SEO – The Absolute Basics

SEO is often mis-understood and I have lost count of the number of poepl whos first reaciton is..’ooh the dark arts..’ wheneveer I tell them what I do for a livng. The truth is, its actually pretty simple and basicall yinvolves a set of processes that help you to increase your websites visibility in the search engine such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. and help drive visitors to your website.

Each search engine requires different key signal from your site for it to move up the rankings to reach the first page. If you give the search engines these signals you can expect great results.

Here are a few tips that will point you in the right direction towards a good foundation for solid rankings

1. Check your current rankings

You won’t know if your SEO efforts are working unless you monitor your sites rankings. It’s also important to check your referrer log regularly to track where your visitors are coming from and the search terms they’re using to find your site

2. Keywords

You should be conscious of placing appropriate keywords throughout every aspect of your site: your titles, content, URLs, and image names. Think about your keywords as search terms — how would someone looking for information on this topic search for it?
The title tag and page header are the two most important spots to put keywords.

BEWARE: Putting ridiculous amounts of keywords on your site will get you labeled as a spammer, and search engine spiders are programmed to ignore sites guilty of “keyword-stuffing.” Be strategic in your keyword use.

3. Link back to yourself

There is probably no more basic strategy for SEO than the integration of internal links into your site — it is an easy way to boost traffic to individual pages.

You should make it standard to link back to your archives frequently when creating new content. you should also make the anchor text is search-engine-friendly: “The more relevant words point to a page, the more likely that page is to appear in search results when users run a query with those terms.”

As with all other SEO approaches, be sure your links are appropriate, and be careful not to cross the line into excessive linking — you don’t want your visitors to get annoyed.

4. Create a sitemap

Adding a site map — a page listing and linking to all the other major pages on your site — makes it easier for spiders to search your site.
“The fewer clicks necessary to get to a page on your website, the better,”

5. Search-friendly URLs

Make your URLs more search-engine-friendly by naming them with clear keywords.

For instance, it’s easy to understand what ‘www.imsoldiers.com/seo/seotips’ would contain. It’s less easy to understand if the in-house classification system of the business is used, for example ‘www.imsoldiers.com11789/s201.htm’. A dynamic URL is similarly off-putting, even if it contains recognizable words: ‘www.imsoldiers.com/search/?s=”health.

6. Avoid Flash

Flash might look pretty, but it does nothing for your SEO. Frames, Flash and AJAX all share a common problem – you can’t link to a single page… Don’t use Frames at all and use Flash and AJAX sparingly for best SEO results.

If you absolutely MUST have your main page as a splash page that is all Flash or one big image, place text and navigation links below the fold.

7. Image descriptions

Spiders can only search text, not text in your images — which is why you need to make the words associated with your images as descriptive as possible.
Start with your image names: adding an “ALT” tag allows you to include a keyword-rich description for every image on your site.

The visible text around your images is valuable for SEO. Adding captions to all your pictures and being descriptive with the text in immediate physical proximity to your images.

8. Content

Your content needs to be fresh — updating regularly and often is crucial for increasing traffic.

The best sites for users, and consequently for search engines, are full of oft-updated, useful information about a given service, product, topic or discipline.

One way to ensure that your site gets new content on a frequent basis is to integrate a blog. An executive blog is an excellent way to reach out to your clients, create more opportunities for internal and external linking, while giving your site a more personal voice.

9. Social media distribution

You should be distributing links to fresh content on your site across appropriate social networking platforms.
Whether displayed on your company’s account, or recommended, re-tweeted, and re-distributed by someone else, this strategy exponentially multiplies the number of places where visitors will view your links.

10. Link to others

An easy way to direct more traffic to your site is by developing relationships with other sites.
you should personally ask the webmasters of well-respected sites if they’ll include a link to your site on theirs. Be sure to return the favor — then everyone wins!
Make certain that your partner has a good web-reputation, of course. Dont get tied to a “link farm” whose bad SEO habits could bring you down.

Categories: Advanced SEO, General, On-Page SEO

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