Search Engine Optimisation – How it Works
What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is a series of processes, techniques and methods to rank your website highly in any given search engine. In simpler terms, SEO is the use of both on-page and off-page optimisation to get your website ranked higher in the search engine results.
The basics of SEO
SEO covers a lot of ground, but in general, there are two aspects of optimisation:
On-page Optimisation – This is the process of optimizing your website or web page by inserting keywords within the HTML code (the language used to write your website). HTML properties like the META, ALT and H1 tags help the search engines rank your website when they read the keywords you insert within these tags.
If you’re not adept with HTML coding, then you can also optimise your pages through the content you write. You should include the keywords you wish to rank for at least once or twice in the opening paragraph of every article, and again once or twice throughout the article body. You should also place them within the headings and the tags of your page.
Off-page Optimisation – Off-page optimisation has everything to do with link popularity. Google rates your importance by how many websites link back to you. Each time a website links back to you, this is counted as one ‘vote’ of your importance of the ‘linker’ to the ‘linkee.’ the more important the ‘linker,’ the more weight the ‘vote’ carries. The more important websites that link back to you, the more important Google considers you to be.
To increase link popularity, a slow and steady, natural looking link building campaign needs to be undertaken by your webmaster or a SEO expert. They will start building links from various important websites in order for your website to rank highly in a given search engine. By posting your website’s URL on important websites, this counts as a ‘backlink.’
There are many ways to get backlinks, some good, some bad, some downright ugly. The good are submitting articles to article directories, photos to free stock photo sites, and free ebooks to ebook directories. The bad include blog and forum spamming and software to build 10,000 backlinks overnight. The latter can have you banned from Google, permanently.
The Importance of SEO
Due to the fact as much as 81% of potential customers head to their favourite search engine first to look for information about local businesses, it becoming more and more likely you are going to be found through a search than any other available medium. This is why SEO and Internet marketing should play at least a small part of every business owners marketing campaign. There are a lot of mistakes you can make however that have you banned from Google for good, so do your research and get as much help from the experts as you can before embarking on your search engine optimisation campaign.