SEO, or search engine optimization, is an effective online marketing strategy that increases your search traffic by improving the search rankings of your site’s pages. By know, most webmasters realize that getting multiple top 10 rankings on Google is a very good thing.
There are technical aspects to SEO that are complicated, but luckily, the fundamental SEO principles of SEO are not rocket science.
To learn SEO, you should first understand the most weighty factors that search engines use to rank pages.
These following four elements make up a big chunk of the search engine algorithm. If you can nail these elements, you’ll be ahead of most bloggers and webmasters.
1. Title tag
Search engines look at the keywords in the title tag. If you have relevant keywords in the title tag, you’ll automatically rank better for those keywords.
In html code, the title tag looks like this:
The keywords in the title tag show up at the very top right of a web browser. Here is a screenshot.
For the popular blog software WordPress, the words in your post title will be included in the title tag.
2. Quality links from other sites
Search engines also look to see if quality sites are linking to your site. If you get a lot of links from quality sites, then you’ll see an increase in search traffic.
3. Anchor text
Anchor text are the words contained in a link. For example, I can link to my home page with the anchor text business blogs to rank better for that search term. However, it’s much more effective to get anchor text on links from other sites.
4. Body text
Finally, we have body text. With people using keywords to search, it makes sense that search engines would check out the text on a page.
Now you don’t want to mindlessly repeat keywords and make your blog posts spammy and hard to read. That’s called keyword stuffing and can get you penalized or even banned by the search engines. My guideline is to insert the keyword 1-2 times for a short post and 2-3 times for a longer post (500+ words). But don’t worry too much about this. As long as your content is readable, you don’t have to worry about keyword stuffing.
The Importance of Keywords
With three of the four factors above having to do with keywords, you can see that keywords are very important to search engines.
So, one of the first steps to improving your search traffic is doing keyword research.
For many people, keyword research is the most tedious part of the SEO process. However, most of your keyword research only has to be done once. Once you’ve generated a keyword list, you probably won’t have to do it again unless, of course, you start a new site in a different niche.
Also, keywords research is made a lot easier with keyword tools. I like to use these two keyword tools: SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool and Google AdWords Keyword Tool. They are free to use.
I would type in the name of your industry. The keyword tool should then give you a lot of keywords. Next, simply look through the keywords and collect the ones that are relevant to your business. Then, begin to write blog posts that target those keywords.
If you have existing search traffic, it’s a good idea to check your keyword logs to see which keywords are already generating traffic. Oftentimes, you don’t have content that directly targets those keywords.
For example, my sister runs a dating blog where she plans to sell a dating ebook. One of her most popular keywords is “questions to ask girls”. She has an article entitled “Best Questions To Ask A Potential Love Interest” gets traffic for that keyword. I told her that if she wrote an article with words “questions to ask girls” in the title, she would even get more traffic.
Well, that’s it for this intro post about SEO. For more SEO and blogging tips, subscribe to our RSS feed. Also, feel free to email me at deebarizo ATT gmail DOTT com with your questions.