What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? And why should you care?
Search Engine Optimization is the process of making your web site or blog optimized for search engines. It means getting your site to show up when you do a search in Google, and getting your site to show up as high as possible relative to similar sites.
How is a site optimized? Several factors are taken into account by search engines: incoming links, code, keywords, content.
Let’s start with code. You want to make sure your site has a DOC type tag at the top. Look in your source code to see if it’s there. In Firefox, your source code is in the View menu under ‘Page Source.’ In general, you can check your code by validating the code. A great validator tool: http://validator.w3.org/
Keywords: What are users putting in search engines to find your website or blog post? For example, to find my seaweed post, perhaps someone searched for “seaweed book.” Make sure that keyword is in your <title> tag and, if you are using a meta description tag, in that tag, too. But search engines do not like duplication, so if you have multiple posts on say, seaweed, use different titles and descriptions for each post. Think of related keywords, such as hijiki or kombu, using a thesaurus.
Incoming Links: Who links to you? The term is called link popularity. It’s not just having any old page linking to your post or page, it’s posts with higher ranking than yours and relevant material linking to yours. If you want to find out who is linking to you, type: ‘link: yourdomainname’ into Google. For example: link: www.leoraw.com
Meta Tags and Title Tags: Once again, these are found in your source code. A title tag looks like this <title>. Meta tags related to SEO are description tags and keyword tags. You want to fill these with words that are unique to each page. Your site will be penalized if you have the same title or description throughout your site.
Content: I put this last, but really, Content is King. If your content is rich, then people will want to read. Search engines love varied language. They can’t (yet) read Flash or imagery, but they can tell when text is varied and distinct.
- The Definitive Guide To Higher Rankings For Your Blog
- Search Engine Optimization for WordPress
- Google SEO Starter Guide
- SEO Tips to Ensure a First Page Rank For Your Blog Posts
- Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization
(covers topics like using h1 and h2 tags for optimization, site maps, alt descriptions of images)
Questions? Suggestions? Experiences to relate on this topic?