Search Engine Basics – The Minimum you should Know.
There’s way too much confusion online these days; one person says this, another says that – what are we supposed to do?
Following on from numerous client questions, I’ve decided to publish this article, “Search Engine Basics”. If you’re new to search engine marketing, then this guide will become your bible.
It’s not the be-all and end-all for search engine success… but it is the *foundation* upon which everything else that you do should be laid on.
First up, there are two different levels of SEO: on-page and off-page.
On page SEO is what you do on *your* web page to “optimise it” and make it more attractive to the search engines.
Off page SEO is what you (or others) do on *other people’s web pages* that reflects back to yours.
Here are the ESSENTIAL BASICS for on-page SEO (what *you* do on your pages).
1. Always select at minimum half a dozen related and RELEVANT keyword phrases that your website (as a whole) is going to target.
2. Remember that the most important thing in “keyword phrase” are the words KEY-WORD. There should be one ‘key-word’ that is common to all of your keyword ‘phrases’ (2 – 4 words together).
3. Wherever possible, have your PRIMARY (main targeted) keyword as your domain name too.
4. That primary keyword / phrase should be the *very first thing* that a reader (or search bot) should see when they visit your website (the search bot is just the search engines computer program that scans your website for relevance).
5. This same primary keyword / phrase should appear not only in the title, but also the description (meta tags in the code) and on the page in a H1 tag and a H2 tag (if you don’t know what this is, do a search for HTML tutorials, you’ll get it in a snap).
6. The same keyword / phrase should be used again in the code as image names / pages names / and ALT tags (more code stuff)
7. The content on your page should be relevant and to the point. No waffle. It doesn’t really matter how “long” you page content is, but most would agree that you want it to be at least 500 words (8 – 10 paragraphs).
8. Within this content you want to use your primary keyword / phrase at least once per three paragraphs. If you can throw in a H3 tag without making it look to dicky, do so, but it’s not essential.
There are no search engine secrets, just people selling them!
9. If you can use your keyword somewhere in the last sentence as well, that may be of help, and seen as relevant.
10. If your other ‘relevant’ keywords / phrases appear in your content it’s worthwhile having a link from those keyword phrases to their relevant pages; nut never more then 1 link per 4 – 5 paragraphs.
11. Always make sure that you have a site map that links to all of your pages and is linked from all of your pages. Same goes for the Home page.
The final note here on Search engine basics… this is point number 12, the most important of all. Listen up.
# 12: Always write for people, not programs.
Think about it. Who buys your product? Who orders your service?
Programs or people?
Always remember that while search engine strategies are important, they are not essential. You can do the basics listed earlier without becoming obsessed with them.
Build your websites for the people that will come to visit them.
Thanks “Search Engine Basics” golden tip number one!