Search engine optimization is such a huge subject it is difficult to distil it down to a few rules, but there are certainly some key factors which are simply essential, and without which none of the rest matters very much. The following search engine optimization rules are almost a step by step guide to follow while you create your website. It is important to have an understanding of these rules before you build your site, or you may well end up having to re-do much of it later. Websites created without reference to these rules are likely to receive little or no visitors and websites without visitors are websites that generate no income.
Get Your Meta-Tags Right
Meta-tags are the unseen but vital pieces of text in the ‘head’ section of each of your web pages. The title tag is by far the most important, and you have to put your primary keyword at the beginning of your title tag. Repeat it again at the end or include a second keyword, but don’t stuff it. The title tag is the wording which appears as the main heading in the list of search results when you do a search on Google or other search engine. It tells the search engines and potential visitors what your site is about.
The description meta-tag is less vital than the title, but it is still important to get it right. It is the brief description of your site that visitors will see beneath the title in search results, so repeat your keyword and write something that will encourage viewers to click on your site.
Content Is King
This means that there are no substitutes for a good quality website which offers useful information. Search engines are looking for useful and interesting sites with original content, so rather than put your energies into trying to fiddle a shortcut to that, just give them what they want in the first place. This is the only way to be sure you will be ranked well and continue to be ranked well in the long term.
Choose The Right Keywords
This is so important. Your keywords will be used on your web pages and will tell the search engines what your pages are about. If you choose keywords that no-one is searching for, you will get no visitors. If you choose keywords that people are searching for, but which millions of other well established sites are also using, again you will get no visitors.
You can’t identify the best keywords by guessing, you need to use a tool that will tell you not just how many sites are competing for those words, but also how many searches are being done for those words. The best tools will help generate lots of keywords that you could not have thought of yourself, and refine and organise your keywords to give you the terms likely to bring the highest volume of targeted traffic to your site.
Build Links To Your Website
One of the main criteria search engines use to judge a site’s importance is the number and quality of other sites which are linking to it. This measure of importance is used to decide where your site will be shown in the search results. The way Google works is to look for all the sites which are relevant to the term being searched for, and then present them to the viewer in order of importance. So being seen as important is crucial in showing up high enough in the results to be found by potential visitors.
There are various ways to get inbound links to your site. One of the most common ways to get links to your site is to exchange links with other websites. Search engines seem to value more highly links from sites which have content closely related in subject to your own. For that reason, the best sites to exchange with are those with the same kind of theme as yours.
For people in business this can sometimes throw up the problem of not wanting to deal with sites seen as direct competitors, but it should still be possible to find sites which are related to the general subject area without being in competition. The best way to approach this is to add a link to the site you wish to exchange links with, then contact the webmaster to say you have linked and ask if they would be willing to link back.
Work at following these main search engine optimization rules and you will go a long way towards developing a site that will rank high enough in search results to be found by lots of visitors.