SEO and Websites
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a set of strategies to make web content easy to find and easy to read. When SEO is successful, it pulls visitors to your website and encourages them to read all of the material. SEO is important because it helps advance your message. Whether you are selling goods and services, providing information on specific topics or sharing opinions with others, SEO helps increase your readership. It does so by causing search sites to list your content at or near the top of search results. SEO also helps motivate readers to spend enough time on your site to absorb your message. Increased readership can translate into more leads and higher sales. It can also boost your reputation and influence.
Experienced webmasters know that SEO must be addressed early in site development because it shapes content in two important ways:
1. It emphasizes keywords that lead searchers to your website
2. It influences the physical placement of keywords on web pages
Keywords Help People Find You
The search box in your web browser is a powerful tool for finding content that is relevant and authoritative. Search engines scan the web with automated “spiders” that index content based on the predominance of certain words – your content’s keywords. When you search, the engine finds matching index entries. It presents the results according to the relevance and reputation of the pages it delivers.
Spiders detect keywords by their repetition, their use in headlines and their appearance in links. The spider programs detect keyword overuse – known as “stuffing” and penalize the page’s ranking.
Keywords are only valuable if they appear in context. You can use tools such as Yahoo’s Trending Searches or Google’s Keyword Tool to see which keywords are the most popular. Use keywords that will remain popular – that is, don’t depend on fads – through tools such as Google’s Insights for Search. Ideal keywords have high search volume but aren’t heavily used by other websites. The Google Keyword Tool can help you with this. Long-tail keywords – phrases with at least three words — can help with rankings for specific searches.
Your Reputation Affects Your Ranking
Search engines don’t want to recommend lousy content, so they take pains to assess the reputation of website. You can improve your content’s reputation by having quality sites link to it. It also helps to use social media to publicize your content. Engines will reward you if you post a lot of high quality, unique material, which is the single best SEO strategy. Studies show that about 70 percent of searchers never go beyond page-one results, so it’s important that your website ranks in the top 10 for your keywords. A strong reputation can help get you to page one.
You can implement your site with SEO-friendly features to help your ratings. These include: · Using keywords in titles, headlines, headings, your introduction, bolded test, links and lists · Entering tags for your titles (keep it under 65 characters) · Compose headlines that summarizes the material in six words · Use proper nouns in your headings · Use only a few subheadings, and put secondary keywords there · Include one or two lists per article · Link to reputable sites and put relevant keywords into your links · Don’t pay for incoming links and don’t swap links. · Use some long-tail keywords · Don’t overstuff the page with keywords
Paying attention to SEO will encourage readers to pay attention to your website.