Making the right impressions

SEO

SEO is yet another techie acronym to add to your arsenal. It stands for Search Engine Optimization and is all about optimizing your website’s position in search results.

Webmaster Tools imageManybooks have been written about SEO and websites are dedicated to it. It’s big business—and it should be.
Showing up higher in search results (like when you go to Google and type in a phrase or keyword) usually means more traffic and more business.

SEO is part science and part art. The SEO experts figure out what search engines look at when they rank websites. Then they figure out what can be tweaked to improve a site’s rank in the results. Some SEO tactics are of questionable value and others are borderline unethical, but the mainstream of SEO thought is simple, basic improvements that will boost your rank in search engine results.

It’s usually simple things like figuring out keywords for your site and then putting those keywords in the right places. Those right places include the title bar (the text that shows up at the top of your browser), any headers, headlines or bold text on a page, and the meta data (helpful information in a page’s code that’s not visible in a browser).

It’s really not rocket science. What search engines do is look at a page and try to figure out what’s the most important thing on that page. For a page to be the number one search result for something like rocket science it better have the words “rocket science” and other important keywords in key locations on the page. Otherwise it’s probably not really about rocket science.

Good SEO is about recognizing the same thing for your site. So if you’re in the rocket science business, you’d probably have keywords like rocket science, rockets, propulsion, physics, NASA, booster, missile, etc. And you’d want to use those words in your headlines and other important places on your site.

The simplest way to do SEO is to use tools that are already SEO friendly. Using a platform like WordPress and a theme that builds on WordPress’s SEO-friendly features will move your site to the top of the search results.

Typical examples of items to make your site SEO friendly.

Keywords in URL
For example http://www.aboutdoghealth.org/ use whole words – keywords to best describe your site. Don’t rely on this if you don’t have keywords in other parts of your site.

Keywords in <title> tag
This shows search results as your page title, so this is one of the most important things and it shouldn’t be long 5-6 words max, and use keyword at the beginning.

Keywords in anchor texts
Also very important, especially for the anchor text, because if you have the keyword in the anchor text in a link from another site, this is regarded as getting a vote from this site not only about your site in general, but about the keyword in particular.

Keywords in headings (<H1>, <H2>, etc. tags)
One more place where keywords count a lot. But beware that your page has actual text about the particular keyword.

Keywords in the beginning of a document
While coding your page put your main content before side bar. Because this also counts, though not as much as anchor text, title tag or headings

Keywords in <alt> tags
Spiders don’t read images but they do read their textual descriptions in the <alt> tag, so if you have images on your page, fill in the <alt> tag with some keywords about them.

Anchor text of inbound links
This is one of the most important factors for good rankings. It is best if you have a keyword in the anchor text but even if you don’t, it is still OK.

These are just a bare few of the techniques need to get the best results within search engines. It is also important to know that these are changing as the priority to different techniques are being looked at differently.

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