SEO PRIMER : A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Primer describes for the layman the many methods and requirements to produce a Web site “search engine friendly.” What is the idea in spending time and money developing a Web site if no-one can think it is doing a simple search using Google, Yahoo!, MSN, or a variety of other search engines? With Internet searches quickly replacing traditional types of locating products and services (like the Yellow Pages), companies today have to make sure that their Web store front is really as visible as possible to potential customers or users. Read to discover how you possibly can make sure your Web site is optimized for today’s search engines!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a complex topic with a reasonably simple definition: SEO is the science and art of designing a Web site and its content in such a way as to offer each Web site page the best chance of being listed and highly ranked by search engines. I describe it as both a technology and an art.
The Science of SEO
Like a technology, specific, known design techniques may be used (or not) by Web developers to improve a search engine’s ability to “read” the information of a Web site and its pages. Wonderful and complex Those sites can very quickly be created without the need for any SEO techniques, or by utilizing techniques that directly interfere with a search engine’s ability to “read” the information of a site. If you wish to determine whether your Web site features a fighting chance of being highly listed by a search engine, you will need to keep yourself updated of the known and non-mysterious techniques.
The Art of SEO
Like an art, scientific techniques need to be employed in mention of the a Web site’s purpose, audience, message, aesthetics, and contents. The “look and feel” of a Web site may be critical, and a balance must sometimes be struck involving the artistic qualities of the Web site and its adherence to locate engine requirements. Many “artistic” design elements actually interfere with or prohibit a search engine from reading a site. For example, a well known design element used today, Flash movies, is invisible to locate engines. If your Web site is done with Flash, you are able to forget about getting noticed by search engines for the easy reason that Flash isn’t textual content, and search engines feed from content, not graphics, photographs, or Flash movies. It is very important to understand that any words contained inside a Flash move, photograph, or graphic is invisible to locate engines.
Simply because you will see words displayed in your Web site doesn’t imply that a search engine can. The Flash movie that serves as my Web site’s banner provides an example of “invisible words.” Although your website visitor sees the following in the banner, the search engine sees none of the words. Why? Because the words are in fact part of a Flash movie. If you are to go through the underlying Website code, you will not find this specific collection of words; you will only locate a mention of the the Flash movie that projects the word what for the Flash movie screen. Oahu is the projection in the words that is so visible to you and me. Since search engines like yahoo cannot see what movies, graphics or photographs contain, any words they contain are invisible. This is an important lesson to find out and understand.
The Need for Textual Content
Rich, pertinent, textual content is meat to looking engine. Period. When your Web-site will not contain good, solid text describing your service, services or offerings, then this hope of receiving a healthy high listing – for important keyword phrases – within the main search engines like yahoo is nil. Textual content is the building blocks upon which all your other Web development techniques must build if you want a good an opportunity to naturally be listed high by search engines like yahoo like Google, Yahoo! or MSN. That is definitely, if you do not want to pay for page 1 or page 2 listings through potentially expensive pay-per-click ads or sponsorships.
Textual Content Defined
Allow me to be clear by what Come on, man by textual content. Textual content means letters, words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs which can be “read” by looking engine’s robot program known as the “spider.” This is the search engine’s spider that “reads” your Web pages. If the spider cannot see something, it doesn’t exist with regards to the various search engines is concerned. Search engine optimization (SEO) readable text most likely are not visible back, yet it is visible to go looking engines if the call is included as part of the Web page’s underlying code. More that later. Search engine spiders don’t “see” the product in question when viewing a Web site. You may see pretty pictures, graphics, text, movies, and animations. The spider may see – nothing! – at the least nothing that it can search and index.
Yahoo and google understand the special code behind the Web-site, not what the heck is displayed in the browser window. To discover what an internet search engine sees, display your preferred Web site. Then, using your mouse, carry out a “right click” for the Web-site page to show up a menu. If you are using Internet Explorer, look for “View Source” for the menu and then click it (for Netscape, look for “View Page Source”). (If you don’t see “View Source” among the options while in the menu, then click again on another area of the Web site. Steer clear of menus, flash movies, graphics, photos along with the like.) The resulting window displays what the various search engines sees, which, certainly, appears like lots of code to you and me.
