Search Engine Optimization Basics – Got These In Place?
If you have been wanting to learn SEO, you have come to the right place. We will discuss Search Engine Optimization in this article and try to find out what it takes to get yourself placed well in the search engines.
A few things you need to realize, especially if you are working with a SEO firm, is that it takes time to get results. In SEO, or any industry that I know of, it takes efforts and time to see consistent results. Also, things like guaranteed first place don’t exist. No one in their right minds can accurately predict the ranks for any particular website for a keyword.
We got a little off the tangent there. Back to the topic, Search Engine Optimization is very powerful if done correctly. Most people, unfortunately, put in efforts in the wrong direction. Instead of making the website good, they spam blogs, directories and everything else they come across to get a backlink. Things don’t work that way… not in the long term.
Stop for a second and think about what the purpose of search engines is. They want their users to get more relevant results for whatever they are searching. Now, if you make it so that the site is more relevant (without spamming everything to death), wouldn’t that benefit more? The biggest search engine, Google, recently bought Feedburner. That was for a reason, of course. You may have guessed already but in case you haven’t, let me make it easy for you: They are tracking users’ activity on your site.
Why you ask? Simple, really. That will tell them how much time people are spending on your website, if they are coming back or not, etc. If people are spending a lot of time on your website, they found something relevant to what they were looking for. If not, time to improve your site! You want to make sure your website is good for the visitors first. Also, you want to know your market and make sure you’re catering to them. If you are, you’d not face any problems once you have ranked.
Though there is virtually unlimited supply of traffic on the Internet, you must not fall into the illusion that you don’t need to make your visitors stick. You must, in fact, put in all efforts to ensure your visitors come back time and again after they have found your website once, be it through any source. This will mean you don’t have to rely on search engines after a certain period of time. Depending on third parties is a hugely disadvantageous position for any business.
SEO is mostly divided into two broad categories. One is on-page and the other is off-page. On page is defined by and confined to a specific set of rules. Off-page, on the other hand, isn’t limited to anything but your creativity. You have to get backlinks from varied sources and they spruce up your rankings.
There are a few things you should do and there are a few others that you must not. Some of the do not’s include cloaking, hiding text, spamming for backlinks, etc. Mostly common sense, really. Some of the must do’s include having unique and relevant content, which is structured in a way that users find easy to navigate. Having clean URLs and a sitemap is good, too.
By no means am I trying to cover everything in SEO in one article. Covering SEO in full is way, way beyond the scope of this, or any such article. I’m, however, trying to give you a good start on the basics of how search engines work and what you should do before doing anything else.