Technology, Blogging, and SEO for Non-Geeks!
If you’re trying to build a blog or an online business, then getting traffic is critical to your success. There are many ways to get traffic – you can pay for ads, engage in conversations on social media websites, or raise enough awareness for your site that people directly type in your URL. However, the most powerful method to get loads of traffic is through the search engines. Search engine traffic is both free and highly targeted. You will have potential customers coming to your website who are literally searching for solutions to their problems.
In order for your site to appear high in the search engine rankings so that you can get lots of free traffic every day, it is important to optimize your site. This is known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If your site isn’t properly optimized, then it stands little chance of outranking the millions of other sites on the Internet which have utilized proper SEO techniques. This means your site will be buried in the search engine rankings, and you’ll get little, if any, free traffic.
There are two major components of SEO: on-site SEO and off-site SEO.
On-site SEO is the component that is most under the website owner’s control. All search engines use an algorithm to determine which web pages should appear at the top of the list when a keyword is searched for. No one knows exactly what the algorithm is; but through trial and error, we have managed to determine that most important factors. Here are a couple of on-site factors you should pay attention to in order to optimize your website for the search engines:
1. HTML Tags
Within the HTML portion of your website, you should make sure that your TITLE, DESCRIPTION, and KEYWORD meta tags are properly optimized for the search engines. You should also make sure that you use the header tags appropriately to target specific keyword phrases.
A crucial component of SEO is proper keyword research. You should make sure that the words you use on your site are words that people actually search for on the search engines. You want your keywords to have a high amount of searches, but ideally without a disproportionate number of competing websites. You should balance your use of these keywords throughout your site – not so much that your site appears spammy, but enough so that the search engines can clearly tell what it is about.
This is equally important, but it isn’t as much under your control, so you should seek to optimize your on-site SEO first. The main component of off-site SEO is inbound links. It is important to realize that not all links are created equal. Links from some sites are of a higher quality than links from other sites. It is also important to optimize the anchor text – the words that are displayed – in the links to your site.
SEO can be extremely time-consuming, but it is important to get it done. If you don’t have the time or the knowledge to properly optimize your site, then it is critical to find a good company that does. You may have to pay a little upfront, but the extra profit you make will quickly pay you back.
Len Ward Senior Search Engine Marketing Project Manager at Rank Me SEO
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