Ways to Make Sure Textual Content Is Employed by You
The obvious way to be sure textual content is usable by search engines like yahoo is to concentrate on the effective utilization of keywords or keyphrases within well-written text. A keyword or phrase is any search results readable text that indicates the attention or topics paid by a Web page. Search terms performs best when they’re repeated repeatedly otherwise over a page. One example is, the key-word “doo-hickie” might be repeated in many different places while in the underlying page code. Domain name. Ideally, your Web site’s url of your website should contain your most important keyword. One example is, if buy this company of selling
- doo-hickies, a great website can be “www.doo-hickies.com.” Unfortunately, most keywords are generally employed in somebody else’s domain name. Most certainly, don’t want to most essential keyword or phrase in the domain name. In the event that isn’t likely, see URL names, below.
- “Title” meta-tag. Ex.: “Doo-Hickies Are Our Specialty at We-Sell-Stuff.com”
- “Description” meta-tag. Ex.: “If Doo-Hickies are your passion as they are ours, you will find a complete collection of Doo-Hickies here. Contact us for extra Doo-Hickie information.”
- “Keywords” meta-tag. Although Google pays little notice to keywords through this meta-tag, Yahoo! and MSN do it for keywords to index. Use variations for the keyword to represent types of methods someone may look for specifics of it. Including: “Doo-Hickies, Doo-Hickie, Doo-Hicky, accessories, testimonials&rdquo ;.However, keywords or phrases in this particular meta-tag must be there in the page’s searchable text. Keywords in the meta-tag that aren’t actually present to the page can will penalize the Web site’s listing.
- URL names. Page URLs that have a keyword or phrase are rated compared to URLs that not. Folks who wants use a keyword in the website, you can it in the URL: “http://www.we-sell-stuff.com/html/doo-hickies.html” is rated higher for the important phrase “doo-hickies” than is a URL “http://www.we-sell-stuff.com/html/doohick.html.”
- “ALT” tags (for graphics and photos). Ex.: “We sell a range of Doo-Hickies and accessories.” “ALT” text is consistently visible to google, but is just displayed with the Web visitor in the event the mouse is moved with the graphic or photo in which the “ALT” text has been created.
- “H1,” “H2,” etc. Yahoo pay more focus to text that could be emphasized with heading, bold “B,” underline “U,” or italic “I” tags. An “H1” heading may look similar to this on your Web site:
- Doo-Hickies Accessories : Google sees similar to this: “H1”Doo-Hickies Accessories”/H1”
- Links. Yahoo rate text in links as most critical than regular text. For search engines like bing, Example A below is most critical than Example B, whilst both contain the same keywords and point with the same Web site (the bolding serves to illustrate links:
- Example A: Learned about my Doo-Hickies testimonials.
- Example B: Learned about my Doo-Hickies testimonials here.
- Real text, not graphical text. Real text is any text that can be read by the search engines because the text is contained in the underlying Web site code. Graphical text is any text that could be contained within a perception, graphic or Flash movie, and is not actually present in the underlying Web site code. Keywords which are contained within well-written, contextually appropriate sentences, paragraphs or lists are rewarded with higher ratings by search engines.
- Page placement. Keywords place higher on the page rate higher than keywords buried within the text further down on the page.
How Exactly to Make Sure Keywords DON’T Benefit You ?
The utilization of keywords on a page should be natural but purposeful, not forced or overdone. Your Web page should not resort to “tricks” to place keywords in the Web page’s se readable text. Here are some guaranteed techniques for getting penalized, banned or ignored by search engines:
- Stuff your page with keywords. On some Website pages you will see some works repeated over and over and over, let’s assume that this can force a research engine into giving the keyword an increased value. The alternative actually happens. Search engines identify the over-use of keywords as “spamming,” and can ban your Web site from their index for this practice.
- Use invisible keywords. Invisible keywords are invisible only for your requirements, never to the search engine. Web site creators can make words invisible by making them exactly the same color whilst the background. If the underlying code for a Web page contains invisible keywords, it will soon be penalized, as well as banned, by search engines.
- Use extremely tiny fonts. If your Web creator uses an incredibly tiny font (less than 6pt) size to full cover up key words, search engines may penalize your site.
- Use keywords in your meta-tag that aren’t actually on the page. Search engines that also use the meta-tag fully expect to obtain the keywords within the readable text on the page itself. If they don’t, they could penalize or ban your Web site.
- Use graphical keywords. Graphical keywords are words contained within a graphic, photograph or Flash movie. They may look great for your requirements, but search engines take no notice of them.
