What is SEO? – The term Search Engine Optimization is a combination of tasks that when performed properly can increase the total number of desired visitors to your site through search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. SEO also helps to increase a websites visibility to the search engines, in turn allowing their spiders to crawl your site and properly index in its’ database. A few of the primary components of SEO are:
• Keyword Selection
• Website Architecture
• Content Development
• Engaging Quality Content
• Search Engine Marketing
The primary elements in Googles’ ranking algorithm in order of their overall influence are as follows:
1) Trust in the Domain Name
2) Link Popularity
3) Anchor Text of External Links
4) On-Page Keyword Use
5) Website Traffic and Click Through Rate
6) Social Graph Metrics
7) Registration and Host Data
Through understanding which sites are the most popular for a given set of specific search terms, search engines are able to ensure that the content is relevant to users who use those search terms.
How users get to your site – The primary means of reaching a website are by typing the address or URL into a browser address bar; Browsing and following links or advertisements from one site to another; Through a search engine such a Google, Yahoo! or Bing. SEO is a constantly evolving process that can be effected by user trends and market factors. Typically a user is in search of a solution to a problem or to find an answer to a question. The words and phrases that users type into the search engines to find relevant information are known as “Keywords.” The keywords are specific terms that relate directly to the content contained within a page that a user may use in their search. Being able to predict, identify the words or phrases that users are using in their search. By including these specific keywords and terms throughout the content of your website increases its’ relevancy to a users’ search.
How do I determine Keywords?- While there is an incredibly large number of keyword tools, one of the most effective is Google’s “Keyword Planner” (formerly known as the keyword tool). During the development of a keyword list it is imperative that you are thinking in broad enough terms so that there is a decent amount of search volume. It is also very important that you not so broad that there is so many results, it would be nearly impossible to compete for top results. Keywords must be chosen with the intention of bringing high value traffic to your site, not simply high volumes of traffic.
Constant evolution of keywords – As with any factor in SEO, it’s a constantly changing landscape. The terms, words, ideas and concepts users type into search engines are constantly changing, as should your list of SEO keywords. Re-visiting your keyword list on a regular basis can help ensure that all the terms are relevant and connected to the user.
Designed for spiders – Once you have developed your keyword list, it is time to begin implementing them into the content of the site in a manner that provides the most value for the search engines, while not taking away from the users’ experience. The weight of individual SEO factors differ in their overall importance, and are in a constant state of change. It should also be noted that no one factor will play a significant role in search engine optimization. The development of an effective strategy for SEO through a combination of factors and their management over time is the most effective means of search engine optimization.
What counts most in search engines?- While designing for SEO it is important to keep in mind the two most basic elements of an effective SEO strategy:
1) Is the page what it claims to be?
2) How popular is this page?
The first can be achieved through the highlighting both visually and technically specific key phrases that describe the page. The second can be achieved by looking at the quality and relevance of the sites linking to the page. Through the development of keyword rich content as well as developing relationships with high quality relevant sites and receiving links from those sites you can ensure you are off to a good start in the constant evolution of search engine optimization. An effectively optimized site needs to strike a balance in design and optimization technique.