Search Engine Optimization Simplified | Simple SEO advice

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Search engine optimization or SEO is simply a "geek term" for the process of planning, designing, constructing and promoting your website to maximize the quantity of targeted visitor traffic it generates. If you are a small business owner, you probably realize that SEO is one of the most cost-effective paths to increasing your overall marketing effectiveness because you essentially receive free web advertising from search engines.

Search engines work by sending out little scout programs called "spiders" to explore (or "crawl") the web and store all the information they find. With this information, the search engines then index (list) websites in their databases and rank these websites based on a bundle of factors, some of which are not really known to the world outside these companies.

However, we do know that some of the following factors help to achieve high search engine ranking:

  • Relevant keywords within domain name
  • Relevant on-page metadata (html tags with relevant keywords)
  • Relevance of content (as indicated by number of external sites linking to it)
  • High quantity of backlinks (links pointing to your site from other websites)
  • Quantity of relevant content
  • Website structure
  • Internal linking within site that features relevant keywords
  • Quality of external websites linking to yours
  • Deep linking (external websites linking to lower tier pages of your site)
  • Age of website

You can see that there are quite a few factors involved in attaining high rankings on the results pages of websites like Google, Yahoo and Bing. However, If you had to summarize the whole process of SEO into just 3 parts, they would be:

1. On-page metadata (information about the page contents for the engines)

2. Web pages full of valuable content tastefully spiced with relevant keywords

3. High number of quality backlinks (links pointing to your site) from other sites

As you implement your SEO program, be careful not to attempt to spam or trick the search engines as you will be penalized. The simplest way to avoid being penalized by the search engines is to create content whose keyword densities reflect a natural way of communicating. If you try to overload your pages with your desired keywords, a process known as keyword stuffing, you could end up penalized.

Some other techniques to avoid are the linking methods that are frowned upon by the likes of Google.com and Yahoo. Some of these include being part of link farms (web pages that are solely comprised of links to other web pages), and using so- called "doorway" pages (also called "gateway" pages) on your website.

Doorway pages attempt to fool the search engines by seeming to represent one page, and then sending visitors to another hidden page.

Finally, the increasingly common practice of creating automatically generated (scraper) pages or content. These are the weird looking websites with content that just starts and stops infuriatingly, without making much sense. Unfortunately, all too many websites have begun to depend on this insidious form of search engine spam.

The main thing to remember for your success is that the search engines have a mandate to provide the searching public with the most relevant and proven content that satisfies their search. Your responsibility consists of providing enough indicators of your content being what they are looking for. In general, if you create content that is very focused on your target visitors needs, and you create your web pages in a way that helps search engines know exactly what your content is about, you will find success.

Just by following these simple principles, your website can enjoy a long future of free targeted visitor traffic from the search engines.

Gogo Erekosima is our CEO and Lead Strategist for small business consulting services. We offer SEO services or training and consulting in some of the following local areas (see below). You may click on the appropriate link below for location-specific resources and services.

Denver Colorado SEO, Baltimore Maryland SEO, Phoenix Arizona (AZ) SEO, Tampa Florida (FL) SEO, Houston Texas SEO, Dallas (TX) SEO, Austin (TX) SEO, MD DC VA SEO (Metropolitan Maryland, Washington, Virginia)

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