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The Basics of SEO

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RSS 24 March 2009
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is one of the most important terms in modern times. SEO is critical to the success of a website. SEO is the process of developing a strategy in order to rank high in search engines like Google in order to bring in traffic.

It is about optimizing your website and building links off site. Understanding SEO and its importance is important especially for owners of websites and those in the business of internet marketing.

How do we make our website appear in the search engine results? Or how do we optimise our website? We must first ensure that search engines crawl through our website. We can do this by submitting the websites to search engines.

Search engines like Yahoo, Google and MSN crawl, using a spider, through millions of websites and indexes these sites. Each site is indexed on the relevant keywords. When we type a keyword, the index is accessed and the results are displayed within moments. The basics of SEO involve optimizing your web pages so it is easy for these spiders to crawl your website and index you for the right keywords. The very first thing a website owner must do is on site SEO.

As you design websites, you want to keep SEO always in your mind. You want to make sure you have the proper tags, titles, and keywords in your post. Spiders won't know what your website is about otherwise. A web page has a title, anchor text and meta tags. These should be chosen carefully. They should be brief as well as relevant. Make they as descriptive as possible but don't "keyword stuff." If you put to many choice words in the titles, search engines will think you are spam. Writer for humans as well as spiders. A search engine spider ranks a website based on the keywords supplied on the web page. This is the first step to SEO and the longer the posts, the more likely you will rank as the spiders will pick up long tail keywords.

Links to a particular website also decides its popularity among search engines. SEO demands that a site has as many inward coming links - more the links better the page rank in Google. The qualities of the website from which the links are provided also make a significant difference. For example if the link is from bbc.co.uk it is more important than a link from "Joe's Blog." However, quantity also is important. When building links you want to go after both quality and quantity. Link building should be where you concentrate your SEO efforts.

The latest buzz in SEO is that content is king. More the information content on a web page, better the chances of it being ranked higher on search engines. That's why one can find website owners looking furiously for articles and web content online. However, remember that content is only half of the equation. Without good links to your website, search engines won't find you and you won't rank in them. Concentrate most of your effort on building links and you will find you will rank very high.

© 2009 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Image: Binoculars by vestman

Matt Kepnes
24th March 2009

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