Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Published : Sunday 7 May 2006
Investing resources in to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is critical to your websites success ...
Please note: this content is 15+ years old, from a time when I produced content for SEO and key word purposes. It may be of lower quality and no longer accurate.
Search engine submission and ranking remain a mystery to a lot of people even some webmasters and yet is an important part of effective website marketing. In this article we will give an introduction to search engine optimization and how to manage your site to improve your ranking.
What is a search engine?
It’s fairly safe to say that most people understand what a search engine is but for those who don’t it is essentially a database of website’s on the internet that you can search by entering keywords and phrases to find what you are looking for.
Search engine submission
Search engines usually ‘crawl’ website’s looking for links and following them indexing each page they come across. However unless you tell a search engine that your site exists you are leaving it’s discovery to chance which isn’t very effective!
In fact we’re often surprised by how many companies don’t submit their web sites and yet it is critical that you do otherwise they may never get noticed. Even fewer companies concern themselves with doing any sort of search engine optimization!
Some key search engines to submit to include :
Of course this is only a few of the well known ones and there are many many more. Google is probably THE most important search engine to get on as not only is it the most popular search engine but it also powers a lot of other search sites.
Search engine optimization
Submitting your site to a search engine usually isn’t enough and so unless you are very lucky you’re going to have to put some thought into your web site design.
Some key pointers :
There are various optimization tactics that effect your sites rating in search engines. Below is a brief list of some of the key search engine optimization factors you should take into account when designing a website.
- It is much easier to target a more specific phrase than a generic keyword or keyword combinations
- One of the most important factors is getting other sites to link to you your website using your target keywords and phrases as the link text.
- Provide links on your pages to other websites with relevant content but do not abuse reciprocal linking as you will be penalized heavily.
- Your page should be safe for older browsers, use html links and avoid framesets to ensure a crawler can index it.
- Post articles and press releases to other sites as well as your own that then link back to yours.
- Ensure your content is relevant and to the point and make correct use of punctuation and grammar.
- Ensure your HTML code is well formatted making appropriate use of tags such as h1, h2, alt, etc. Search engines like Google rank prefer standards-compliant and semantically correct sites.
- Use meta tags including page title, keywords and description making sure they accurately reflect the content of your page.
- Don’t try to cheat the search engines (e.g. hidden links & keywords, cloaking, etc). If you are caught you’ll be penalized heavily if you’ve not dropped completely!
- Create a sitemap to help searchengines and people find your pages. This can be done easily with a free online HTML and Google XML Sitemap Generator.
- Be aware that this is not a definitive list of search engine optimization tips and the detail of each point is beyond the scope of this article however we have picked some useful links at the bottom of this article that will provide further guidance.
While search engine optimization and submission is a job in itself it is well worth taking the time and effort to make a few careful considerations to your design and content in order to gain higher rankings and ultimately bring in more traffic.