Understanding the Importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
A brief definition from Wikipedia:
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine‘s “natural” or un-paid “organic” search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical searchengines.
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.”
Each website needs direction and links to other blogs and social media so that the more you use them the higher you’ll be in the search engine ranking.
Alt tags (alternative text) = adding invisible text to images so search engines find you.
To see the current state of a website go to: http://website.grader.com or http://www.ranks.nl
Onsite SEO is the invisible text that is added by the website maker as alt text to a website, this is also in images.
Onsite Optimisation Optimize your page content
One of the most important things in SEO is the page content. Here we will give you a few tips on how you can optimize your page content.
1. Optimise your page title
• Make sure your page title is 9 words and no more and describes what the page is about • For your homepage make sure it describes what the whole site is about
2. Optimize your text content
If you are going to succeed in the search engines your website has to contain unique text content. Do not duplicate any text content from other web pages! If you do that your website will not be indexed by the search engines.
• Make sure the first 9 words contain your keywords and describe exactly what your site is about • Make sure to use keywords in the text. Also use multi keywords and synonyms. It is a good idea to put the keywords somewhere in the beginning of the specific sentences and paragraphs.
• Aim for about 5-7% keywords in your text (5-7 words per 100 or 2-3 per 50 words etc)
The text content should be least 250 words per page.
3. Optimize your headlines
You should always use headline tags for your headings in the page content. Use <h1> for level 1, <h2> for level 2 etc. Put your most important keywords in the headlines!
4. Emphasize keywords
Emphasize your keywords by using the strong or italic tags.
15. Optimize your images
Search engines cannot read images. You should therefore never put important text content in an image. You can optimize your images in two ways:
1. Name the image file using an important keyword. 2. Use an important keyword in the alt tag.
Optimize Meta and Title tags
When you are going to search engine optimize your webpage you should always optimize the Meta and Title tags for each individual page. Here you should always use the most important keywords from the page content on the specific page.
Optimize the Title tag
The Title tag is one of the most important parts in today’s SEO. Always put the most important keywords in the title tag. We recommend you to put your company name in the end of the tag and that you use a maximum of 10 words and 80 characters.
Optimize Meta Description
Meta Description is in most cases the description of a webpage shown in the search engine result. Here you should try to write a nice description of the specific page containing the most important keywords. Do not use more than 130 characters in the Meta Description.
Optimize Meta Keywords
In Meta Keywords you can put 20-25 keywords separated by a comma. You should use a maximum of 500 characters for the keywords. The Meta Keywords are not that important for the search engines anymore, but you should still use them. You can never know what will happen in the future.
Off-Site SEO refers to search engine optimization techniques that are not performed on your own website or page, and are therefore termed “off- site.”
These days, optimizing the content on your pages is not enough. For effective SEO you need help from other websites in the form of incoming links, commonly referred to as backlinks.
That’s basically what off-site SEO is all about – getting quality links relevant to your topic to assist the search engines in establishing what your web page focuses on. You can think of each backlink as a vote for your page. This is what Google’s PageRank measures, albeit in a complex way, taking many factors into consideration.
There are many ways to get backlinks; unfortunately, few of them are quick and easy. Here are some options:
• Creating content that makes people link to it • Doing link exchanges • Getting directory listings • Writing and syndicating articles
• Making forum postings • Posting comments to theme related blogs • Buying links (be wary of this)
One link from a high quality site is worth tens from a poor site. And linking to bad sites can negatively effect your own website’s rankings.
One-way links into your website from another are of greater value than reciprocal links from carrying out link exchanges.
Links to your pages should use the relevant keywords in the anchor text. Use several variations on this text if you plan to create a high number of backlinks to a page. You’ll get better results and it looks more natural to the search engines, keeping you below the radar.
It’s generally best to avoid organized link exchanges or link farms. In the vast majority of cases they will harm, not help you. This is because the search engines see it as manipulation of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) and punish linked websites when they discover the network.
So now that I have good understanding of the two types of SEO I am now going to design a wire frame with spaces to include all the onsite SEO information for a mock website for myself as a photographer. I am a interior and architecture photographer who works in and around Brighton and Sussex. So to research the best SEO words to use to suit MYSELF as a photographer in this area and genre I am going to use Google to search for the same “interior photographer brighton”, then looking at the first page of results and only the ‘organic’ results I can go onto each website and find out what words they have used to get themself to high up in Googles results page.
The different areas that I will need to include are:
- Page title incorporating keywords
- Main H1 and H2 text
- A series of 20 keywords for the site
- A 20 word description for the site
- Text for the first main paragraph
- Basic images with suggested alt tag text
To find out what a website has used as its onsite SEO words I right click on the homepage a website then click ‘view source’. This brings up a new window of text that looks like this:
So although this image is hard to read, the new text box that is here shows me all the words that are used for this website such as the description, title, keywords etc etc, all the information I am trying to find out. I then started a Word document so that I could compile all of this information from similar photographers websites to help me to look at what words they are using and I can then make my own list of strong words to use.So in the screen shot above you can see I have started making my word list for my title, description, keywords etc. Once I had got enough information from other photographers who came up HIGH in googles list of ‘interior photographer brighton’ search (not ads or pay per click) I had got enough words to start my own wire frame of my website. One area I could not find in any photographers websites was the ‘h1’ or ‘h2’, so I went onto a non-photographers website and then right clicked on the heading, see screen shot below, this helped me to understand what words were used in this particular h1:Although its hard to see but right clicking choose ‘show information’ has darkened the whole website except the header which is highlighted and a blue box above it showing me ‘h1’.
I have made a wire frame in Photoshop and started adding words into each area:This is quite hard to read so here is my final version which is easier to read: