Search engine optimization (SEO) is actually a marketing term created for the Internet. Newspapers used to encourage single copy sales by placing crucial information “above the fold,” as that is what passersby saw in the newsstand.
SEO is simply a process of implementing strategies through words and phrases designed to increase your website’s position in organic search results . . . “organic” meaning an unpaid position, which is important as organic results are more trusted than are paid-for positions.
A “search engine friendly” website is one that has been built on elements appealing to search engines including, but not limited to, quality content, diverse external links, optimized on-page HTML code such as title tags, meta descriptions, redirects, etc. Most important, once people find you, you provide information that is of use to your audience. While many “experts” profess to be able to position you on top of the charts, this doesn’t always prove true.
Most search engines, and most importantly Google (ranked first in search engine use in America with a 64% market share according to 2009 Nielsen ratings) use web crawlers to track potential growth in traffic, unique content, as well as a multitude of other factors to position page rankings. Using the right terms is a way for businesses to promote their brand as well as increase exposure through online, industry specific content.
Optimizing for search engines – the most direct way for consumers to find you online – is a growing practice for established businesses, as well as start-ups and entrepreneurs to meet the demands for instant access to information.
Web sites I have built that are on top of organic searches are on top specifically because of content; the text is relevant to readers, easily searchable, and delivers.
There are quite a few considerations, but the following are most important — in my opinion — and will get you started with positioning your Website:
|SEO: Search Engine Optimization is the “Science” of publishing information and marketing in a manner that helps search engines to determine if your site is relevant to specific search queries; this should include copyrighting in a manner that provides relevant information to anyone who reaches your site.(Note: In my opinion, they only reason someone labelled this a “science” is ’cause they could then charge more money for it. Good and relevant content on your Web site will bring your audience.)|
|Link Building: Provide only quality links to your readers, meaning keep links to a minimum and deliver at the end of each link. You will have 2-3 clicks and 2-5 seconds at most to “deliver the goods” before you lose your readers|
|Google Google is still the world’s leading search engine in terms of reach. They started search ranking by analyzing linkage data via page rank. It’s worthwhile to keep up on what Google is doing; for example, they have been changing their methods of ranking sites; make a few searches, check out the layout and watch it change through the months.|
|Home Page, Landing Page(s): This is your main page on your Web site. If someone types in your url (your Web page name), say from a business card, this is where they will land. This page will establish your professionalism (or lack thereof) to your visitors. Keep in mind though, that because of search engines, it is quite possible that people will come into your site on a totally different page based on the topic of a given page; THAT speaks to the importance of a strong content and property navigation with contact information on every page of your site.|
|Spiders (Web Crawlers), such as those from Google — which is called a Google Bot — crawl through your site to find relevant content for their index. Example, if you type “maritime heritage ports” into Google, odds are good that you will find the following listings, each of which goes to a different page on The Maritime Heritage Project (a site I have been building for 14 years):
|Register Your Site Name(s): If you don’t have your site name(s) registered already, you definitely will need to do so. I maintain that if you don’t have a Web site, you are not in business. Prequalification by shoppers via Internet research has been growing dramatically through the years. Additionally 85% of net surfers are also Internet shoppers (ecommercetimes.com). Reserve every version of your name and your company name. I didn’t do that when I started MaritimeHeritage.org and I regret it just about every day. Now, when I register a site, it includes .com (of course — this is the main choice and if you can’t get that, rethink your business name as people automatically type in .com), .net, .org, .us, .co, (the newest), .me (it’s an ego thing).|
|Fresh Content: This is the key to keeping your site on top of the charts. For a nominal fee, through the addition of a simple “helpful hint” each month, your site can be kept on the top of search pages. If you don’t want to hire someone to do this for you, consider having your site built as a WordPress Blog or having a Blog added to your site so that you can maintain it if you have any facility for typing and developing information.|