SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, has two major factors which govern your success, or ultimately, your failure. Want your site to succeed? You need to master both.
SEO On Page Factors
The first major factor is really the simplest to master. But first, you need to know what those creepy little *spiders* look for when they come and *crawl* your site. Oh wait.. I didn’t tell you about the spiders?
Spiders (bots, robots, crawlers) are small programs that the search engines employ to go read your site so it can *index* your content. The index is how they are able to return results when someone types in “digital camera for sale” or “best marketing company”. The spiders job is to review your content, and build an index of keywords that relate to the content.
A spider views your site a little differently than a real person, but providing a good experience to the spider is every bit as important as making sure your human visitors find what they are looking for.
Things like page titles, headings, bolded text, tags, keywords in the meta tags and a good site map are things that make the spiders get all giddy. So are things like your content being viewed *first* and your keywords being within the first 50 words and the last 50 words of what it does read.
If this sounds hard, don’t despair. I promise, we will cover each aspect thoroughly in the coming articles. I will even show you things you can do to help with this, especially if you have a WordPress blog.
SEO Off Page Factors
Off page is a little more difficult and time consuming in the overall scheme of things. Off page refers to other sites and how they link to you. See, Google rates your site based on the number and quality of links that point to your site.
Now, I know what you are thinking. “I just started my site, how in the world are people going to know to link to me?” That is what you were thinking, right?
Inbound links come in a variety of flavors, shapes and sizes, and you can generate a lot of them.
Inbound links: Links from other sites that point visitors to your site.
Forums, newsgroups, signature lines on your social profiles, partner sites, comments you leave and other sites you own can all point to you. Articles you create (we will cover this topic in depth real soon) can contain a resource box that contains links to your site.
Google views links to your site kind of like a vote for your site. Search engines use the number of incoming links that a site has as just one of the factors for determining your ranking, but incoming links to your blog or website also means more visitors to your site. In fact, inbound links will directly affect your Google Page Rank, that coveted but often misunderstood *rating* that everyone talks about.
So, getting a link from a site that Google crawls on a regular basis, one that has a high Google Page Rank has some impressive benefits. Sites can *leak* some of their good page rank your way.
So, until next time, keep your eye open for potential linking partners, sites that have good Page Rank already, or sites that get a lot of daily traffic. Try to think of ways you can add value, and get links in exchange. And no, I don’t mean link farms… those really don’t work since Google takes a dim view of them.