Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is crucially important in achieving high search engine rankings in Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. There are three key factors essential to search engine optimization success:
- Technology under the hood
- On-page optimization
- Off-site optimization
Technology Under the Hood
If the wrong technology is utilized on a web site, the search engine spiders that crawl the site cannot understand its content. Technologies that are not search engine friendly, such as Flash, should not be used. While it is possible to get pages ranked using these technologies, it is quite difficult. It is recommended that you choose technologies that allow the search engine spiders to crawl everywhere on the site. Use a text browser, such as Lynx, to view sites as the search engines see them. Most modern content management systems play well with the search engine spiders and are a safe choice from an SEO standpoint. The web site technology you should use depends greatly on the purpose of the web site.
On-Site optimization is how the content is presented on the page. Arguably, this is the most important part of search engine optimization. How the information is displayed on the page makes a huge difference in rankings. Things like page titles, the proper use of headings, meta keywords and meta descriptions, keyword density, and the effective use of ALT tags. Many web sites use too many keyword phrases per page, which is a very poor practice. They will not rank well rank against sites that use only one primary keyword phrase and possibly one or two secondary phrases. Trying to be all things to all people on one page is a good formula for failure.
Off-site optimization is a very broad category that describes any web site that links to yours. Generally speaking, the more external links you have the more you are seen as a subject matter expert. External links come from a variety of sources, such as Internet directories, trade organization directories, social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and informational sites such as Wikipedia. While external links are very important for search engine rankings, web sites with great on-site optimization will frequently outrank sites with many external links, but poor on-site optimization. The key to great rankings is to put a lot of effort into both on-site and off-site search engine optimization.