There are millions of web pages and websites on the Internet, encompassing a myriad of subjects. Each one vies for the attention of the Internet surfer so that their product, service or idea will be seen. To get the page in front of an intended audience, a process called search engine optimization is used.
SEO can appear as some sort of mystical, magical formula that is understood only by website gurus and marketing wizards. However, proper SEO can be broken down into a simple process that most everyone can understand and employ. Some of the key elements of SEO are:
· Effective keywords and keyword phrases
· Proper keyword placement
· Effective content and keyword context
Effective Keywords and Keyword Phrases Remember that websites are indexed by the search engines through keywords. However, it is a human that enters the search parameters, usually in the form of a phase or sentence. While keyword research can get complicated, start by asking yourself what you would enter to find your product, service or idea. Better still is to ask a friend what they would use.
Because people rarely put a single word into the search box, a phrase is often a better choice. For example, if you are a fishing guide in Arkansas you could use this phrase: bass fishing Arkansas.
Understand that search engines disregard certain elements when indexing website. Short connecting words and punctuation are two elements that are largely ignored. Similarly, the engine will not always return results based on the exact order of the phrase. The example phrase, bass fishing Arkansas, gave the following top results:
· Arkansas Bass Fishing
· Bass Fishing Vacation, Arkansas
· Bass Fishing Reports for Arkansas
· Top 10 AR Fishing Spots
You can see that the word order, connecting words and punctuation definitely do not affect top results. In fact, derivations and abbreviations also ranked some pages highly.
Your keyword or keyword phrase should be placed in the title tag of the page. The title is the text that you will see at the top of the browser or browser tag. While most people don’t read this, it is prime real estate for SEO. When viewing the search engine results, this is the bolded text leading each entry. Additionally, keywords should be included in the keyword meta tag.
Include keywords in headings and subheadings of your text. Use heading tags and not just larger type and bold lettering. The heading tags are understood by the search engine to indicate important information. Only use the H1 tag one time per page, however.
Effective Keyword Content and Context
Remember that you’re writing your copy for two audiences: the search engine and the human reader. If you write for the human element first, your copy can be tweaked for the search engines. New SEO algorithms look at surrounding content to determine the relevancy of your keywords. Furthermore, what good is it if you get people to your page, but they can’t understand what you’re saying?
Good placement will have your keyword or phrase at the beginning of your text, near the end of the page and sprinkled carefully throughout the articles on that page. Use the phrases naturally, as you would when speaking to a friend and you won’t overstuff the page, leading to possible censure.