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SEO Series: Part 1 – An SEO overview

I think I’ve spent enough time trying to familiarise myself with SEO to be able to give you a brief SEO overview. I have been trying to put this off for a couple of weeks now in order to be able to give you a better guide. However, I think I’ll just start posting separate SEO posts over the next few weeks highlighting key aspects of this very important topics.

The first thing to note is that Search Engine Optimisation (in short SEO) is a topic that has many components. I could probably spend hours going on about them  (if I knew them all that is, haha). But it’s also a field that is constantly evolving as the internet, search machines and the technology surrounding the web evolves.

In short, good SEO should enable your website to occupy higher spots in searching rankings.

A few (of many more) points that have to do with SEO:

1.) What type of website are you running (is it a blog? an eCommerce store?)?
2.) Do you have great content? Will users who land on your page find it useful?
3.) How is your web page constructed (e.g. code used)?
4.) What hosting provider are you using?
5.) Whether you have a sitemap and how detailed it is.
6.) Whether you have ‘registered’ with Google and other search engines.
7.) The aesthetics of your site (hint: this site has got pretty simple aesthetics and therefore doesn’t rank highly on this metric alone).

Those are some of the positive differentiators that if done well can get your site rank higher than normally. The things to remember with SEO is that people actually have to find your site useful. If your visitors arrive on one of your pages, hang around for a long time and come back regularly, search engines will recognize this and will move your site up in the rankings for specific keywords. You have to remember that search engines have customers to: US! They want to be used over and over again and have to satisfy what the user wants. If visitors like your site and you attract decent swaths of people to your site, search engines will help you get towards the top of the ladder.

But you can also have plenty of negatives that will drag you lower. Doing things like repeating keywords over and over again in a non-sensical fashion in the hope of search engine algorithms ranking you higher. Or setting up loads of websites that all link to your main webpage in order to increase its ‘validation’. These things can easily be spotted by humans even if the algorithms can be fooled. Whilst these methods may have worked five years ago, they definitely don’t work in this day and age and will cause your site to get negative ratings and thereby lower places.

I’ll leave you with this great ‘periodic table’ which I found on searchengineland.com which highlights a lot of the key areas to focus on when aiming for that higher rank:

Periodic table giving an SEO overview

Periodic SEO Table (Source: SearchEngineLand.com)

As I mentioned this is just an SEO overview and I will go into more detail in future posts and highlight some of the areas that I think are important. This topic really is inexhaustible and I keep on discovering new things every time I discover helpful articles or online resources.

Happy Monday!

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