Free SEO Tips The Core Basics
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is optimizing your page or website for better organic search results. There are a number of factors search engines look at when ranking your site or pages, I'll cover most of the basics in this post. SEO is an ever growing and changing subject but the basics usually remain the same.
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If you're new to SEO and basically just threw a site up, you can make a significant difference with just a couple basic changes. It's always best to start a website with SEO in mind though. If you make some changes after your site is up it can have a negative effect, such as changing your blog's permalinks can make a dead link if someone linked to that page.
So what are these basic factors of SEO? SEO changes over time but the following key components tend to remain the same:
- Keywords Search engines use keywords to find relevant information. Optimizing your site with keywords is extremely important. Search engines need to know what your site is about and keywords throughout your site helps them achieve this. The keywords you use is important to target the traffic you're after.
- Textual Content When search engines index your site, they index the words on your site. The more text you have the more keywords you're going to have too. Search engines also like websites that are filled with lots of information, so the more textual content the better. Your rank can increase with content alone, but it's only a small factor so don't rely on it.
- Links Backlinks to be exact. Backlinks are incoming links, or when another site has a link pointing to your site. In general, the more the better. This tells search engines how popular your are. Links are very valuable, but each link comes with a different value as you'll see below.
Imagine for a minute, what someone will type into a search engine to find your site, these are your primary keywords and variations of it. A search engine, in general, will search for pages that:
- Have the exact keyword phrase.
- Have backlinks that contain the phrase or backlinks with just the keywords in it.
- Have the keywords but not in an exact phrase.
- Have different forms of the keywords, such as plural or past tense.
You can kind of see how keywords play a role SEO, and this is only 1 factor of your rank. Search engines also look for keywords that stand out, such as in the heading (<H>), large text, bold, highlighted, and italics.
Research the keywords you think people will use to find your site. I recommend Wordtracker's Free Keyword Tool to help you determine what phrases are used more often that others. You can also use Google's Keyword Tool for finding more variations and common phrases. Don't forget about different forms and variations of the word, such as plural and synonyms.
It's important to place your keywords throughout your website. Search engines like keywords in:
- Your URLs
- Your Title (<TITLE>)
- Your Description meta tag
- Your links
- Your body
- Your heading (<H>)
Placement withing these areas can make a difference as well, such as putting your keywords at the beginning of the title and description, or at the top of the page. Placing keywords throught your site is important but don't over do it because search engines also look at the ratio of keywords to total words.
Search engines like websites with lots of text and information, and dislike websites with little to no text. The amount of text you have plays a small role in SEO. Content-rich websites naturally have better ranks, but not always. What's important is with more text means more keywords you can embed.
Getting the content is another story, this can be a long time consuming task.
You can build a content-rich website with plenty of keywords and still rank fairly low in search results. This is where backlinks plays it's role. The more links you can get the better your rank will be, generally speaking. In a way it tells search engines how popular your site or page is, but link popularity also plays a role.
Google has a ranking system based on links called Page rank. Page rank measures the value of a web page based on the number of backlinks and where they come from. The higher the Page rank of a site linking to yours the more valuable that link is, and the less Page rank the less valuable. You can easily determine a websites Page rank with Google's Toolbar . You will see a green/gray bar and a ranking of 0 to 10 when you hover the mouse over it.
If possible you should always try to get your keywords into your backlinks. This will help search engines determine what your page is about and in turn help your rank, this includes your internal links as well.
So, how do you get backlinks? Here are some of the ways to get backlinks:
- Directories - Search for any directories related to your website and submit your URL, some websites charge you to get listed.
- Forums Some forums allow you to post a link to your site, like a review my website section.
- Link Exchange Exchange links with other website owners. I recommend exchanging with related sites.
- Partners Request a link from any company or manufacturer you do business with.
- Related Sites Some sites list references or resources on their site, if you fall under this category you can request a link.
- Syndicate Your Content Make sure all your work has a link back to your site.
- Buy Links You could always buy your links.
These are just a few ways you can get backlinks. In time the links will come on their own.
Google's Webmaster Tools is another good resource for SEO.
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Posted in SEO Post Date 10/07/2016