If you are a webmaster then you might have heard this bantered around quite often and you might have some idea of what it is. If you are not actively involved in your website or have had little exposure to the Internet then you probably have very little understanding of what SEO actually is. Your current knowledge level is not really an issue as SEO is something that very few people have chosen to learn and up skill themselves in. While it is not common knowledge and you are willing to learn there is a competitive edge that you can exploit. It means with some small modifications to your website that you can achieve higher results in search engines than your lesser SEO savvy competitors.
In this article I explain what SEO is and I take you through some of the most important Search Engine Optimisation techniques to help improve your website search engine rankings.
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
SEO is search engine optimisation. Essentially Search Engine Optimisation is the art of creating or modifying a website to make it search engine friendly. Search engines are the gateway to gaining huge amounts of website traffic. Imagine if you sold Blue Widgets, then placing as number 1 in a search for “Blue Widgets” would gain you far more traffic than placing number 100 – This should be obvious. To gain rankings and places in the search results your website needs to be better search optimised than the websites that are currently showing above yours in the search results. The more search engine friendly that your website is, then the greater the chance that the search engines will rank you more highly. By using certain SEO techniques you will increase your website in the rankings and hence increase your website traffic. This is why SEO is probably the most important thing about having a website – after all, you can have a very good website but what is the point if no one visits it and buys your product?
Search Engine Optimisation Techniques
SEO can be performed site wide but the way we do this is by using the same SEO techniques on each page one at a time. So although it is common to say a website is search engine optimised in fact we mean that each page of the website is search optimised. Okay, so it should be clear now that SEO for your website is vital for your websites success online. Now, the question is how do we start optimising a website? As there are so many SEO techniques that we could implement in this article I take you through the three that are generally considered the most important by SEO experts.
Search Engine Optimization Technique 1: Identifying Keywords and Key phrases
This step sets the scene for the web page we are about to optimise. We need to do some research using keyword tools, like Google Adwords and Overture Inventory keyword tools. Using these two tools we can input our main term used on the current page we are trying to optimise. We should record the results from these and then order by search volume. We then weed out any irrelevant terms and are left with a list of highly searched and highly relevant terms to this page.
Search Engine Optimization Technique 2: Titles
It is common opinion among SEO professionals that the Title of a webpage is THE single most important SEO aspect of a webpage. The title of the webpage is the first thing a search engine views and tries to interpret. It is vital to ensure that the title is unique across your whole website and that it is highly related and relevant to the content of the webpage. We like to use between 4-10 words in the title tag and we always use the leftward rule. Leftward rule is where the most important words are closer to the left. In this case, the most highly searched on terms we identified in SEO technique 1.
Search Engine Optimization Technique 3: Duplicating Web Page Content
Often websites reproduce information that is copied from other websites. This is a very bad thing to do and search engines are so smart now that they check to duplicated content both within the same website and across all websites pages within their index. It is very important to ensure your website has unique content across the whole Internet. You can write unique articles or howto’s or you can find someone who will write unique content for you. If you currently find that a lot of your pages are listed in the supplemental index on Google then making sure the titles, descriptions, meta keywords and all of your on page content is unique is how you would pull them out of the supplemental index.
This brings us to the end of the Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation. Having covered a few of the basics of SEO you should be well on track to having a few of your web pages optimised.