Ten SEO Guidelines

If you’re new to the world of search engine optimization, you may not know where to start. You may be fascinated with the idea of doing business around the world, but the reality is that you have to be seen before you can sell. This article covers ten basic facts to keep in mind about how the Internet and search engines work when you’re busy building a web site.

With the advent of computers and the Internet, a whole new meaning was given to the term "globalization." Websites came into being and what was initially seen as a sales gimmick for large scale companies, is today taken as an essential sales strategy, even for a local small-scale businesses. Almost everyone in the commercial sector is aware that websites are essential if one is looking to succeed and grow in their business sphere. It is no wonder, then, that right from Coke to a small scale bulb producer in Holland, everyone boasts a website.

Today, advertising strategies are developed that keep in mind not only the regular prospect but also those who use the virtual market for their shopping needs. Practically everything, from furniture, flowers, food and more can be bought online. Instead of confining one’s business to only those in the vicinity, companies of all sized need to go global.

Business people have realized that depriving your business of a website can translate to depriving your business of clients. The entire globe is a consolidated market. All one needs to do is to set up an efficient web site and tap potential customers worldwide.

Sounds easy? It can be. Whether you hire a web development agency to do the job or adopt a DIY web building software program to  help you launch your website, the trick is to maximize its exposure. An effective web site is one that ensures maximum traffic and develops content that helps make converts.

This is where Search Engine Optimization steps in. Search engine optimization is the art of developing web content by adopting certain keywords that help in attracting traffic to the site. There is no doubt that there are several other forms of diverting traffic toward your website, such as pay-per-click adds, link advertising, and so forth. However, it has been observed that search engine optimized content development is one of the most effective as well as easy methods of increasing web traffic.

A few facts about SEO development will help you understand the importance of the strategy as well as learn how to develop appropriate search engine friendly content.

Most prospects come via search engines- Regardless of how easy it is to remember your web site’s name, it is probable that up to 90 percent of the traffic it sees is attracted via search engines. Most people use keywords to look for providers, and then conduct a comparison between the names that come up. Therefore, it is imperative that you do not lose out on these prospects, who may not have heard of your company, but are looking for products that you sell. It is a fact that ignoring search engine optimization will lead you to lose out to competitors who sell similar products.

Well-known search engines work the best – There are several search engines out there, but ask around and most people will stop after naming Google and Yahoo. These search engines are very well-known, therefore they are the most used — and they’re set up to handle the traffic you’d expect from such popular sites. Big-name search engines will ensure that the host site is functional 99 percent of the time. A host site that is frequently down repels prospects, which automatically translates to less traffic for the website begin hosted. So the trick is to ensure that you select search engines that are popular and keep their site operational almost always.

Most users use more than one keyword to search – Another important fact about SEO is that the keyword selection must be attacked from the point of view of the users. It is a known fact that most users use a search phrase rather than a single word. It is therefore imperative to organize content that is not keyword rich but rather key phrase rich. Instead of using a keyword as common as say, "shoes" it would be better to use"’red shoes," "cheap shoes," "leather shoes" and so on. Statistics show that 32.58% users use two word phrases when using a search engine.

Tracking the user- The golden rule of commercial success is to deliver in accordance with the client’s needs. If you know what the customer wants, then you will be able to tap in on the potential of a sale much more. Similarly, search engine optimization can also be mastered if you know what the prospect is looking for and the means they adopt for this search.

Interestingly, there are several methods that allow you to track your target customers. Tracking will enable you to assess which search engines are being used by your prospects and what types of keywords they are employing in this search. Armed with this knowledge, you shall be able to tame the SEO demon easily. Develop content around the popular keywords that prospects are using to search for products similar to yours. Once the content has been developed, place it on your site and make sure it is indexed by the search engines that the prospects are using the most.

Optimizing for multiple search engines – Choosing to optimize for a single search engine is like placing all your eggs in one basket. While it is true that one must try to optimize for a popular search engine, this does not mean that you can afford to ignore all the others (though that is becoming more and more true with Google’s increasing dominance). A more coherent SEO strategy would be one where several search engines are considered as means to deliver the site to the prospect. Each person visiting your site has the potential to convert into a client. Therefore the more search engines you use for this purpose the more traffic you add to your site.

Check and re check – Once you have created search engine optimized content and posted it, you cannot simply put your feet up and expect conversions. You must check and recheck to confirm if the content is actually working. Tracking comes in handy for this once more. E- commerce supporting software that allows you to analyze how many hits the site managed, what keywords were used by the prospects, which search engines were employed, how long the prospect stayed on the site, which pages they viewed, how many prospects converted, what services they were looking for, etc, are a must. The answers to these questions will help you develop a better website by summing up the results of your SEO efforts, so you can adjust your strategy accordingly. 

Update constantly- Time is never still; it is in constant flux, and this holds true for the Internet too. Things on the net change continuously. What was good enough last night may be beaten by your competition by tomorrow morning. If you hope to maintain your standing and even prevail, you must at all times keep pace with this change. It is therefore necessary to update your content often. Maintaining your website is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization. Continuing with an outdated site, content or keywords will fail to attract prospects.

High rank in the search engine results - Most users rarely go beyond the first or second page of the search results. Unless you maintain a high position on the search engine results pages (SERPs), your chances of attracting prospects via the search engine will be highly diminished. It is very important that your site comes up as high as possible on the results page . For this an effective keyword density will need to be adopted, along with the use of popular keywords and phrases.

Appropriate keyword density- Keyword density is the number of times that the keyword appears in a web page’s content. It is this density that decides the search engine page rank that the site shall enjoy. It is one factor search engines use in deciding whether the page is relevant to the searcher’s query.

However, this does not mean that only the keyword density is to be given regard while the quality of the content maybe completely ignored. Remember, unless your content is good, even if you do manage to pull in prospects using keywords, you will not be able to make converts. Since it is the final sale that is the backbone of any commercial venture, you cannot ignore the quality of the content at any given time.

Today there are highly intelligent search engines being developed which do not fall for content that is merely rich in keywords. Some search engines might even penalize web sites that are too keyword-rich, figuring that they contain nonsense. So keep in mind that search engines will look at other factors to judge whether your page is relevant to a particular search (Google’s algorithms are said to examine 50 factors or more). On average, a keyword density of three to four percent is considered safe. 

Keyword placement - Keyword placement is as important as keyword density. Placing keywords carefully in the right areas rather than simply bunching them all together will go a long way to ensuring that the search engines see your content as being of good quality. On average, it is safe to say that ensuring that the keyword appears once in the title, once in the first and last sentence of the content and once every 100 to 150 words in the body of the content is fairly good keyword placement. At no point should the keyword override the quality of the content. Remember, most readers can be lost or captured by the first few sentences of any piece of writing.

While the ten pointers listed above are the basic facts about SEO content creation, this is not to say that they are the only steps one needs to follow. Building on these pointers and adding your own special qualities will help you to create high quality content and therefore generate additional traffic for your website.

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