Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Basic Elements of SEO

Search Engine Optimization is a necessity, provided you don;t care for traffic or else you have some other means of driving it to your site. The abbreviation sound so frightening, that many site owners find it better not to play with, so they leave it to others to do the dirty hard work of getting their sites optimized in this digitally maddening world.

This would not be the case, as besides the other structural elements that the search engines take into consideration while crawling and optimizing any site, it is the diminutive structure of words which is mostly overlooked by us leading to the search engines putting us in all the wrong places. That is without the basic elements, the other structural betterment will not pay dividend.

Adhering to the simple rule of the thumb and seeing that your content is in order, can hardly be less emphasised by me. Here is how you should go about it but at the same time not showing your conspicuousness of being made apparent to the search engine crawlers.

It all begins with keyword research. The words which is usually typed into the search engines like, “Apples grown in England”. This is known as long tail keyword that strangers might type into the search engine, or he might type simply, “English Apples”.

Let us analyse why he would do so. He might want to buy apples or he may be seeking information on English apples or further still he might be a farmer from another part of the world that wants to grow apples like the ones grown in England. Those sites having the keywords in the sites with the prominence of “Apple, England and English” will naturally be called up after they have managed to get themselves optimized, provided they have not done things detrimental to get themselves blacklisted and kick out by the search engines.

So, if your site has anything to do with “Apples”, then you must do research for the amount of traffic can get with the other keywords that people use along with apples to pull up their queries from the search engines.

When you have got your prioritized keyword with competition and high volume of monthly searches, you need to consider doing the following things.

Let us begin at the top

The page title: Search engine crawlers first encounter the page title. The page title of any site would be displayed on the bar of the browser, just as you might have observed mine at the top of your browser. The primary keywords that you are after should be place here. This can be done by opening the page document in a editor and looking for the header tag such as <title></title> and placing the keywords between the two title opening and closing tags. In case you have a number of different keywords then you could either separate them by using a comma or a straight slash.

The page URL: The next to take into consideration is the URL of the page. If if your site has a provision SEO friendly induction of a URL. It is better to place the primary keyword there.

The Meta Description: The next comes the meta description. This is the snippet that most search engines will display if the search query happens to bring up your site in view. Try to use the primary keyword describing your site but not making it conspicuous that you are do so primarily for the search engine’s crawlers but for the audience to understand what your site or that page is all about. It should at the same time be written in not less than 70 characters including blank spaces and not more than 160 of them. More than that will not be displayed.

This is how you could go about it. Say the keyword that you had chosen was “English Apples”. You might be tempted to write, “We grow English Apples and these English Apples are the best in England”. This may sound absurd as you are informing audience that you are growing English apples on your site which is not possible at the present age plus you have used the keyword twice. I think this would be a better way, “We sell the best English Apples and once you buy them, you will come back for more”. You have killed two birds with one stone. Made you link on the search display enticing to click as well as you have told the search engines that your site is about English Apples.

The Content: In the content a number of things must be taken into consideration like the H1 to H6 tags, the graphics and the other written content. In the H1 tags you should have you keyword again which by now hypothetically is English Apples, but do not put that in straight. It would be better to use “About our English Apples”. In the other H tags use synonyms of the primary keywords as it does not make a difference.

Next is the written content itself. In the opening paragraph, try placing the primary keyword in the first 160 characters and once or twice more in the remaining written content but don’t try to force your way in as it should be grammatically structured as well and make sense to the people who read it. Plus at the same time you should make it conspicuous of over doing it. This can lead to the search engines believing that you are stuffing a particular keyword in, which can instead of leading to your site to being optimized, would leading to your site to being black listed. That means that your site  will be found nowhere under any search results.

Optimizing Pictures: Graphics like pictures help to give a whole new aurora to your site but at the same time search engine crawlers are not able to read them unless you place an alter tag which if by some mean your picture is not displayed, the words in the alt tag would be. They also inform the search engine crawlers what the picture is all about. Here you should use you main focus keyword but not the keyword alone. Say if it is the one we have been talking about “English Apples”, then in the alt tag, you could use “Red Ripe English Apples” and if you got another picture of apples being grown in an orchard, you could use, “English Apples growing in my orchard”.

Here you have optimized your pictures where one is looking for pictures of English Apples, they might be shown yours along with other similar pictures of other sites, plus you are able to give weight to the primary keyword which is English Apples for that page on your site.

While putting stress on your primary keyword, it should be more than 6.9% of the total written content as some search engines like Google might believe you to be stuffing in order to force your way to the top and you could get blacklist for it.

Besides this there are other ways to do better in optimizing your site like link build which I shall talk of in another post. One way or the other optimizing one’s site all boils down to the time taken and the proper written content in it.

Steven William Pitts 


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