SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the art of getting a website made visible in the main search engines, aiming for the first positions in order to boost traffic to a website.
There is a difference between SEO and SEM. SEO targets organic free traffic from Google, Yahoo, Live and the like, while SEM makes use of paid listings in these and other search engines.
Be aware that Organic SEO takes time, and for some generic terms it is simple impossible to compete, that is why many people decide to use a combination of SEO and paid clicks in order to achieve high visibility.
There are several factors affecting SEO. We can divide them in onpage factors and offpage factors.
ONPAGE factors have to do with making your website “spider-friendly”:
(Notice that Keyword Research should be made prior to any SEO, SEM efforts)
Try to insert the main keyword for your business along with other (LSI) semantic related keywords in:
1. The domain name
2. The file names
3. The title tag of your html doc:
<title>Green shoes on sale now, wide range of shoes </title>
4. The headlines and subheads
<h1>Are you looking for a pair of nice green shoes?</h1>
5. The page content of the web page,
Watch on Keyword density and proximity.
6. The img tags:
<img src=”images/greenshoes.jpg” alt=”green shoes”>
7. The description and keyword metatags ( mainly the description )
<meta name=”description” content=”Fashionable green shoes to keep yourself happy, if they are shoes and green, they are great shoes”
8. The internal navigation
Be sure to include your keywords as linking words to other content in your site.
These are the main points for any good optimized web page, (there are other small issues to consider and other advanced stuff such us mod rewrite configuration should be needed to look for friendly urls when using dynamic technology).
But although a good onpage optimization is best practises and will definitely help( Be careful not to keyword stuffing your site or you will be penalized) , it is not what will boost your website to the first results in any search engine.
OFFPAGE optimization is crucial and it is where you should drive your SEO efforts.
OFFPAGE optimization means you have to work on building links to your website. You need to get many keyword rich links to your site from sites with a high page rank and related content.
Google PageRank is an scale Google uses to judge the importance of websites, Google assigns PR from 1 (low) to 10 (high), based on the relevant links to the site in question and how closely the content of those sites relate to it.
So basically you need high PR websites with related content linking to yours. Quantity is not as important as quality, A link from a PR6 content related website is estimated to be equivalent to 125 PR3 sites, so focus on getting links from quality sources and make sure your keywords ( and related semantic keywords ) are included in the link pointing to you.
Be aware also that not all the links pass on PR to your Website, the nofollow html atribute prevents PR to be transmited to one site to another ( most of the blogs, for example, include nofollow automatically).
There many techniques to get links to your site, some of the best known are:
1. Submit your sites to Web directories:
2. Content, content, content
Write regular valuable original content and you will be linked for sure
3. Link requests
Ideally one way links, or reciprocal linking in case it is not possible
4. Articule submissions
Submit articules to sites like www.ezinearticules.com
5. Social media
Get links from Social news sites like digg, social comunities like facebook, social bookmarking websites like del.icio.us or media sharing sites like youtube.
Participate also in blogs and forums relevant to your business.
6. Buy links ( this is a little bit of a gray area but that works)
7. Publish Press Releases
In sites like PRWeb.com and the like.
Internet is a fast evolving medium. There are many other traffic and link building techniques I have not time or space here to explain. See relative blog posts and forums in All Online Marketing to be up-to-date with the latest traffic generating trends. Check out here for some Free SEO Tools and the latest news in SEO
I will also be publishing a complete white paper on Onpage – Offpage SEO techniques very soon. Stay tuned, in the meanwhile here it is a Great List of SEO Resources and play around with the tools provided and also these ones.
Watch an interesting video of Matt Cutts talking SEO and WordPress