Under the Hood of SEO

Under the Hood of SEO

You might realize that your site needs some SEO attention, but do you really know what drives those optimization efforts? Before you start trying to create hundreds of backlinks pointing to your site from anywhere and everywhere, there are some things you might want to consider.

Search Engines

Search engine optimization is all about making your website more visible to those search engines. When these search engines try to determine which sites are likely to be the best match for a user’s search query, they consider a number of factors.

Put simply, search engines collate the information they have compiled about the billions of websites in their database and return results designed to offer the most closely-related information to the user.

So it stands to reason that your site needs to be found by those search engines in the first place in order to even be considered. Before you rush out and start manually submitting your site to the search engines, think about this: as long as there is a link pointing to your site somewhere, the search engine spiders, or bots, will find it.

Spiders

Once those spiders have found your site, they’ll attempt to ‘crawl’ it. This means they’ll go through the pages on your site to check for content and add the information it finds to the databases.

Depending on the SEO you’ve done on your own site or blog, those spiders have a way of determining what your site it about, what keywords and search terms you’re targeting and what kind of relevance it will have to users wanting to learn about that information.

The easiest way to get the search engines to believe your site is of high relevance is to add a text-based Site Map to your site. You should create links to every page on your site on your map. Link to your sitemap in your navigation bar or create a link to it at the bottom of your page. This way the spiders can find every page of your site more easily, which will mean every page is indexed properly.

Content

Good quality unique content is easily the most vital aspect of SEO. Focus on one theme or topic per page and keep it simple. Wherever possible, try to work in your preferred keywords, phrases or search terms as early as possible into the content.

Don’t even think about overloading your content with those keywords in order to try and “improve” your SEO efforts. This will just make your content sound contrived and make it difficult for your visitors to read. They want information. Give it to them.

However, you can use your keywords in the content title and in sub-titles. You can also use synonyms, similar phrases, long-tail keywords to help the search engines figure out that your content is relevant for  keyword and theme you’ve chosen.

When you’ve uploaded your content to your site, add a link to that page on your navigation bar using anchor text. Your anchor text should include relevant keyword phrases that will further boost your SEO efforts.

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