Other Considerations to Improve Search Engine Listings
Although “content is king” as it pertains to locate engine optimization, Web site builders can employ other techniques to enhance se listings. Here is a sampling of things that can be achieved or should be avoided:
Do These Things :
- Robots.txt. Include this file in your root directory. It can contain instructions for se robots regarding which directories and files it should spider.
- Sitemaps. Create a Sitemap. A Sitemap.html page can be created which has links to each Web page that needs to be spidered. In case a link is created on the Webpage to the Sitemap.html page, then the spider will follow the hyperlink to the Sitemap.html page where it’ll, consequently, follow most of the links on the Sitemap.html page. It will help se spiders know which Website pages to index. Google Sitemap and Validation file. Create a Google Sitemap.xml file and validation file. These files will also be situated in the main directory. Google
- enables you to develop a special Sitemap which is particular to Google robots. The Sitemap.xml file requires a certain Google format to work, and forces Google to spider many of the Web pages as part of the Sitemap.xml file. Because of this to work, Google also uses a validation file for being created.
- Info.txt File. Create this file and input it with your Site’s root directory. Some search engines like yahoo readily info.txt file which contains specially formatted information around the Web page, such as site URL, site name and descriptive text.
- Links from “Like” Sites. Google especially values links using their company like, quality sites that already have a great page ranking within Google. As an example in case your company has partners or customers that are prepared to put a keyword rich link using their company Web sites back in yours (with appropriate keywords from the link text, of course), then Google make use of those links to enhance your own Site’s Google PageRank.
- Local Listings in Search Engines. Google, Yahoo! and MSN help you to list your company information, such as Web page URL, in its own section called Local Listings. Employ this to help increase your page ranking and page listing.
- The Utilization of Smaller Search Engines. Google, Yahoo! and MSN aren’t the only important search engines. There are many of smaller search engines like yahoo which often can promote improved listings and Google PageRank. Also, some smaller search engines like yahoo are specialized search engines like yahoo a thief may reach through a Google search anyway, so it becomes good for being placed in such specialized search engines.
- Article Submission Sites. Another way to enhance your Site’s visibility and listing is to publish quality articles and documents on the different document submission sites. These internet websites will publish your (approved) document them selves site, and will also usually be selected by other sites or blogs looking forever content. This means that numerous links are made from web sites back on your Web site. Below is usually a partial number of smaller search engines like yahoo and article submission links:
Article Submission Links (#=Google PageRank around this writing)
Avoid These Things :
- Dynamic Web Pages. Avoid using them until you absolutely have to. Yahoo and google have difficulty reading dynamic pages, so any keyword optimization it’s possible you have included within the page is going to be for naught. Dynamic Web sites are written “within the fly” being a visitor navigates from page to page. This content of dynamic Web sites is often stored in a very database, and isn’t loaded for presentation so that the content is requested. Dynamic Web sites are normally identified by punctuation characters while in the page URL: http://www.cpaforyou.com/Default.aspx?tabid=29. So the dynamic Web site is identified through the “?” during the last portion from the URL. Another obvious disadvantage to dynamic Web sites is definitely the inability try using a keyword while in the page name and URL. Dynamic pages makes Site maintenance easier but it may mean forsaking searching engine-visible Web site.
- Frames. Again, don’t utilize them unless you have a compelling are related so. Any content contained rapidly when compared with Web page’s Content frame is frequently invisible to locate engines. Frames involve one Web site file (the Master frame) loading content from several other Web file into another frame (the Content frame). All google sees is what exactly contained in the Master frame, which is certainly usually only the meta-tags, a banner file name, and navigation elements. Some stuff while in the Content frame isn’t seen because it’s possibly not an area of the Master frame and its particular underlying code; this article file can be referenced through the Master frame. Through bye, any keyword or SEO work you have done takes it to waste.
- Broken Links. Guantee that all links against your Web sites work properly. Yahoo and google loathe broken links. A broken link is only a link that displays a “Page Not Available” or several other such message. Your listing rank is going to be lowered if search engine optimisation spiders find broken links against your page.
- Link Farms. Don’t use link farms or link sharing schemes. Yahoo and google really value links from like-site to like-site; they loathe links from unrelated site to unrelated site. Your listing rank may perhaps be lowered when your Site is a component of an link farm. Which Google says:
Linking schemes will frequently do a web page more harm than good. Many sites that advertise link-sharing programs not offer only little value, but will distribute your email without your permission, leading to increasing your amount of unwanted mail.
