Search engine optimization also known as SEO is a powerful method of drawing traffic to your website.
Contrary to what you have probably heard, it’s quite easy to learn the fundamentals and how to apply them to your internet marketing business.
So if you don’t yet know how to use it to create streams of 100% free traffic to your website, this article is for you.
But before we get to those techniques, what exactly is search engine optimization?
Simply put, it is the process of improving the visibility and search engine ranking of your website.
It involves all the things that you do on and off your website in order to increase the number of pages that rank highly in search engines.
Why is it so important to have high rankings? Well, the higher ranked sites are the ones most frequently visited.
They get the most amount of free traffic from search engines. And free traffic is always a great thing.
Obviously, then, as a site owner you want to do everything you can to improve your site’s search engine ranking. So what exactly does that entail?
On Site Search Engine Optimization
Well, as I just mentioned, search engine optimization involves both the things you do on-site and off-site. On-site search engine optimization relates to the steps you can take to optimize your website from within.
In other words, it relates to everything you do on your website itself to make it rank highly in search engines. So using keyword rich page titles, meta tags, descriptions and informative themed content are the main parts of on-site search engine optimization.
Page titles are found at the top of your browser screen when you access a page. They are the direct URL leading to that particular page and should refer directly to the content of that page.
For example, if a particular page of your website is about “skin tanning” then the best title for that page would be Skin Tanning. Very complex, I know. :)
Moving on, meta tags and meta descriptions are pieces of code included in your site’s HTML coding.
Meta tags provide search engines with information about a particular web page. They are not seen by people who search for, or visit your site.
Meta descriptions on the other hand, are used by search engines to provide a brief description of the content on a particular web page.
They are very important because many people decide to click through to your website based on the meta description they see on the results page.
The good news is that you get to decide exactly what your meta description will be.
For example if your web page is about losing weight, your meta description could be “learn how to lose weight and keep it off”.
So your meta description is actually an advertisement about what is on a particular web page.
Warning About On-Site Search Engine Optimization
For years, content was considered the most important part of search engine optimization. The use of keywords and phrases was the easiest way to increase your likelihood of ranking higher on most search engines.
Unfortunately, that led to the nasty habit of “stuffing” or loading content pages with keywords simply to work the search engines.
Many internet marketers would fill their websites with so many keywords that their content no longer even made sense to human readers.
So in recent years, changes in the search algorithms have reflected an awareness of this and that means SEO content must be approached more cautiously.
Obviously, it is still desirable to use certain keywords and phrases to shape your content, but it can’t be all about those words.
You also now need to make sure that your content is relevant, user friendly and regularly updated because the search engines will reward that kind of content much more.
When your content is relevant, it provides people with the information they are searching for. When it is user friendly, people find it easy to read and understand.
They find it easy to move from one page of your website to another page that has content that more deeply explains a point made on the first page.
Such things make people stay longer on your website. When this happens, search engines like Google take note and reward your website with higher rankings
Off-Site Search Engine Optimization
Off-site SEO on the other hand, relates to search engine optimization techniques that you carry out off your site. The main technique is linking. Why is it important?
Well, links between sites are an important gauge of a site’s popularity. The willingness of other sites, particularly well-established and credible sites, to link to yours, tells search engines that your site deserves a higher ranking.
There are three types of links: two-way links, one-way inbound links and deep links. Two-way links are shared between sites, with each site linking to the other. So site A links to site B and site B links to site A.
One-way inbound links are links from other sites to yours. In this case other sites link to your site but your site does not link to them.
Deep links are the most valuable of all because they are links from other sites to interior pages of your site rather than the home page. They show that the other site found a particular piece of content on your site helpful.
Another growing off-site SEO component is social media. Search engines now take social signals into account when ranking websites.
So creating a presence for your website at Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites is critical. And so is adding social buttons to your website so that visitors can easily share your content on social media sites.
The Changing Algorithms
In the last year, there were some major changes to the main algorithms used by Google, the single largest search engine on the web.
These changes affect how Google now analyzes sites. Known as “Panda” and “Penguin”, these algorithm updates have caused a lot of concern for webmasters as they are being forced to tighten their SEO standards.
The Panda update targets sites that are considered to have weak or “thin” content and reduces their rankings.
The Penguin update was launched a few months later and directly addressed spammers, targeting sites that stuffed their content with keywords or engaged in “unnatural link building” in order to gain the attention of the search engines.
But don’t worry too much about these changes. If your aim is to truly provide high value content to your visitors, you will do well regardless of what changes occur.
Think about it. High value content does not contain an abnormally huge number of keywords (stuffing) that simply destruct readers. It also can’t be thin because it provides people with comprehensive information.
The reason people get really affected by the changes in algorithms is that they try to find short cuts to getting the search engines to send them visitors.
So they try to get many sites to link to their site even when they don’t really provide any valuable content. As a result, even though they get the fake links, the people who visit their sites vote against them by simply leaving in seconds.
So the better path is to make it your aim to provide value for people and they will vote for your website by visiting it over and over again.
Of course you still need to apply search engine optimization techniques to your website.
But focusing on providing value first will please both your visitors and the search engines. And if by any chance, anything happens to your website, you would have built a list of prospects already.
All you would need to do is build another site and send people on your list to that site.
And that’s an Incredibly Wonderful thing indeed!
In case seo sounds a bit daunting to you, found out how to get done for you search engine optimization here.
To Your Success
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