Search Engine Optimization, to put simply, is the process of making more people see your website using a search engine. With this process, one can strategically increase viewer coverage – and it can eventually increase your rankings and help market your website, business or product.
SEO is not rocket science, but if you do not follow guidelines, you can actually cause more damage to your brand than you are trying to build. To avoid being banned by search engines, it is a necessity to learn the appropriate way in optimizing your search results. To reap the benefits of SEO, here are some Do’s and Don’ts that you might want to know:
- SITEMAP – as the name indicates, its map on how to go around your website. This is extremely helpful for both the search engine and the user. It will guide both user and the search engines to navigate through the site and likewise help the search engine to spider or crawl within the site to be indexed.
- KEYword – the KEY to your searches, this is one the most important aspect of optimization. Selecting the appropriate keyword, I repeat appropriate, to match your business, niche, and web page is essential. If the name of your business is “Ben’s Chilli” and you sell Barbeque source then you wouldn’t want to put your company name as the keyword but the product instead – Barbeque. After establishing that word, distribute it around your website in the title, description, links, content and image tags. Also, using Google Adwords Keyword tool will help you determine the search volume or trend of a word, which will help you in your keyword research. – I would suggest take some time out to do some keyword research, do not rush this phase. Sit with your SEO consultant and go through some keywords together, and select the ones which will benefit.
- QUALITY – Nothing can replace the importance of quality content. A site that has worthwhile content never fails to attract attention, quality is probably one the most important factors and a starting point of doing SEO, search engines love good and fresh content, and users are always in search for content that is helpful and useful.
- LINK BUILDING IN RELATED SITES – Gaining high quality links from appropriate sites related to yours is a sure way of also establishing quality and relevance online which shows search engines how popular your website is on the web. Take time to gain good useful links from relevant websites around the web.
- META DATA – in layman’s term is data that describes data :). It provides information about a certain item’s content. An example would be the image resolution or color depth info of a picture or image data. It is in a form called meta tags in web sites. This is necessary to create unique meta content of each page in relation to keyword searches. When writing Meta information, write it for the users which is reasonable and genuine, not something that is stuffed with keywords, and for search engines.
- Spamdexing – is a form of spamming the index of a search engine. It is a site that hyperlinks to every other site in a group. It is also called link farming. It can be done manually or by automated programs. Take note that although link building is important in Search Engine Optimization, link farming is the wrong approach to increase status. Again, I would like to emphasize quality over quantity. Boost your rankings by posting it on relevant sites. Search engines now have the ability to remove a link farm from its directory – and if your site happens to be one, you’ll be removed and it may take a while to regain the lost rankings using link farming methods.
- Cloaking – not many websites do this now, but some still do, and some users think its okay, Cloaking or Hidden contents is as it is, providing content on your site that the users can’t see. It is hidden in the code, in which the search engine can only see. Some of these techniques include putting white text on a white background, thus you can write a lot of keywords or phrases that will push or boost your rankings. But like above, if your method is discovered, it is most likely that you will get banned.
- Stuffing Keywords – One of the most abused and overused way of increasing rankings in SEO. Keywords are good but be sure to also put them in an orderly and useful manner. Don’t put it anywhere just for the sake of putting it there.
- Blog Spamming – nobody wants it. Spamming in blogs or making non-relevant comments in articles is bad SEO etiquette. Google has a way of identifying those spam messages with attached links, those links will have no credit in rankings during search results.
- Excessive Flash – SEO is not a beauty contest. It may give good looks but it’s practically not very enjoyable by search engines. Search engines cannot index flash files as well as text content. It is not within the scope of spiders as of yet. Stick to using HTML.
SEO is more than just the above, but above will give you some basic ideas and outline of where to start and what to look for.