Tips for Effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the method of optimizing a website in order to improve its rankings among the major search engines for unpaid (organic) searches. Improving a website for Search Engine Optimization can increase the frequency and position at which a website will be displayed by a search engine when someone searches for a topic related to the website. This can lead to additional visitors to your website and ultimately an increased number of customers for your business.
Secrets to Search Engine Optimization
Successful Search Engine Optimization starts with following some basic principles and implementing good web development practices. Although the major search engines won’t reveal the algorithm behind their search, Google, Bing and Yahoo all offer some guidance and suggested best practices for web developers that want to improve SEO. Much of this information is published directly on the search provider websites. In this article we will look at some of the basic principles to Search Engine Optimization.
Content is King
Text based content on your website is one of most important aspects of SEO. While images help provide a pleasant graphical experience for the user, they do nothing to attract search engines. Text is what the search engines utilize to classify or index a website and help determine when to suggest the website for searches. It’s important for the content to match your business and contain specific keywords or phrases that are relative to the type of searches you want to attract for your website. However, avoid excessively repeat or padding of your keywords. An important rule when writing content is to always write for the user and not for the search engine. It’s also important to note that keeping your content updated and fresh will help to attract search engines and increase the frequency of how often the search engines visit your site.
Links Matter
Another significant aspect to SEO is hyperlinks. Search engines depend on the links or “hyperlinks” to websites and their web pages in order to find and classify material. As the number of links to your website increase, so can your website’s search engine ranking. However, it’s important to understand that the quality of the links to your site have more weight with the search engine than the overall number. The goal should be to build links to your website from other reputable and preferably highly ranked sites.

Even the links contained on your site that link to your own web pages play a role in SEO. Make sure all the pages that contain material you want the search engine to classify are linked from several different pages on your site. But remember - always design your site’s navigation for the user first and not the search engine.

Web Page Structure
The general structure of your site’s web pages assist in effective SEO. Here are a few areas to consider.

Page Titles and URLs: Make sure your page titles and URLS are descriptive. They should complement each other and be relative to the content on the page. Not only does a descriptive URL help the search engine, it can also benefit the user, especially if they are viewing the link from somewhere outside of your website.

H1 Tags: These are HTML formatting tags that help search engines find the important parts of your pages. A well structured page should have at least one H1 tag to tell the search engine the topic of the page.

Meta Tags: Behind the scenes and embedded in the HTML of your page are the Meta Tags. Although there is an ongoing debate on how much Meta Tags impact SEO, it is advisable to follow some simple rules to structuring the Meta Tags called Keywords and Description. For the Keywords tag, each page should have incorporate a unique set of keywords that matches the content on the page. Avoid using keywords that are not part of the text content. The Description tag should be a concise logical description of the page just as if you were describing the page to the reader.

Where should I Start?
Develop a strategy for tackling your website SEO and implement it over time. Because the home page is typically given the most weight by the search engines and the first page people visit, this is an excellent place to start. SEO does not have to be completed all at once so it’s okay to focus on small areas and make incremental improvements.
SEO Takes Time
It’s important to understand that effective SEO does not happen overnight. Changes that you make to your site take time to reflect in the search engine results. Depending on how often the search engines crawl your site, it can take several weeks to see results. Don’t obsess or be discouraged if you don’t see the type of results you were expecting. Make gradual improvements, monitor and measure the results over time. Be realistic about your expectations.
When SEO Isn’t Enough
If you don’t have time to devote to SEO or feel you exhausted your SEO strategy without getting the results you hoped for, consider other alternatives such as Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising or Cost Per Impression Advertising. These types of paid options can be an effective way to market your website and build on your SEO effort.
Still Have Questions?
If you still have questions or need advice on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) please feel free to contact Input-X Software
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