How to: SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is one of the keys to success on the internet. In order for people to find your website you have to take a look at how people search and the way search engine bots find your website. One of the easiest ways to do this is to search for something and work your way backwards to figure out why this particular website holds the top position. To see how SEO works and how Google locates a website on the internet and places it in the first position you need to start at the beginning. To do this we need to perform a test, in this example let’s search for “SEO”.
First I go to Google and search for “SEO”.
It’s good to analyze the first few results, but for now let’s keep things simple and check only the top Google result. In this case it’s Wikipedia which comes up for multiple reasons- the Wikipedia name and vast amount of linked web pages, the name of the page is “Search_engine_optimization”, and the number of keywords on the page outnumber the other pages but do so without spamming the search bot. The next step is to take the URL, in this case “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization” and drop it into Google Keywords along with the keyword you just searched for, “SEO”. After that hit “SEARCH” and see what keywords come up.
You’ll see a whole bunch of keywords pop up on the left hand side of the page. These are the words Google is pulling off the Wikipedia page and is a big part of the reason that Google shows this as the #1 result. The bar in the middle represents the amount of competition that currently exists for that word. You will notice that there is a lot of competition for SEO Software as a keyword, that means if you’re selling SEO Software you’ll have quite the battle getting your site to come up in the top 10 of Google. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but it does mean that you’ll have a tough time making it happen. There are other routes though, and by including some of these other keywords that have less competition yet high global monthly searches you can skyrocket your page towards the top. There is such a thing as overusing keywords though, so you wouldn’t want to just randomly list all of these words on your website. You do want to include them in much of your text within the first few sentences. Thus, if I were trying to draw traffic looking for “SEO” I would maybe include this next sentence. “JGN Web Development performs Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and is considered a Top 10 SEO company by NERDTREK.com, their website also has many SEO tips and SEO basics.”
Keywords are just part of the equation though. It is just as important to have useful information on your website, especially with Google+1 thrown into the equation. People will quickly weed out those awful spam sites that draw traffic through strategic links and overuse of keywords. Stay away from that and you should be fine, even if it does take you awhile to drive up your site on the charts.
The next strategy is naming your blog entry or website with a url that Google can easily identify. Don’t name your blog about cricket tacos as http://randomdomainname.com/blog/2011/may16/32213.html or http://randomdomainname.com/blog/crickettacos.html, instead name it something very simple and easy for google to locate. This looks like a great URL: http://randomdomainname/cricket-tacos OR http://randomdomainname/tacos. You will also want to make sure your HTML title is the same. For example: <title>Cricket Tacos</title> When it comes to naming your site, LESS is MORE! You want something easy to remember and simple to find. I spent months searching for this domain: NERDTREK.com. I tried all kinds of combinations of domain names I liked and eventually found this domain. It’s short and sweet and easy to remember since STAR TREK is such a huge name and replacing the STAR with NERD is easily done. Google loves my site now as well due to my hard work with SEO and registering for GOOGLE NEWS, which I highly recommend doing if you run a news related site or blog.
Name your images carefully, do not name your image of the cricket taco as DGM221033.jpg or crickettaco.jpg, name it cricket-taco.jpg, and make sure you include the <alt> tag. For example <alt>Cricket Tacos in Puerto Vallarta</alt> Google Images will locate a lot of these images which in turn will help more people find your website. A lot of my regular readers found my website through Google Images, so this is a huge must for SEO!
Links, a lot of spam websites will send out links to your site once you have established yourself. You can actually see how popular your website is in search results based on the amount of daily spam you receive. I used to receive one piece of spam in a week, now I receive over 50 pieces of spam links to my website a day. I refuse them all. Therefore, if you link to another website and you want them to “ping back” (link back to you) make sure you have a legitimate reason to link to them and better yet email the owner of the website and ask permission to link. In most cases they will accept and link back to you, thereby increasing your rank.
I will continue with more great tips in the future. Please feel free to ask any questions about SEO that you would like and I will be happy to answer them.
Thanks for visiting NERD TREK!