SEO is a set of techniques that get your site noticed by the search engines. There are three parts to this puzzle. First the search engines need to find your website, this is called indexing. Next, on-page optimization will get the search engines looking at your page and finding the right place in their indexes to categorize your content. Finally, off-page optimization will drive traffic to your site and bring customers to your site to view your offers. The overall purpose of this set of techniques is to assist your site to get in front of your customers.
Google currently enjoys an 68% market share of the search market. This makes it imperative that any work you do on your website is tailored for this search engine. Optimizing your content for Google will benefit you in the other search engines as well.
Google employs web search engines to locate and index the sites on the World Wide Web. These search engines are called Google bots, spiders or WebCrawlers. These spiders are actually a huge number of very powerful servers that look at the web in a way similar to how you would search the web. They are constantly looking at the information on the web, indexing the words that are found on websites, following the links found on these webpages and assigning a value based on the criteria found in the Page Rank algorithm.
Indexing Your Site
The first thing that a Webdesigner needs to do once the content for your site is complete is get indexed. This is best done by telling a frequently indexed site that your site exists. Google provides a place submit your URL for indexing at www.google.com/addurl.html. You might find it easier to stop over to Twitter and create a tweet that introduces your URL. Twitter is constantly spidered and has a high page rank so should get your site indexed quickly. Listing your site with Google Webmaster Tools will also help with indexing as well as your Google pagerank.
On-Page optimization looks at a few properties of your website that are used to determine where your page will rank. The first feature that should be looked at are the use of keywords in your content. Keywords determine what your site is about and are weighted heavily in the search algorithm. Meta descriptions are the second feature that is important although meta descriptions have been devalued by Google as they were found to be a way to “game” the search engine rankings. You should also include internal and external links to help google to find relevant pages on your site and similar sites that provide value to your readers.
Site and Page Titles
The Site and Page Titles should be formatted using the H1 header. The title and meta-description should contain the keywords that you are using to get ranked. This helps the search engines to know what your site is about.
The Meta description should be used but only as a sort of elevator pitch for your readers. The Meta description is the part of your site that is displayed in the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) so spending a bit of time creating a good Meta description is well worth the time invested.
Links from one page of your site to another should be added to show the spiders that deeper pages exist. This is called internal linking or deep linking. Finally, a sitemap should be created so that the spiders can index all the pages of your site.
Helpful Plugins for SEO
These on Page Optimization techniques can be provided by Plugins that are available as Add-Ons to your WordPress site. The All in one SEO Pack plugin will handle title and meta tags for you by simply entering the information into boxes on your page. The sitemap can be created with the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. Once created the sitemap will need to be registered with Google Webmaster Tools. This will help the spiders to index all of your content. Re-generate the Sitemap when significant changes are made to your site. This will help Google to know when major updates have been made.
Off page optimization is achieved with backlinks. Backlinks are sites that point to your site. These can be mini-sites that you create on free website builders such as Squidoo, Hubpages or Weebly. They can be social networking sites or even web 2.0 sites. Backlinking strategies are covered extensively at Wealthy Affiliate University.
Backlinking is another strategy that has been devalued by Google in an attempt to give more accurate results. This was another tool that blackhat SEO operators were using to increase their rankings unnaturally. When you do link to sites that are not your own, make sure that there is a good reason to do so. Backlinking for the sake of creating backlinks is not a good path to follow. Look for relevance and authority on the sites that you link with.
The resources available at Wealthy Affiliate will provide you with tutorials on each of these topics. We can show you specifically what you need to do to optimize your site for the Google search engines. We can teach you how to create articles that drive targeted traffic and customers to your website. Click on the banner below to sign up and learn about the world of Internet Marketing.