for competitive keywords.

Try to gain as much incoming links to your site as possible. It’s tough to gain only incoming links, so start link exchanges, though it’s very time consuming. But don’t try to get links from FFAs (Free for All pages) or link farms (pages containing many links to other unrelated web sites). Get useful links from related and quality web sites, which will benefit your users and search engines.

Remember that links are dominant factor when search engine spiders consider your rankings. On-page search engine optimization is important, but off-page is absolutely must for top positions. Without good inbound (links to your site) links, it’s very hard to get on the top of search engine results pages.

Unethical Search Engine Optimization Techniques

When you begin search engine optimization process, avoid unethical SEO techniques. They worked long time ago, but now are treated as search engine spam. If you use them, your site may be penalized or even dropped from search engine listings for a long time.

A couple of spammy SEO techniques are below:

  1. Mirror Websites
    These are sites with identical content but different URL's.

  2. Doorway or Gateway Pages
    Doorway pages usually contain little real value to the visitors and are optimized to rank highly within the search engines only.

  3. Keyword Stuffing
    Keyword stuffing means using the same keywords in Your META tags or elsewhere in the content over and over again.

  4. Link Farms
    These were mentioned earlier. A link farm is usually one page that consists of 50 to 100 or more links to websites that have nothing in common with the content of your site.

When a search engine catches you using illegal search engine optimization techniques, it blacklists your website and blocks your domain name or IP (Internet Protocol) address. You will have many problems while getting on board again. If you don’t want to be blacklisted by major search engines, try to avoid those techniques mentioned above.

Summing Up

Search engine optimization is a never ending game. Webmasters are trying to trick SEs and get higher positions. Search engines are trying to get rid of optimizers and provide the most accurate results for the searchers by complicating their ranking algorithms. If you want to win this game, you must learn as much as possible, test as much as you can and be up-to-date with the newest search engine optimization techniques all the time.