The Aesthetics of Search Engine Optimization
Do Search Engines value, reward or penalize the visual or aesthetic appeal of one’s Website? In a word, No. Ugly Internet sites could be ranked as high or more as visually appealing or highly creative Web sites. In fact, the look techniques, tools, utilities, components, and gimmicks many visually stunning Internet sites use actually often prevent those Internet sites from being effectively spidered, indexed or listed. So just how much attention should you share with your Web site’s visual appeal? It depends. If your Website illustrates your artistic capabilities, such as for an artist, musician, or photographer, then you definitely should ensure that your website is highly aesthetic, and you will probably have to produce some compromises between aesthetics and search engine optimization (SEO). If your Website is an e-commerce Website, then it can actually be quite ugly and still be effective both when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) and user interaction. The majority of us, I believe, just want a beautiful, appealing Website that search engines like, too.
Claims of Which to Be Wary
Some search engine optimization (SEO) companies will make strong claims regarding their ability to get your Website a higher listing. For instance, they may claim, “We Get Your Website to Page One ‘. Here’s what Google says:
- There is no-one to guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
- Avoid SEO ‘s that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google.
- Some SEO ‘s may try to sell you the ability to type keywords straight into the browser address bar.
Most such proposals require users to set up extra software, and hardly any users do so. Evaluate such proposals with extreme care and be skeptical in regards to the self-reported number of users who’ve downloaded the required applications. Keep in mind that millions of Internet sites exist, and for just about any particular search term countless amounts of Internet sites might be listed. Most search engines only display 10 listings per page, so a guarantee of one’s site’s naturally being in the utmost effective 10 or 20 listings for a significant search term can’t be made. What if the businesses already listed in the utmost effective 20 paid an SEO company to guarantee a high 20 placement? Where would that give you? Having said that, all is not lost.
For instance, an Arlington, Texas-based accounting firm might not be able to can be found in the utmost effective 20 listings for the search term “accounting firm,” but it might have a good shot at appearing in the utmost effective ten for the search term “Texas accounting firm,” or “Arlington accounting firm,” or “DFW accounting firm” or “church accounting firm.” Others may claim “Guaranteed Search Engine Listings.” Understand that this is a claim that even the search engines won’t make without shelling out some loot. No search engine that I understand of guarantees your Website is likely to be listed (exceptfor all those accepting payment for listing), so how can an SEO company make which claim?
They can’t. However, most Websites are eventually listed by search engines for free. The questions are: How long would it take? Wherein the listing does your Website appear? and For which keyphrases? Advertised . doesn’t make any difference if the Web site is listed # 1 for many obscure search term which will rarely or do not be used. In my personal experience, most search engines purchase a well-designed, search-engine-optimized Website within 72 hours of a complimentary submission. It may not be listed highly at first, but it’s listed.
So What Can an SEO Company Really Claim that they can Do for You?
- They might evaluate a current Website based on known SEO practices, standards and techniques that are search-engine approved, and advise you regarding how to transform your Website’s SEO content.
- They might create Websites based on known SEO practices, standards and techniques that are search-engine approved.
- They might provide services for you want market research, code optimization, domain registration, online search engine submission, article submission, Google Sitemap creation, etc.
- They will help you create pay-per-click (PPC) adword campaigns which will get you on first, second or third page of listings for specific search terms. Just remember for highly popular keyword phrases, even PPC will get quite expensive. For example, to obtain Google Page 1 listing for your adword “technical writing,” you could anticipate paying $3.30 per click. Dependant on an estimate of 23-29 clicks every day, that’s up to $100.00 a day just for anyone hitting your Google ad.
Establish realistic expectations for the Website, but commit yourself to working with good, solid, proven practices, techniques and standards to transform your Website’s SEO effectiveness. If you already have a Website, it is far from past too far rebuild SEO compliant. It some work, nevertheless the potential rewards could do great, especially if you want to make use of your Website as being a leads generation or sales tool. Having said all this, not every Website ought to be optimized. Some Websites are meant primarily to provide existing customers, and are not designed to generally be electronic brochures or sales tools. Or, the industry is structured such that sufficient start up business is produced by referrals rather then via marketing or perhaps a Web presence. Approximately an hour, owners should count themselves lucky. If your company could need SEO, don’t put it off. The competition are probably not still, and they are hoping you hesitate a bit longer.
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