SEO is an interesting concept that has gained a lot of attention over the last few years. Books, seminars, websites and careers have been created to promote and discuss Search Engine Optimisation. At its most basic level, it is the process of affecting the prominence of a website in a search engine’s un-paid search results. It is essentially a cost-effective way to gain popularity through Google searches. It involves using content, technical procedures and quality control to not only gain visibility but maintain it. Google has specific guidelines on the content and quality of websites as follows:
– Make sure the site is laid out in a manner that is clear, easy to read and easy to navigate.
– Have a map that gives the visitor links to relevant sections on the website.
– Content should include terms your users might search for which should bring them to your webpage. For example, a website that sells clothes would have key terms in its site such as fashion, quality, shirts, etc.
– Avoid using too many images as text is needed for Google to find and index the content on your website.
– Pages that change a lot may not be indexed as accurately (if at all) as pages that stay the same.
– Don’t copy content from other sites unless it adds value for users.
– Don’t load your site up with random, unrelated terms with the idea that it will improve your PageRank score – sticking to your industry helps maintain your websites legitimacy and attracts the right kind of customers.
– Don’t dump large amounts of text on your site in hopes it will match search keywords and attract visitors.
– Don’t hide any text or links, because visitors will quickly lose trust in the site.
– Make sure your links really direct people to where they say, rather than a “surprise” visit elsewhere. Having a large number of one-time visits is great, but you want people to come back as well.
– Don’t build your site without any interesting or different material – once people get onto the site, they want a reason to stay there.
– Protect your site and clean up any malware and spam. This means constant maintenance as SEO is not something that can just be done once and be as effective in the future as it is today.