SEO is What Makes the Difference!
So what is SEO now? SEO is translated to Search Engine Optimization. This obviously doesn’t mean that we try to optimize Google, even though we sometimes would love to. What SEO is, is the art of optimizing a website to appear on the first page of search engine results for a specific key phrase. To understand how this works, we need to to know that Google doesn’t “like” nor “dislike” your website.
Google has only one goal and one goal only: “To serve the best possible results to their audience“!
Although the basics of operation of all search engines seems to be same, there are minor differences between them and these lead to major changes in their search results. Different search engines work with different algorithms and these algorithms are top secret! But the algorithms are not the only difference between search engine. Yahoo and Bing for example are giving more weight to on-page keywords factors, while for Google back links, thus links coming from other websites, are most essential. Another factor is that for Google websites are like wine – the older, the better, while Yahoo and Bing generally have no preferences towards websites with aged domains. This means that it might take more time until your site gets to the top of Google, than in Yahoo or Bing. Fact is that we need to get ALL FACTORS right and not only parts of what SEO is but the full range of SEO to actually get to the top of the search results.
What is the Full Range of SEO?
First of all there are two parts of SEO, on-site SEO and off-site SEO. To optimize your website you will need to get both of them right or your efforts might end up being wasted.
What is SEO – Part 1 – On-Site SEO
1. The Right Keyword — The first and most important factor of SEO is to optimize the website for the correct keywords and key phrases. While this may sound obvious, far too many people get this first point of SEO wrong. They assume what people will type in to Google instead of doing some serious research on the matter. With help of tools like Market Samurai, or the free Google Keyword tool, everybody can determine exactly what people are looking for, so there is no need to guess.
2. The URL — The URL or Domain Name of your website must contain your most important Keywords and not necessarily your business name. Your URL should not consist of more than three words if you want fast results. The URL is one of the most important factors of SEO. You can always point or park an other domain onto the same website,e.g.yourbusinessname.com for print purposes like business cards.
3. The Header Title Tag – The second most important part of on-page SEO is the title tag. The title tag of each page of a website needs to be different to the other pages and contain your keywords. Title tags can be created in many different ways, manually or with plugins depending only on the system you are working with.
4. The Meta Keywords, Description and Robots Tag — These tags need to be in the header of every page of your website. Google uses the description tag to show your site in its results, so treat this as optimized sales copy! While Google officially doesn’t use the Meta Keywords tag anymore since many years, other search engine like Bing and Yahoo, still use them to rank your site. The robots tag is where you declare your sitemap and add restrictions for crawling bots.
5. The H1, H2 and H3 Titles – The page titles are extremely important, they show the search engine the main subjects of your page and determine how the content will be indexed. Make the H Titles keyword relevant.
6. The Body Text – Each article should have 400 – 600 words. Don’t try to optimize all your articles for one and the same keyword or key phrase! Try to have one main key phrase for each article. The text of your articles must have the keyword or key phrase you want to rank for at the beginning – in the first 50 words, in the middle and at the end – the last 50 words, of your text. The words used in the first sentence are most important because of the Google’s LSI algorithm. Try to place the keywords often but keep your text readable for your users. Don’t overdo it. Remember that your text not only needs to rank high, but it also needs to sell. There is a fantastic little plugin for on-site SEO if you work with WordPress,it’s called SEO Pressor; have a look.
7. Internal Links Text — You need to connect the internal pages of your website together to achieve a higher overall relevance of your website. These internal links must contain your targeted keywords and phrases in the anchor text so that search engine bots can ‘see’ that there is more relevant content to this keyword to be found on the same site. In other words; don’t write one article about dog training but rater write three articles and link them to each other.
8. Outbound Links — Don’t use more than two or max. three links to other websites in one article if you can avoid it. If your outbound links don’t go to one of your own websites, try to add a rel=”nofollow” tag to the links so you don’t give away link weight to other sites which don’t link back to you. Google requires lots of back links to rank your site high. Nevertheless, a few back links coming from authority sites like .edu or .gov sites, and links from websites with high page rank will rank you higher than 200 links from PR O sites.
9. Images and Alt Tags — All of your images should be named correctly and described via “ALT Tags” with the keywords you are optimizing the particular page for – If your image is uploaded on your web hosting account the file name of the images must also have an SEO optimized name, DC-34675.jpg is not very optimized. If you have an image about a Whale Shark, name it whale-shark.jpg before you upload it. If you are on WordPress, use NextGen Gallery for SEO optimized picture titles and tags.
10. Keyword Density — The density of keywords you use in one article should be between 5 and max 8%, everything more than that will be considered spam and can get you in all sorts of trouble. Also keep in mind that your visitor is supposed to become your customer; so you don’t want to loose him, after all the work you have done to get him here, because of an unreadable, keyword cluttered text. Write informative and use your keywords in a most natural way.
What is SEO – Part 2 – Off-Site SEO
1. Keyword Analysis – The most essential part on what SEO is, to know exactly what keywords your potential customers are looking for. Understanding what keywords and key phrases are searched most, means knowing what your website should emphasize on. How to use these keywordswords and terms in your off-site promotion is essential. Every link coming to your site from another website offers so called “link juice” That’s a kind of power drink for your website. If these sites use your keywords in their anchor text when they link to your website instead of e.g. “Click Here” your site will be credited for these keywords and over time rank higher. Keyword analysis is a moving target and it can’t be done once and then be forgotten. Social trends change and adapt. What is hipp today can be hopp tomorrow! Website owners must perform keyword analysis often and adjust their campaigns.
