Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the same thing as search engine marketing. It is the process of building, designing and writing your website so it shows up on the first page of results on search engines such as Yahoo, Google and Ask Jeeves. Over 100 factors--per web page--contribute to search engine optimization. The time to consider thinking about SEO is before you name or design your site!
The goal of search engine marketing is to position your website so that it appears on the top page of search results. If your company is not listed on the front page of a search query, it is not considered 100% optimized. People are most likely to find what they are looking for within the first page and not likely to go to page 2, page 3 and beyond.
Here some factors contributing to SEO success:
Keywords. Keywords play a huge role in the search engine optimization of our website. We perform targeted keyword research for our customers to determine which keywords searchers are using to find goods and services in your industry. Places that keywords can be effect your search engine ranking are:
- Domain Name (widgets-in-Dallas-Texas)
- Page Titles (Fort-Worth-Search-Engine-Optimization)
- Meta Tags in your HTML (Title, Description, Keywords, etc...)
- Alt Tags in your HTML (Describes each picture)
- Photo Names (Name your photos after keywords)
Ethical SEO practices prohibit "keyword stuffing" or adding keywords to your page just for the sake of adding them so you must be very careful not to overdo it. Keyword stuffing or other tricks can trigger Google's Penalty Filter and you'll be miserable if you do.
Clean Code. It is crucial that your website be programmed correctly in order to achieve maximum results in the search engines. Search engines are computers, and can only read code that is properly written. The Marketing Shop.com uses CSS and other clean code factors to keep your webpages as clear as possible and visible to search engines.
Relevant Content. People are looking for information. Search engine crawlers do their bidding. It's crucial to build your website around the things that people are searching for. You need a heavy dose of relevant content about the things that interest the web surfers you're targeting. For the real estate website this includes information on your city, area, neighborhoods, home types, etc... The MLS / IDX search feature is considered content as well. Anything that informs your visitor in a way that no one else is will help your site be more successful.
Few Graphics. Search engines cannot read graphics, therefore they are of no benefit to our website as far as SEO. But, graphics are an important element to human visitors. Some people don't like to read as much as others. Striking a balance between the needs of search engines and humans is challenging. We build most of our websites with a limited number of small, optimized graphics and only a little (if any) Flash.
Fast Loading Pages. The faster your page loads, the easier it is for the search engine crawlers to index your web pages. It takes a skillful web designer to create a website that looks complex, but actually is quite simple and fast loading.
The primary search engines to be concerned about are Google and Yahoo because that's where many searches occur. However, to be truly optimized for the search engines, it is also important that your website get to the top of other portals as well such as Netscape, AOL, MSN, and the like. Here is a list of major search engines:
Search Engine Optimization