What Is SEO

Today I wanted to touch on the subject of what SEO is and why it is important to your blog or website and how to drive traffic to your websites using SEO. We will be focusing on these 5 how’s and what’s:

⦁ What is SEO and why it is important
⦁ How modern search engines work
⦁ How to find and exploit keywords to improve SEO
⦁ On-page factors that affect SEO
⦁ WordPress Plug-ins to help you with SEO

Search Engine optimization (SEO) Search Engine optimization (SEO) is the name given to improve your search engine rankins organically or not paid for. It means getting noticed before all your competitors when a search is conducted on a topic related to your site. SEO is the foundation of online marketing. Google, Yahoo, Bing and the other search engines make it very easy to use and searching on the web has become such an widely adopted human behavior that we don’t even think about it any more. We just search for anything and everything at anytime.

Why is SEO important.  Search is one of the fastest growing market segments of the Internet.  8 in 10 Americans are now shopping online, according to a study from Pew Research. According to Google, 80% of all people who search Google, click in the natural or organic search results and NOT the PAID results.

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How Search Engines Work

Crawler-Based Search Engines.  Crawler-based search sites create their listings automatically by using software called spiders or bots, or crawlers. These terms all refer to the same thing, which is simply a piece of software or automated script that searches the web by jumping, or crawling, from link to link that it discovers. Google’s crawler software is called appropriately enough “GoogleBot”.

Search Bots. The major search engines continuously send their bots across the wide expanse of the net, crawling from site to site by following all the links they encounter.
In the process, they copy the text and code the find on each page. This process if referred to as “spidering”. It is important to note that not all the information found on each page is stored. TEXT and CODE is stored but no images or video.

Site Map Page. The site links and site architecture that connect the pages and sections of your web site are critically important since they are what the Spiders use to find all the pages of your site. A useful tool for helping spiders find all the pages within a web site is the SITE MAP. Google support does an awesome job explain better than I do. Click here, Learn about sitemaps by Google.

Keywords. The root of all success in search engine optimization begins with keywords. Get them wrong and virtually everything about your online endeavor will fail; it’s just that critical.  After all, what good is a high ranking for a particular keyword if no one uses that word when searching for the products and services that you provide?

Google WordTracker.  Google Wordtracker takes a statistical approach to the problem of finding your best keywords. It provides direction to the potentially confusing task of choosing the best keywords for your site through the use of an interactive system that will coach you through this process the very first time, and without any guessing.

Google AdWords Keyword Tool.  https://adwords.google.com  This tool is primarily designed to help Google’s PAID search advertisers, but the price is right, its database deep and it’s easy to use. This tool should definitely be a part of your regular keyword research regime.

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Analyzing the competition for keywords.  For each of your competitors in the top three positions of the search results, make a note of their domain names and page titles. Look at their text content, source code, and find the meta-tags containing page descriptions and keywords.

Refining your Keywords
⦁ Add Spelling Mistakes
⦁ Include plural words
⦁ Favor keyword Phrases over single words
⦁ Be as specific as possible

Adding Keywords to Pages
Doc Titles
Page Titles
Site Titles
File Names
Section Headings
Body Text

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The Importance of New Content.  The search spiders crawl a site more often the more the content changes each time it visits. The more often a site gets crawled the more important the site becomes the more “google juice” it is considered to have.

Quality of Incoming Links.  Keywords in the incoming link most important content must be relevant to your site.

Simplify
⦁ Make it easy
⦁ Don’t Overwhelm Your Users
⦁ Add a Call to Action
⦁ Let Users Filter
⦁ What Really Needs to Be Here?
⦁ Make it Easy to Find Friends

Planning Your Site
⦁ Focus On Your Audience
⦁ Encouraging User-Created Content
⦁ Fostering Community
⦁ Be Dynamic
⦁ Simplify

SEO Plugins.  WordPress out of the box is already technically quite a good platform for SEO, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve it further. While this WordPress plugin (Yoast SEO) goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimization needs, it first and foremost helps you write better content. WordPress Yoast SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.

Google XML Sitemaps for Videos
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/xml-sitemaps-for-videos/
To ensure that Bing, Google, and other search engines recognize and index your videos, Digital Inspiration’s Google XML Sitemaps for Videos plugin does just that by generating a sitemap for your YouTube clips that have been embedded within blog posts.

Ultimate Google Analytics
http://wordpress.org/extend/plug-ins/ultimate-google-analytics/
Google Analytics is the favorite site-analytics tool of many webmasters due to its meticulously detailed graphs, charts, and traffic numbers—it’s also free!
Ultimate Google Analytics plug-in adds JavaScript to each page (without making any changes to your template) so that you can track outbound links, downloads from your own site, mailto links, and more without requiring you to install the code manually. Simply sign into your Google Analytics account to see your traffic data. The only downside to Google Analytics it doesn’t supply real-time traffic numbers.

There is so much more to SEO, again, I haven’t even begin to tip the iceberg. Free SEO education, including guides like this, are available on the web. Most like everything else in life, it depends how much time you put into it and your willingness to learn.  Only then can you be well on your way to mastering search engine optimization.

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7 thoughts on “What Is SEO

  1. I enjoyed reading about SEO. I’ve recently started using Google Analytics for the website of a client of mine, it seems to be a powerful tool. I’d like to try out the ultimate Google Analytics that you mentioned on my wordpress site, but I’m not sure how to install it. -Kharla, CS5711

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  2. Well put Pablo! SEO is very important and it’s something that many smaller businesses overlook- but shouldn’t! Kinda related/unrelated do you know of any good free WordPress plugins to track button clicks? (We want to track our subscribes and donates on Google Analytics) I’m trying to find a good one for my organization and don’t know if there are any that are more well known or reputable. Any tips would be very appreciated!

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