SEO Basics - Hayneedle, Inc.

pancakeimpossibleInternet and Web Development

Nov 18, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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SEO Basics

Search engine optimization, or SEO, can be one of the most important aspects to consider when building your
website. Millions of internet user
s rely on organic search engines like Google, Yahoo and
Bing

to find what they’re
looking for. By applying smart SEO principles to your site, you can keep yourself in front of your prospective
customers.

Best Practices SEO

The basic premise of SEO is to mak
e specific pages of your website rank well in search engines like Google, Yahoo,
and
Bing

for keyword phrases that are relevant to your site.

For sake of simplicity, this article will assume that you have a modicum of HTML knowledge already. The information

we are sharing here is generally well known and understood among SEO circles. We are not giving out secrets to our
own ranking success, as SEO is a large component of our own marketing plan. This is simply a basic overview for
those with little to no SEO
knowledge. Unlike other tomes, however, this article is fact
-
filled, and does not contain
mis
-
information designed to sabotage your efforts.

Keywords

Keyword research is extremely important for success in SEO. Use a tool like

Wordtracker
,

Google Adwords: Keyword
Tool
, or the

KeywordDiscovery.com Keyword Research

Tool

to find out what keywords people are searching on. It’s
best to optimize your site for keywords that get significant searches but have little competition, until you become very
confident in your SEO abilities. If Google shows more than 1
-
2 million re
sults for your search query, it’s going to take
a concerted effort to rank in the top 10 for that keyword phrase. It’s also wise to focus on 2
-
4 word phrases rather
than singular words. This is how most people search anyway, plus there’s likely to be less
competition for lengthier
phrases
, and the traffic will be much more
targeted
.

Once you

ve chosen your keywords, they must be worked into
the various pages of your site in the manner discussed below. You should also research some synonyms to use as
keywords.

M
e
ta
Data

There are three primary components of the head tag that should be addressed in order to optimize a page of your site
for SEO: the title tag, the description tag, and the keywords tag. The title tag is the most important of the three. It
shoul
d be around 6 words long, give or take a few words. Include your primary keywords (for the page) in the title tag.
It

should

look like
this
:

<title>Keywords in Your Title Tag Help You Rank</title>

The description tag should be around 12
-
24 words give or ta
ke. It should contain all the keywords used in your title
tag, plus derivatives such as singular or plural, in a sentence structure. The description tag should occur immediately
after

the </title> tag, and look like this:

<meta content=

Use your keywords in a sentence structure.

>

The

keywords

tag is ignored by some search engines like Google, but others still use it. It doesn’t hurt to use it, so
you may as well use it properly. It can have 24
-
48 words, but less is okay too. Place your keywords, singular an
d
plural forms, synonyms, and misspellings within the keywords tag. You can separate them with a space or with a
comma



it
really doesn

t matter. It looks like this:

<meta conte
nt=

keywords keywords
keyword

keyword

key word

>

On Page Copy

Your chosen keywords must also appear within the visible copy on the page. Don’t overdo it though. If you use the
exact keyword phrases too many times it will sound funny to the reader and will come off as “spammy.” Put your
primary keyword phrase in an <h
1> or <h2> tag. Never use more than one <h1> on a page. If you have an <h1> tag
on the page you may also use one or more <h2> tags. They should all contain similar word themes, not vastly
divergent themes. The text on your page should help to establish the

theme of what your site is about.

A good rule of thumb is to shoot for around 2
-
5% density for each keyword. Tools such as

The Analyzer

will assist
you in determining what your

kw density is.

Links

It is important to get links to your site from other related sites. Submitting your site to directories is a good way to
begin establishing your link popularity. Search for “
keyword

directory” in a good search engine,
substituting

key
word

with a word that is relevant to your site. More general directories often have categories for your
sit
e content as well.

Next, seek out link partners


sites that are related to your category


and request a link from them. It often helps if
you first

link to them, as they are more likely to link back to you that way. Try to get them to use text links that contain
your

keyword when linking to your site.

Don’t waste time exchanging links with a gambling site if your site’s theme is furniture. Any such l
ink would be
irrelevant and will not help your rankings. Also, ignore Google PR values and focus instead on the relevance of the
site

to your own.

The more relevant, high quality links you can establish to your site, the more frequently your site will
be s
pidered, and the better your site will rank for your chosen keywords. It may take time to achieve those high
rankings (especially in Google), but in the long run good SEO techniques will pay off.

There is a

lot more to SEO than what has been outlined here. Without sharing any little
-
known secrets to ranking
success, we have given you the basic tools to rise above many of your competitors. It’s up to you to perform research
and find out what it takes

to dominate in the search engin
e.