Search Engine Optimization – An Introduction

Once you do a website, and are happy with it, you want that people actually visit your site. There starts the challenge of bringing traffic to your website. Many people think that by simply doing a website sales will boost, everybody on the internet will come to their website, and loads more. Well, that’s not the real life situation. Once you do a website, without any promotion potential visitors will not even know that it exists.

So the first thing that you would want is the search engines to index your website. Focus on three – Google, Yahoo and MSN. The others will index alone as your website grows and starts to get incoming links.

However, even before submitting your site to any directory and search engine, there are some things that need to be done.

  1. The most important thing for a successful website is content. Quality content, related to the subject of your website, and lots of it. Focus on providing your visitors with valuable information. Forget any fancy graphics, as websites trends are going, the era of nice, bulky graphics is slowly diminishing in favour of plain, easy to navigate, websites, which provide the information needed fast. Also, remember that search engine crawlers cannot read what is written on graphics – what they want is text.
  2. Generate a list of keywords and key phrases related to your website (a good tool is located at http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/ and another at http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/. Do searches for those keywords, and see what websites rank in the first 10 places. Those are your competitors. Analyze those websites, and see why they rank good. (a good tool to do this is at www.zippy.co.uk)You have to do better to get your website to rank on top of them. A good place to check if your keywords are good is https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. This is a free tool by Google, which allows you to see if people actually search for your keywords, and also suggest other possible keywords that you can use.
  3. With your list of keywords in hand, go to the most popular search engines (Google, MSN and Yahoo), and do a search for them. See what websites are in the top 10 positions for each keyword in each search engine. Analyze them, and see why they rank this good. To check how many back-links each website has, select ‘advanced search’ available on every search engines and you will find an option to see how many back-links a website has. A good free tool to help you with this is Webceo, available from www.webceo.com. This company offers a free version that offers some very interesting features available in commercial versions.

So for now you have your list of keywords that you want your website to rank good for, and a list of competitors websites.

Search Engine Optimization

Next come the website optimization. You need to include your keywords as often as possible in your website, however, do not exaggerate. Keep in mind that you must first optimize your website for normal people, not search engines. However, try include some of your keywords in the page <title> tag, and meta description and keywords. H1 to H6 tags are to be used as often as possible, and when you have a chance do include some of your keywords inside these tags as well. Last but not least, you need to include your keywords in the website content. The easy way is to add content relevant to your keywords/website topic. This will provide you with natural content, that includes your keywords, and should be interesting for your website visitors. I do suggest the use of free tools to help you in this task. Webceo, the same tool I mentioned above, will automate most of this work for you and provide you with the analysis results. Commercial tools such as Addweb also help in this task, and are normally worth the small initial investment.

Yahoo and MSN consider website updates as very important, so, take care to update your website regularly and add fresh content at least one time a week (ideally daily). Using a blog or a forum will help you in offering updated content.

Google also gives importance to