Welcome to Week Two of the Website 101: Working with Websites Self Learning Tutorial.
During this week we delve into the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and why it is the key to successful internet marketing.
While having quality content available on your website will increase traffic and generate repeat visits, it is important that your site is optimized to improve its ranking on popular internet search sites. This is the goal of Search Engine Optimization.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is a process to help you improve your ranking organically in search engine results. It requires patience, some effort and time. Ideally your goal is to get placed on the first page or top ten of the search results for targeted key words. The reason for this is that most searchers don’t go past the first page of search results.
The success of this kind of ranking follows the principle of “the best kind of advertising is free”. You cannot pay to get this kind of positioning; you must work towards it. Investing in Search Engine Optimization will give you higher visibility, help people find your site and bring in more leads. Not only that, search engine optimization will help you keep up or even get ahead of the competition.
It’s important to understand that SEO ultimately is based upon relevance and relevance is not simply based upon key words and content. The end user must find the website relevant to their search and this is determined by whether they click through and move deeper into the website. This is a very simple explanation of a complex set of rules and algorithms that Google has put into place to make this determination.
Including useful information will put you ahead of most of your competition. Once you’ve done that you have a good beginning for optimizing your site and down the road, this will result in good quality traffic and more business.
How to use Keywords to maximize SEO
Keywords are the specific terms used by people to search for something on the net. Using the same keywords in your articles will help increase your search engine ranking when people are searching for those keywords.
The first step in search engine optimization is Key Word Research.
In order to determine the best key words for your web site, we recommend that you use a tool such as Wordtracker.com. First, come up with a seed list. This will be a list of words that you think are important to people trying to find your site. Obvious key words will be real estate, property, homes, and city, town and community names.
The more obvious the key words and combinations are, such as “your city” real estate, the harder it is to optimize for them because there is more competition. This is where a tool like Wordtracker comes in. Wordtracker will not only show you how many searches are done per day for your key words but it will also show you which other words are being used in addition to your key words. It will also suggest other key words your searchers may be using. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know what key words are being used in order to find your services.
Once you’ve identified what is known as ‘long tail’ key words, such as “your city” lofts for sale, you can incorporate them into your website. They will be easier to optimize for and collectively will bring more traffic to your site.
SEO Tips and Best Practices
Just as the internet and history of search engine world dominance has changed over time, so have the rules for search engine optimization. Ultimately, creating a quality website that provides useful and up to date information is one of the major factors in SEO success. Below you wil find a list of best practices, go through the list and implement them.SEO Tips and Best Practices List
|BEST PRACTICES||WHAT CAN I DO?||HELP LINKS|
|Limit the amount of clicking it takes to get somewhere on your website. The fewer the clicks between where the visitor is and where they want to go the more likely they are to stay on your site.||Test your site and see how many clicks it takes you to get to the information, if it’s more than three you need to look at rearranging where the links are located.|
|When including links, explain what the link is for.||
A quick description of one to five sentences will usually accomplish this task. Use keywords for these explanations.
|How old a domain name is affects your SEO, the older the better.||When you register a domain make sure it is something you can keep if you change companies so you don’t have to start with a new one.||Registering a Domain|
|All links on your site need to be working. Page not found errors will hurt your ranking and frustrate users visiting your site.||Make sure when you move pages or add new content to spend time testing. Click around the site and make sure every-things still working||Previewing your site|
|Place keywords in your Page Title||This is very important for SEO so take some time and make sure you are using effective keywords|
|Use keywords in your Alt Image Tags, this is the alternate text or mouse over text for images.||Search engines will index photos so adding a description (Alt Image Tag) such as Downtown Maple Street will help the search engine to identify your site|
|Use keywords in your links.||
Don’t use click here or other unrelated words when creating links. Keep the text in your links relevant and descriptive of the content on the page you are linking to.
|Creating a Hyperlink|
|Use keywords in your Domain name URL.||Potential client search for things like “Buying a Condo in Maple Town” so having a domain like www.mapletowncondos.com will increase your chances of being in the search results|
|Link exchanges can help boost your overall rankings. It is more useful to be linked from another site to your site than linked both ways for Google, however Bing places importance on both types of links||
||Adding a Link List Webbox|