Thursday, February 18, 2010

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO Basics for Beginners

SEO Basics are the simplest and most common principles of Search Engine Optimization. In this article find out how to do basic SEO, code search engine friendly pages and how to do a basic promotion of your site.

What is SEO & why it is important?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of publishing and marketing information that ranks well for valuable keywords in search engines like Google, Yahoo! Search, and Microsoft Live Search.

SEO, or search engine optimization is important for any website. Essentially, SEO helps to make sure that your website will be found on the Internet. The most important reason for doing SEO for your website is to reach your target audience. Having a beautiful glossy website is of no use if nobody is visiting it. SEO increases the number of visitors to your website which in turn brings profit to your business.

Search engine optimization consists of the following main steps:

Choosing the Right Keywords

Choosing the right keywords and phrases for your website is an important part of the process of search engine optimization and making your site more visible to search engines and searchers alike. You may think you know what your ideal customer is typing into Google to find your company, but how do you know for sure?  Even the slightest variation - such as making a word plural - can cause dramatic differences in search results. The best way select a right keyword is to imagine what 'exact' phrase the author/webmaster might have used to describe your required information.

We need to be more specific, which means:

   1. Targeting a more suitable market that is looking for a content editing solution
   2. Competing with fewer websites targeting the same keywords
   3. Optimizing for keywords that people actually use when performing searches

Targeting a suitable market will depend on your website, as well as the products and services you offer. Try to be specific with your keywords, and remember that people no longer use single keyword search phrases - the average search phrase contains 3-5 related words.

Google AdWords: Keyword Tool & Overture search suggestion tool are great tools that help you choose relevant and popular terms related to your selected key-term.

Your URL and Title Tag

The most important factors in search engines ranking are your domain name and title tag. For example, a domain name such as: will generally get ranked higher than, assuming that they had identical keywords and page content.

Your title tag is equally as important as your domain name. Using keywords in your title tag can improve your Google ranking significantly. Trying to achieve a balance of professionalism with keyword density in the title tag however is sometimes a little more difficult.

Keywords in title tag shows search results as your page title, so this is one of the most important things and it shouldn’t be long 5-6 words max, and use keyword at the beginning.

Heading Tags and Keyword Density

Header tags are used in millions of websites across the internet, and have become a standard for good design. Header tags are an alternative method to highlighting key pieces of information throughout a webpage. Header tags come in a variety of sizes from a H1 to a H6, which reflect the sizes of the header tags.

These tags should contain your specific keywords along with any other descriptive text relevant to the content of the page. Search engines regard Head tags as valuable pointers to what a web page is all about. The Google ranking algorithm dictates that if you're using a tag, then the text in between this tag must be more important than the content on the rest of the page. So try to include your most important keyword phrases in heading tags on your page if you can.

Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. Sprinkling keywords throughout your page content can also improve your sites keyword density. Keyword density simply means the ratio of optimized keywords to the rest of the content on your page. It is usually expressed as a percentage, and should be between 7% and 10% for each page on your site.

Unique Content

Writing search engine friendly content helps your potential customers find you through a search engine. Most search engines use software “spiders” to comb the Web for the most relevant sites, and one way they determine a site’s value is by its written content. The spiders are searching the content for keywords or the words that people type in to the search engines that relate to a particular topic. The good news is that spiders, like your site visitors, are attracted to short, easy-to-understand text that is relevant to what you are selling.

Website Links

Backlinks are links that are directed towards your website. Also knows as Inbound links (IBL's). The number of backlinks is an indication of the popularity or importance of that website. Backlinks are important for SEO because some search engines, especially Google, will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a search query.

Having links from similar sites is very, very useful. It indicates that the competition is voting for you and you are popular within your topical community.