SEO is a word many people are throwing around these days. If you don’t know what it is and you currently own an online business, affiliate site, or whatever it is you own, more than likely you are not making as much money as you really can be. Why is that? It’s simple really – SEO means search engine optimization, or in laymans terms, making your site “relevant” to the search engine spiders sent out by Google and Yahoo that determines how you rank for a particular keyword or keyword phrase.
There are numerous other search engines out there, but there are reasons why the majority of people use either Google or Yahoo when they are searching for a particular product, service, location, or whatever
you happen to be searching for. The top three are Google, Yahoo, and MSN respectively in terms of search volume. For my purposes here I am not going to mention MSN because they forced me to get Vista on my new laptop and it really irked me so they get no more free mentions from me! Microsoft already makes quality software, so stick to that because your guy’s live search gets two thumbs down from me! If I had more hands I’d give it four thumbs down! The milk has gone sour…now show Charlie Murphy your algorithm MSN!!
Quick rundown on how the search engines rank your site. MAGIC! Just kidding! Using Google as an example, it is a combination of the age of your site, how many inbound and outbound links your site is receiving, how keywords are used in your title tags, alt tags, meta data, etc, and how the keywords are used in the actual on-page content(words) and links throughout the site itself.
Anyways, Google and Yahoo would much rather you use their sponsored listings for featuring your products, but let’s face it, that can cost alot of money for most companies. When you optimize a site it means using keywords that you know are relevant to the services that you are offering. For instance if your company sells “bobblehead dolls”, then it would be financially beneficial for you to rank for that term because anytime someone goes to a search engine and types in “bobblehead dolls” you want to be in the top ten listings that they see, preferably at the number one ranking.
Now proper SEO always begins at the initial building of your website in everything from how you name your folders to the alt tags applied to photos that you use as well. You need to research the traffic on all keywords that are going to be relevant to services that your company is going to be offering to find out what would best suite your SEO needs. You are also going to have to research your competition to see if there is any particular reason why they are ranking for the keywords they are ranking for. Many times companies are there only because of the age of their site, the competition is not that tough for those keywords, or they unknowingly did SEO to their site.
Now after researching keywords from the companies perspective, you then must put yourself in the shoes of your customer as well. The things is, as most online marketers know already, the online world brings every different personality to the table when it comes to searching. Some people search grammatically correct, while some don’t. Some people know exactly what they are looking for, while again, some don’t. This does not always directly relate to how you initially SEO the site, but it is always good to know as much about how your customer thinks as possible because that is always going to help in the long run.
Most companies put together their website only thinking about how it looks and functions to them. With the onset of the growing SEO world, now a smart company thinks about three things. How does this site look to me, how does this site look and function for my customer, and most important when SEOing, how does this site look to the search engine spiders? Lets face it, the only company that still has a fully Flash website and is always going to make money regardless is the Jordan site. I mean if I had worldwide brand recognition for not only my company name, but logo as well, I probably wouldn’t care either. Until someone in the basketball world becomes more well known worldwide than Michael Jordan and starts a successful shoe company, I think he has that market cornered.
Keywords are what you are trying to rank for so it is important that the spiders can see as many as these relevant keywords as possible throughout your sites visual and coded layout. No don’t stuff your on-page content full of keywords, you need it to read naturally. That only aids in getting people linking to you which I get to in other posts :). If the spiders cannot index your pages how do you expect to rank for anything? Easiest way to get a spider to index all the pages you want them to is to create a site-map that lets the spiders easily find and index each and every page of your site. Simple enough right?
I’ll get into more things to do when optimizing your site like the proper usage of redirects, session ID’s and why there are not good at all, and other things that can hinder your SEO process, but honestly “Deal or No Deal” is coming on….
Let me know what you think….