Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page on a search engine’s result page. What it really means is that the higher and more frequently a site appears in the search results, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search such as image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search.
The most important elements that you should consider when optimizing your website an SEO content perspective are the -page title, meta description and meta keywords. Obviously there are more than just 4 factors to successful search engine optimization but these elements form the basic core.
How does a Search Engine work?
Internet search engines are special sites on the Web that are designed to help people find information stored on other sites. There are differences in the way various search engines work, but they all perform three basic tasks:
- They search the Internet — or select pieces of the Internet — based on important keywords.
- They keep an index of the words they find, and where they find them.
- They allow users to look for words or combinations of words found in that index.
Human-powered search engines rely on humans to submit information that is subsequently indexed and catalogued. Only information that is submitted is added to their index.
Once a search engine has all its basic data in place, there are certain factors it considers while crawling the web and ranking your pages. Some of the main factors are –
1. Domain Name
Your website Domain Name is probably the most essential factor search engines look out for. It would be great if your domain name is relevant to the keywords that you are planning to optimize.
2. Page Title
Your page title comes next. There are several good practices and definite NO-NO’s when it comes to page titles. Do make your titles relevant and use as many of your important keywords as possible. Don’t be overly repetitive or long winded.
A good title should look something like this:
<title>Search Engine Optimization (SEO) : Getting Started - HTML Goodies</title>
A bad title would look something like this:
<title>Search Engine Optimization Search Engine
Optimization Search Engine Optimization SEO SEO SEO SEO
Getting Started Getting Started Getting Started - Even if
you are new to web development you have probably heard about
search engine optimization - SEO for short. Generally
speaking, SEO is more important to commercial websites than
it is to personal websites but it's just plain cool to see
your website appear in the top 10 results of a search
regardless of what type of website you create. In this
article we will explore the basic concepts of how search
engine optimization works.</title>
3. Website Content
Your focus should be on two fronts. First, try to put as many of your primary keywords at the top of your content as possible. Second, repeat as many keywords or keyword phrases throughout the text wherever possible. Repetition is good but overt repetition would lead to penalization.
4. Meta keywords tags
There are a few simple things to keep in mind when putting your keywords together:
- Add both keywords and keyword phrases
- Prioritize your keywords from most important to least important (in case a search engine caps the number of keywords it will catalog)
- DO NOT repeat keywords in the list unless they appear solo and within a phrase – e.g. “search, search engine” is fine but “search, engine, search, engine” is not.
- Separate keywords and phrases with a comma
An example of a good keyword tag would be something like:
<meta name="keyword" content="search, engine, optimization,
search engine optimization, SEO">
5. Meta description tags
An example of a good description would be:
<meta name="description" content="Getting started with
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a daunting task to
the beginner. Explore how search engines work and the basic
elements of search engine optimization.">
When you write your description try to use as many of you primary keywords as makes sense. In most cases 2 to 3 sentences will suffice.
These are the most basic points you should keep in mind when you kick-start your website.
Look out for Part 2 of this series where we will go a step ahead and introduce you to Analytics, Site Maps and Back Links.