search engine optimization

All this information about search engines has one purpose — to show the way of their work so that you can put them to work for your website. Throughout this blog, you’ll find various strategies for optimizing your web site so it appears top in the search engine rankings when relevant searches are performed, but this requires that you know how it works.

Search engine optimization is essentially the science of designing your web site to maximize your search engine rankings. This means that all of the elements of your web site are created with the goal of obtaining high search engine rankings. Those elements include the following:

■ Landing and exit pages
■ Page titles
■ Content Of Site
■ Visuals and Graphics
■ Web site structure

In addition to these elements, however, you also have to consider things such as keywords,
links, HTML, and meta-tagging. Even after you have all the elements of your page optimized
for search engine friendliness, there are other things to consider. 
For example, you can have all the right design elements included in your web pages and still have a relatively low search engine ranking. Factors such as advertising campaigns and update frequency also affect your SEO efforts. All of this means that you should understand that the concept of search engine optimization is not based on any single element. Instead, search engine optimization is based on a vast number of elements and strategies. It’s also an ongoing process that doesn’t end once your web site is live.

SEO is a living, breathing concept of maximizing the traffic that your web site generates, and as such it is a constantly moving target. If you’ve ever played a game of Whack-a-Mole, you can appreciate how difficult search engine optimization is to nail. In that game, a little mole pops up out of a hole. Your job is to whack the mole on top of the head before it disappears back down the hole and appears in another.

Search engine optimization operates on much the same concept. Search engines are constantly changing, so the methods and strategies used to achieve high search engine rankings must also change. As soon as that little mole pops up in one hole, it disappears and then reappears in another. It’s a frustrating game, but given enough time and concentration, you can become very good at it.

Manipulating Search Engines

SEO is all about manipulating search engines — to an extent. Beyond that, the manipulation becomes something more sinister and you run the risk of having your web site removed from the search engine rankings completely. It’s true. It happens.
What exactly can and can’t you do? There’s a list, and here is part of it.

■ Create a web site that contains meta tags, content, graphics, and keywords that help improve your site ranking.
■ Use keywords liberally on your site, so long as they are used in the correct context of your
site topic and content.
■ Include reciprocal links to your site from others as long as those links are legitimate and relevant.
■ Encourage web site traffic through many venues, including keyword advertising, reciprocal links, and marketing campaigns.
■ Submit your web site to search engines manually, rather than wait for them to pick up your site in the natural course of cataloging web sites.

■ Trick search engines by imbedding hidden keywords in your web site. This is a practice that will very likely get you banned from most search engines.
■ Artificially generate links to your site from unrelated sites for the purpose of increasing your ranking based on link analysis. Most search engines have a built-in mechanism that detects this type of deceptive practice.
■ Artificially generate traffic to your web site so that it appears more popular than it is. Again, there are safeguards in place to prevent this from happening; and if you trip those
safeguards, you could end up on the banned list for many search engines.
■ Force your web site to appear in search engine rankings by submitting the site repeatedly
for inclusion in the rankings. A good general rule of thumb is that you should submit your site once and then wait at least six weeks before submitting it again. Submitting it repeatedly will, again, only lead to something nasty like being banned from the search engine.
■ Expect search engines to automatically rank you at the top of your topic, category, or keyword as soon as the site is picked up. It can take a little time to build the status that you
need to reach a high search engine ranking. Remember, SEO is a process.

These are just basic rules for putting search engines to work for you. As you get started, however, keep these in mind because you’ll see them repeatedly throughout this blog and any other research that you might be doing on search engine optimization.

SEO is hard work

Something to remember as you embark on this journey toward SEO is that it is not going to
be easy. Just when you think you have it figured out, the search ranking algorithm will change.
If you’re lucky, the change will only mildly affect your search rankings. However, if you build
your site to please search engines, it’s more likely that your search rankings will be turned on their head.
That’s one reason why it’s vitally important that you build your web site with users in mind
first, and then search rankings. Ultimately, search engine designers take cues for the changes
they may make from the behavior of searchers. Therefore, if you’re constantly vigilant and
attending to your visitors’ needs, your web site won’t be as affected by changes in the search engine algorithm.
It’s still a lot of work to reach this level of user-friendly design. Some people assume a few
tweaks here and there are all they need, but unless your site is very well designed to start with,tweaking just won’t cut it. It’s more realistic to understand that you’ll end up putting dozens of hours into your separate SEO efforts.

Scheduling SEO efforts

Because SEO is so much work, a good way to manage it is to schedule daily time into your
routine for SEO efforts. Of course, this is after the initial implementation of SEO. Initially, SEO should be done during the build of a new web site, or it can be built into existing sites if they are not new constructions. However, if you’re building better SEO into an existing site that’s poorly optimized, then be prepared for a major site redesign.

SEO is a holistic approach to improving your search engine rankings. As such, it requires attention to your whole site. It does little good to optimize portions of your site and leave other areas lacking the same attention to detail. If you’re going to SEO your site, do it right and make sure you hit all of the elements as you go.

Thanks for reading

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