Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for dummies

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be defined as improving your website’s searchability, and performance, on search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft.  Another way to think of SEO, according to Derek Mehraban’s article SEO Guide Basics is to:

“Think of Google as reading your web page, similar to how you read a book.  Top to bottom and left to right.  In order for Google to rank your site (or individual page from your site) and to be found on search engines, it is important to pay attention to how you write and organize your page.  A strong headline, relevant subheads (h1 tags) , good content related to both your headline and subhead, links that help tell the story, and a clear and concise ending to the page that reinforces what you want to be found for in the first place.”

I must admit that I was a “dummy” and had no idea what SEO was until this assignment.  Therefore, I found Google’s SEO Starter Guide to be extremely helpful in breaking down the in’s and out’s of search engine optimization.  According to the aforementioned starter guide, the steps to achieving optimization for your website are:

  • Create unique, accurate page titles
  • Make use of the “description” meta tag
  • Improve the structures of your URLs
  • Make your site easy to navigate
  • Offer quality content and services
  • Write better anchor text
  • Use heading tags appropriately
  • Optimize your use of images
  • Make effective use of robots.txt
  • Be aware of rel=”nofollow” for links
  • Promote your website in the right ways
  • Make use of free webmaster tools

Aaron Wall, blogger, also discusses the importance of the topics above, as well as link building (by searching social news/bookmarking sites like Digg or Del.icio.us to see which stories related to your topic become popular), brand building and viral marketing strategies for your website.  These tools not only help reinforce your brand image but they also improve your lead quality and conversion rates.  Wall also suggests your measure your SEO results in order to gauge the effectiveness of your campaign.  I imagine a good site to use for this is Google Analytics.

One last thing to note: the SEO market is ever-changing so it is imperative to stay up to date!

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~ by dannasta on February 14, 2009.

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