Search engine optimization (SEO) is a term used to describe a set of techniques used to improve the ranking of a website and to increase traffic through popular search engines such as Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc. SEO is a term that incorporates link building strategies as well as Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
There are two types of factors involved in implementing search engine rankings: off-page and on-page factors. On-page factors include: website architecture, website content, meta tags and header tags contain correct keywords, correct labeling of images, etc.
Off –page factors include: building links with relevant websites and sites that link to your sites must use the rel = nofollow tag to link to you.
However, Remember SEO cannot be done over-night. Google algorithms change constantly (on average every three-four months). It requires time and patience to achieve a high ranking in Google results. SEO results take almost 3-6 months to take effect, depending upon the website on which optimization is done.
Search Engine Strategy
The success of SEO lies in which strategy the Search Engine Optimizer adopts. A successful strategy can lead to quicker results with website appearing on page one. A sound SEO strategy must include white-hat SEO techniques and involve these five aspects: defining your target audience, successful keyword positioning, the overall web architecture and link optimization, social sharing. Each of these factors is equally important.
Define your target audience
The first step in most marketing campaigns is to start by defining the target audience. Your target audience is a set of people who you are marketing your product to. Defining a target audience involves determining their sex, age, location, and especially their requirements. Knowing these things will help us define a content strategy.
Successful keyword positioning part of an on-page strategy. You should sensibly place frequently searched keywords in your webpage. Within the website, the keyword should appear in the title, and headings.
How do you find useful keywords? Your web site should focus on long-tail keywords, such as “Sony Cybershot television” or “George Washington action figure” instead of just single phrases like “television” or “action figure.” Good keywords should generate at least 400-500 specific match searches every month. The keywords also should not be too common or too competitive with the highly popular websites.
A second on-page factor is your web site’s architecture. Website architecture determines how a website is indexed and crawled by the search engines. There are several ways to improve your website structure:
- Adopt a “shallow” navigation structure in which every page is reachable within three clicks.
- Add internal links on every page on your website. This makes your site user friendly by exposing readers to more content and makes it easy for the search engine to reach every page of the web site.
- Make sure there is no duplicate content on your website. When there is duplicate content, search engines display only one page in their search results. To maximize the number of pages displayed in the search results, make the web pages distinct from each other.
- The website must not include any broken; that is, links pointing to web pages that do not exist.
- Lastly, the website should include a sitemap in the navigation bar.
Web site Content.
There is a common saying in SEO that content is the king. Meta tags and header tags should contain correct keywords. Use descriptive URLs for the images. And finally, label all the images with descriptive alt attributes.
Link optimization refers to links that point to your website to support your own website’s popularity. If you have hundreds of relevant sites of high page rank linking back to your page, the search engines thinks that your website is also high quality. Hence, to improve your rank in search engine results, make links on relevant blogs sites, directories and industry forums. There should be as many links as possible to the actual ranking page.
Social factors, such as the number of times your content is shared on Facebook or the number of links to your site from Twitter, play a key role in how sites are prioritized in search engine results. Hence your blog strategy must include social media.
With all these factors in mind, the age of the site is extremely important! The older the website the higher Google will rank it.
Black Hat Techniques
There are several black hat techniques that we should avoid:
- Keyword stuffing: Place keywords correctly on your Web site. Stuffing long keywords on your website will get you penalized.
- Invisible text: This is the technique of putting keywords in black text on a black background in order to attract more search engine spiders.
- Web spamming: websites spam links from other websites whose content is totally irrelevant to the keyword. This is part of black hat technique.