23 Aug Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Basics
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not an exact science. No one can guarantee if you do x, you will achieve top ranking. Contrary to what many may claim, there is no secret formula to get your site top rankings.
With that said, there are some best practices and techniques that if followed can significantly help your efforts to achieve high rankings. Again, while there are no guarantees, if you get a few things right, you stand a higher chance of success.
The aim of SEO is to optimize your site and make it capable of achieving first page rankings. If you’re able to achieve this, you may enjoy huge amounts of free targeted traffic coming to your site for many months or even years to come.
Two Types of Optimization
Generally speaking there are two main types of SEO, on-page and off-page optimization. You need to focus on both aspects in order to achieve success.
On-page SEO involves the proper use of titles, keyword rich content, meta tags, URLs etc. Here, the most important challenges are keyword research and content creation.
Prepare an extensive list of related keywords for your website and then write content focused on these keywords. The keywords you choose should ideally have a lot of searches and little competition to rank for.
Off-page SEO usually involves getting a lot of backlinks from other websites to yours. Ideally, these links will utilize the anchor text of your choice. Link building is an ongoing effort which can go on for months and even years. Due to the amount of time and effort involved, many businesses choose to outsource this part of their search engine marketing.
If you decide to tackle this task yourself, remember that not all links are created equal. It’s not simply a numbers game. A link from the New York Times is viewed as carrying much more authority than a link from some random blog.
Always target links from sites that have a favorable position in the eyes of Google. Link farms, FFA pages etc are not good link neighborhoods for your website. It can be a total waste of time to try and get links from such places.
Avoid Gaming the Search Engines
SEO is not intended as a method of gaming Google, Yahoo, or Bing. It is a long term strategy aimed at doing things the right way in the eyes of the search engines.
Search engines know this and in some cases even try to help. Google itself released a Search Engine Optimization Guide explaining how to properly optimize your website.
The best thing you can do with regards to optimizing your website is to never stop moving. Never stop learning. Never stop linking. And never stop listening. Because the search engines are constantly evolving and changing their ranking algorithms, you too must evolve your search engine optimization strategies.
What on-page and off-page SEO techniques have you found effective?
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