SEO Basics – Part 1
Search engine optimization is a term for a collection of different techniques based around the improvement of a website in order to benefit it in search engine listings for specific keywords that are set out beforehand to be targeted in particular. SEO has its own market that has grown over the past few years as webmasters have started to realize the full potential that search engines have to offer when it comes to receiving large numbers of visitors. Webmasters want their websites to appear high in search engine results as whoever is conducting the web search is likely to give up after 3 pages of results. SEO isn’t just the improvement of the website in general, but it also focuses on the actual content of the website as webmasters want to be sure that their content uses the keywords that they have set out to target effectively and in the right places, and the HTML structure of the website can also play a part here. The following are some of the different SEO methods that can be used.
Businesses that are running large scale SEO campaigns may wish to maximize their chances of receiving a high search engine ranking by using SEO server hosting services. An SEO dedicated server will be able to provide you with faster loading times for your visitors and this will benefit you when it comes to search engine robots indexing your website as search engines will give more credit to your website if it loads fast. An SEO server will also be able to provide you with a highly reliable web hosting service.
When writing the content for your website you should develop a list of keywords that you wish to target specifically as you can then work to factor these keywords into your content as you write it. The keywords that you wish to target should be keywords and phrases that you want people to enter into search engines to find your website as search engines are designed to pick up on your use of specific keywords.
It is important for you to mention certain keywords in your content at regular intervals, obviously the keywords that you want to target mostly should be mentioned most and the keywords that are of less importance shouldn’t get too much of a mention. Some keywords are going to be harder to target than others, with the more popular keywords and phrases being the hardest to achieve a high ranking in when it comes to search engine results.
Although using keywords within your content is all good and well, you also need to make sure that your content is readable and makes sense. Search engines may in some cases review how readable a web page is and if you have mentioned certain keywords too often then you may find that your website or a particular page from your site is blacklisted from the search engine’s index.
Within your website and content you need to make sure that you are using the correct HTML tags as this will aid search engines in discovering the keywords that are relevant to your web page but it will also make your website more accessible to those who have special needs. One of the best practices with your website’s HTML structure is to ensure that you highlight important keywords and phrases using the popular ‘strong’ tag as this will help to make the keywords and phrases concerned stand out to search engine robots when they index your web pages.
If your web pages contain multiple sections then you may want to use the ‘header’ tags (h1, h2, h3 etc.) to maximum effect as this will help to section your web pages off accordingly and will also make them easier to read for those who have special needs or may have special web browsing requirements. Search engines will give more important to keywords contained within the ‘h1’ tag and then the importance of the particular tags decreases as the number increases. A good tip is to use your logo as the ‘h1’ element of any web page as by doing so you can hide your website’s name and tagline whilst displaying your logo and if your stylesheet doesn’t load then your visitors will still see your website’s name and tagline rather than the logo.
Prior to developing your content it is also recommended that you figure out some sort of internal linking structure so that your web pages interlink correctly. This isn’t directly referring to the navigation menu for your website, but more linking keywords and phrases that you have used in your content to other pages within your website. Internal linking is important if you want the entirety of your website to be indexed by a search engine since it allows for a search engine’s bot to find your web pages more easily.
If you are consistently linking to a certain page in your website using the same set of keywords or phrases then search engines will start to build up an idea that the web page concerned has particular relevancy to keywords and phrases that have been used allowing the web page to be ranked higher in search engine results for the keywords and phrases that you have used. There is also the more basic benefit of using internal linking that you should consider – it makes it easier for visitors to find their way around your website as if they’re reading your content and feel like visiting a page in particular, they can do so from within your content rather than having to scroll to the location of your website’s navigation menu.
Keyword density is one of the major factors that will play a part in how well your website does in search engine listings; the keywords and phrases that you use will also be affected by the other factors that form part of SEO including internal linking and the HTML structure of your web pages. In part 2 we will discuss the affect that backlinks can have on your website, as well as how you are able to monitor your website’s progress in search engine results.
Continued at SEO Basics – Part 2.