Search Engine Optimization
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Search engine optimization, commonly abbreviated as SEO, is a cornerstone to healthy website traffic. As the name suggests, this technique involves optimizing the pages of your site to garner the best search engine placement. There are many different ways you can do this. But first, it's important to understand how search engines work.
Search engines use programs that are called spiders or bots to perform a function known as crawling. After your pages have been crawled, the next step is indexing. A search engine's index is a massive database that stores all the information.
When someone enters a query into a search engine, that engine then finds all the related pages that are in its index. The order, or ranking, in which the sites and pages are displayed depends on several factors.
One is relevance. The search engine will find pages that are most relevant to the terms that have been entered. This is why it's important to center your web pages around the most effective keywords, which we'll discuss shortly.
The other part of the equation is popularity. How popular your site is will depend on how many backlinks you have pointing to your site. The more links you have with other quality sites, the higher your site's popularity will be to a search engine.
Now that you know a little about how a search engine works, you are ready to learn how to make your pages as attractive to these engines as possible.
One way to do this is through HTML tags. Each page of your site should be centered around a particular keyword so the search engines will be able to determine if your site is relevant. There are various ways to achieve this. First, you need to determine the keyword or keywords that you want to center your pages around.
One way to do this is by researching the most popular search terms with a helpful tool like the Overture Keyword Selector Tool (http://www.inventory.overture.com.) With a tool like this, you can enter a search term and find out how many searches there have been for that term in a month. This tool also lists related keywords and their search results as well.
Once you've figured out your keywords, it's time to insert them into your pages. When naming your individual site pages, always use the keywords you've chosen as the page title or at least as part of it.
The title tag, which looks like title Your Title Goes Here title is one of the most important tags on your entire site. Also, if you can find a domain name that includes your main keyword or words, all the better. Other places to insert your keywords include links on your page, image tags, meta tags and also in the content of your site.
However, it's important not to overload a page with a particular keyword or phrase. This can cause the search engines to designate your site as one that uses keyword spam, which can get your site shut down. To maintain a healthy keyword balance, aim for 1.5 to 3 percent keyword density.
There are various free tools that help you determine the keyword density of your pages, including the one found at http://www.keyworddensity.com.