SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, can be a very confusing subject to study at first; however, it’s not really that confusing at all! If you approach SEO, the way that you would commonly search for things, you’ll soon find out that you already know a lot more about optimizing sites for search engines than you thought.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO is the practice of improving and promoting a web site in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines. – SEO Moz

To begin with, you have to know how search engines operate. I remember the first time I met a “web crawler”. It was Google’s web crawler. Web crawlers are constantly archiving and reading websites. Once the web crawlers are finished “crawling”, the information is sent into an archive, and then the search engine deciphers the archive.

So how would your link make it to the top of the results?

There’s a lot of factors that go into that, but for the most part, it’s because it’s the most popular link on the subject or on the “keywords” that the crawler has archived.

Simple Ways to Optimize Your Site for the Search Engine

  1. This may seem obvious, but in case you didn’t know, you should write content for your audience. Don’t write content for the search engine.
  2. Search Engine Crawlers take note of your site map and the hierarchy of links that you use. Make this logical to your user and it’ll be logical to the search engine.
  3. Write pages as accurately as possible and title your blog posts well.
  4. Don’t put an unruly number of links on any one page.
  5. Make sure to use ALT tags! They help make your website more accessible to those who use screen readers and crawlers read them. They are plenty of WordPress plugins for image ALT tag creation.
  6. Use a clear link structure like: http://katieallred.mystagingwebsite.com/blog or katieallred.com/contact, instead of katieallred.com/120083.php?/23232
  7. If your content is rich media heavy, like Flash, videos, or Ajax, make sure there is some descriptive text somewhere on the page to help the web crawler understand what the page is there for.
  8. Meta tags are still important, particularly the title and description tags, make sure that you still utilize these in your pages.

For more information, visit SEO MozGoogle, or Bing. Additionally, if you need some help understanding the vocabulary used by those in SEO, you can check out this sweet vocabulary list.

  • Do you think SEO is important for every website, even the small sites, like a local produce stand?
  • Do you think that web firms need to have a person on staff that specializes in just SEO?
Katie Allred

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