2. Competition Analysis – Go to a website like Alexa.com or Compete.com which provide free analytical tools to check on your competitors sites. Yahoo Site Explorer (is shutting down soon! – But that’s another story…) for now still is an excellent resource for tracking of your own and of competitor’s back links and determining what directories or paid listings may be beneficial to join. Investigating your competitors and their sites thoroughly is an important part of what SEO is. To achieve the best results on SEO competition analyzes we use Market Samurai which is the ultimate warrior tool for real-time results not only on the best keywords but also on competitive sites.
3. Avoid Duplicate Content – In a modern content management system like WordPress, duplicate content on a website is now taken care of by the unique canonical tag on each page or post. If you are optimizing your site through article marketing, which is a great way forward, because you can create many valuable text links back to your website, helping your search engine rankings greatly. Nevertheless, you should avoid by all means, to republish your own article without re-writing a copy first. Publishing your original text on multiple sites can bring you in all sorts of trouble and your rank could easily be suffering instead of improving.
4. Deep Linking – Deep links are the links which point to a page inside your website but other than your home page. Too many webmasters focus entirely on inbound links to their home page for their most competitive keywords. A far better and much more effective SEO strategy is to create categories and topics on a website and build relevant back links from high authority an high PR sites which target more specific keywords for each category page. While as more links you can get as better it is, still works, links from authority websites and high page rank websites are clearly more benefices.
5. In-Bound Links Reciprocal Links and other Links – Getting in-bound links from high authority sites on your keyword topic is the best that can happen to your site, and it really counts if the anchor text is made up of your most precious keywords! Providing fresh quality content is still the best way to achieve quality in-bound links from high quality websites. Reciprocal links are links where you get a link from another site and in return give them a link back from your site. One Way Links on the other hand are links going in one direction only. A one way link coming to your site is worth more than a reciprocal link. And finally there is three way linking, where one of three or more sites site links to the other and gets a link back not from the same site but from another site of this pool. Since none of the sites being linked to, links back to the other site, this creates one way links to each site even though there was no reciprocal link exchange.
6. Social Bookmarking & Social Networking – Social Bookmarking is basically a collection of online “favored websites” like Digg.com or Yahoo Buzz. Since these sites have high page rank it seems to be a good idea to leave a link to our website on as many bookmarking sites as possible. Facebook Always and again Facebook! Promoting your business and your website with a Facebook Company Page, a Facebook group, and even Facebook Ads can greatly help you connect with your potential customers in a more personal manner, increase traffic to your site, and create brand loyalty, this is what social networking is all about. Your internet marketing strategy should incorporate the potential of Facebook’s social network. Twitter – Google and Bing are both offering real time search results their search results pages, including live tweets directly from Twitter users. Search engine optimizing your website for Twitter search should become a key part of your social media presence and therefore a part of your SEO plan. Promoting your website and your products on Twitter will over time increase your brand and website recognition and it will improve real time organic search results on these search engines.
7. Press Releases – Press releases are a great way to tell the world about your website and your business. Press releases can contain links back to your website and also directly drive traffic to your site. There are many free press release companies you can find on Google, some of them you can pay a little fee and get your press release published to a broader public. We recommend to write a new press release for your business at least every three month.
8. Modern Times! – Blogs and RSS Feeds – Optimizing a site for search engines also includes optimizing your blog and RSS feed. Each website is different, but typically blogs created in WordPress or other content management systems can be incorporated to maximize your blog posts for inclusion in search enginess and help increase your visibility throughout the web as well as the organic search relevancy of your site for your best keywords. Google bought FedBurner, the worlds largest collection of RSS feeds, a few years back, which means having your RSS feed registered there will help to improve things.
9. Paid Search Engine and Directory Inclusion – Other than a search engine, a web directory is basically a collection of related links. Typically the direct traffic, coming from web directories is very small, but there are SEO benefits to strategically placing your site on the key business directories for your business. Paying $ to be included into search engine results may be annoying but can be very strategic and also very beneficial for you. One example, I would like to mention here, is the famous Yahoo! Directory. Although the price of 299$/year may seem to be outrageous at first, but it does influence your Google rankings if your site is listed here! It really does. And the best bit is, that once you paid for the inclusion for the first year, Yahoo is not likely to through your site out if you stop paying the following year. The Google Directory has been shut down for the reason that Google believes that web search is the fastest way to get to information. So there is no way of saying how long these directories will last. One directory that is here forever is DMOZ Open Directory, from where Google also used to collect information for many years.
10. Local Search – Local search has become all more important. For once Google is not only Google.com,it’s also Google.de and Google.fr and all of them will deliver slightly different search results, depending on the location you are at the moment of your search. Optimizing your site for local search involves including your site in directories and yellow pages of the internet. Bing, and Yahoo still allow companies to promote their site through local listings including the company address, company info, and hours of operation.
What is SEO – Conclusion
If the answer on what SEO is, has come a bit complexer than you expected and if all these things above spook you, I have even worst news for you, you need to be doing ALL of these things above to actually beat your competition. You need to do them all as good as you possibly can, but you need to do it ALL! You can be sure that somewhere along the way you ARE going to be better than most of your competitors! You CAN do it! And if you can’t… WE CAN! Simply fill in the form below and we will get back to you with an assessment and an internet marketing plan created by a professional SEO Company, within a few days. This service is free of charge, so you got nothing to loose.