Simple Techniques for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

There are many simple techniques you can employ when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and all SEO techniques have the same end product – that is making your website more visible to people who are searching on search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Google of course is the leader of the pack and many companies as a result are keen to get to the top of Google (and rightly so). First and foremost, you should be concentrating on making your website interesting and informative so that you are engaging your customers and encouraging them to stay and browse your website. You could well be at the top of Google – but if your content is not appealing to customers, then this is really a wasted effort!

In this post, we concentrate on three areas:

  • Content
  • Meta Tags
  • Links

We will briefly describe the simple SEO techniques you can employ in these specific areas.

Content

We’ll get straight to the point here – content is king! The major search engines love it. Your content should be original and relevant.  You should not plagiarise content from other sites as this is not only unprofessional, but it could well damage your SEO aspirations and have a detrimental effect on the success of your website.

You should also limit the depth of your site to no more than four levels if this is possible, i.e. a page should not be more than 3 or 4 clicks away from the homepage.  This enhances the user’s experience, enabling them to easily and quickly find what they’re after.

Meta Tags

Meta tags are closely linked to your content when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation.  Your meta tags and more importantly, the keywords in your meta tags should be related to your content.  The main meta tags are:

Meta Title

This is a very important tag and should always be used without fail. The meta title tag should be closely related to your content. For example, the meta title tag for this page is Simple Techniques for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You can see that this title relates to my body copy where the words ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ and ‘SEO’ are used liberally, thus making my title relevant to my actual page.

Meta Description

Not all search engines use meta descriptions, but that is no reason not to include this meta tag. The meta description is a brief and concise summary of your page’s content and often appears underneath the result on a search engine page if your site is returned from a user’s query. The meta description should be no more than 160 characters long and like the meta title, should include keywords used in your meta title and content.

Links

Ok, so you have got this far. Your content is primed and your meta titles and descriptions are highly relevant, all of which is termed ‘on-page SEO’… but we have only scratched the surface of the Google ranking. Your next step is to turn your attention to ‘off-page SEO’, which is all about getting other websites to link to you. This is highly important because of the way Google ranks pages. This is beyond the scope of this particular article, but please read our post on How Google Ranks Pages.

Building links isn’t just about acquiring as many inbound links as possible, but is more about building quality inbound links using keyword rich anchor text.

Link Building: Quality over Quantity

Try to aim for quality inbound links from pages with a good page rank using keyword rich anchor text. For example, we could have hundreds of links to this page, which is all well and good, but it would be far better for us to have links from relevant pages from such sites as the BBC (or other well-respected websites in your sector), which have a high Google rank and thus good authority.  Again, we could go into great detail about this, so please read our blog post on How Google Ranks Pages for more information.

It is however possible to go overboard with link building.  Ideally, you should aim for between 250 and 750 quality inbound links targeting domains at least 3 years old and a page rank of 3 ideally 5 or more. If you are exceeding the upper figure of inbound links, then it is probably time to stop and actually concentrate on your content and meta tags.

Also be aware of rapid link building.  Do not use ‘black hat’ SEO methods, as you can be penalised by the search engines and this is the last thing you want.

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