What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
It can be defined as the process by which a site’s rankings in the search engines are increased for the keywords it is optimized for. Good SEO keeps both the user and the search engine in mind. Things that look beautiful on your site may have a negative influence on your site’s ranking. Good content ensures return visits. Keyword enriched content ensures that people will find your site.
How many people do you know who actually look at the fourth or tenth page of a search engine’s results page? Most people only look at the first ten to twenty search results. SEO can get your site ranked in the first bundle of results.
Aspects of SEO: Content
The web is indexed with keywords. The user types in a keyword string, exact phrase or a single keyword to find a relevant page. Information specialists make use of advanced searching techniques to find deep web content such as information imbedded in databases or dictionaries, but the average user thinks of the first thing associated with his query and types it in. That is why broad keywords on your site will not generate enough traffic because many thousands of pages have that exact keyword. You need specific keywords and keyword phrases.
There must be enough content on the page. Too little information guarantees that the keywords cannot be repeated enough without keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is where there are too many of the same keyword on a page. Search engines will rank your page lower if they see your page as stuffed.
Keyword density must be balanced with their relation to the rest of the page. This means that your main keywords must appear in certain areas of the page. They must preferably stand out from the rest of the text. There are a number of ways to do this but it is a new topic.
SEO: Meta Tags
There cannot be enough emphasis on Meta tags. Meta tags are in the invisible part of your page. It forms part of the source code. This is where the Title, Description, and Keywords, are placed for the search engines. Most engines will not be able to find your site if a Meta Tag is not present. This area is very important because this is where you place your main keywords and the description of your site. Once again, the relation to the title, description and content becomes important. Don’t stuff this area with long descriptions since the search engines will throw your page out if the description is too long, or the keywords repeated three or more times. Keep a balance.
You must write a robot.txt file for the spiders to exclude certain parts of your page. The reason is that most of them cannot read Java, and CGI scripts. There are a number of extensions to pages that will lead to exclusion from search engines.
Other SEO factors that also influence the way your page will indexed:
- ALT, TITLE, and AUTHOR tags.
- Number and quality of links to your site.
- Links from your site.
- Sitemap for search engines.
- Names of links to your other pages.
- Color and total number of links
These are just a few of the online and offline factors that influence your ranking. SEO is needed to make your page visible on the Internet where you have to compete with other sites.