Search engine optimisation, also known as seo, is the task of ensuring that your website and it’s content is optimised to afford it the best possible chance of ranking well in the search engine results pages (SERPS).
Why worry about seo?
Clearly there is no point investing in a website for your business or for any other purpose if nobody actually finds it. Equally important is your site being found by targeted visitors, not just by random traffic/surfers who have absolutely no interest in what you have to offer.
Search engine optimisation therefore is an essential part of your online/internet marketing of you or your business because if your site ranks well in the SERPS for the best keywords and phrases for your business you will be guaranteed a steady pipeline of potential leads and new business.
Seo was seen as the preserve of techies and search engine optimisation experts, and best left to them, and this may have been true a number of years ago.
However some of the finest brains in the world are employed by the likes of Google and Yahoo to constantly improve their search engine algorithm (the scientific method by which the search engine companies rank web pages) and the result of this army of well qualified scientists’ work has been a huge improvement in the quality of their algorithm.
The result is that the search engines have become better and faster at finding, indexing and ranking the content of websites.
For this reason search engine optimisation is a much more straightforward task than it used to be and provided you follow some basic rules seo has been made accessible to ordinary website owners.
Off page seo and on page seo
There are broadly two aspects to search engine optimisation-on page and off page.
On page search engine optimisation
On page seo is what you do on your site to make it easy for the search engine robots to ascertain what your page is about and how it should rank in the search engine results.
On page search engine optimisation should see good use of
- good permalink structure
- title tags
- h1, h2, h3 tags
- alt tags for your images
- internal links
- including of keywords and phrases in your page content
- a relevant description of what your page is about
No rocket science there then..
(Read more about on page search engine optimisation)
Off page seo
Off page seo is what you or other people do away from your site to increase the likelihood of your web page being found and ranked well.
This essentially involves obtaining back links from other websites. Backlinks are seen by the search engines as votes of confidence in your website so the more votes or backlinks the better.
Better quality backlinks should be your goal as the value of huge quantities of backlinks from sources such as forums and article directories has been greatly diminished in the last 12 months by the search engines.
So, good quality backlinks from top sites with page rank (the higher the better) will see your site being boosted significantly in the search engine results pages.
(You might be interested off page search engine optimisation and 9 sources of backlinks.)
And ensuring that your investment of time and scarce cash begins to pay dividends and gives you a real and incrementally increasing return on one of the best investments you can make in your small business.
This free video about on page search engine optimisation is video 2 of a 3 part series about seo or search engine optimisation.
On page seo covers what you do on your website to ensure the best rankings in the search engines for your website for your target key phrases.
- video 1-an introduction to search engine optimisation
- how to build a website-3 free videos
- and video 3 which deals with off page seo.
There are two critical parts to great seo and website promotion of your website-on page optimization and off page optimization.
Many people debate about the value of each of these categories in terms of maximum search engine optimization of your site.
Our view is simple-we simply don’t know which is most important.
Because we have seen incredibly high search engine rankings for sites based on great on page optimization only. However we have also seen equally good results for sites through off page activity such as great back linking and social bookmarking.
The safest approach is to simply not choose between on page and off page optimization-you don’t have to-and every site that we build for ourselves are optimized both from an on page and off page perspective.
Because it is not and either/or situation.
On Page Optimization
So, what is category 1, on page optimization?
In it’s simplest terms it is making sure that what you do on your site follows certain key principles.
To ensure that Googlebot knows what your page or post is about you need to look after a few key essentials-
1. Put the key phrase you are targeting in the title of your piece, preferably early on in your title.
2. Put your key phrase in a h1 or h2 tag. This is easily done with WordPress through the “visual” segment of your “add new post” page in WordPress.
3. Put your key phrase in the first sentence and last paragraph of your piece.
4. Ensure you insert your key phrase as a post tag.
5. Ensure that you make good use of Latent Semantic Indexing (see below); don’t worry, it is not as bad as it sounds!
Your content will now be optimized for that key phrase and provided you write naturally you will invariably be using many related and nested key phrases in your content.
Don’t ever worry about keyword density and don’t forget to write for the reader/visitor as well.
Latent Semantic Indexing
Latent semantic indexing is a fancy way of describing the presence of related key phrases in a piece of content.
Googlebot will look at the top ranked sites for the key phrase that you are trying to rank for and which will be present in your content.
It will then check your piece for the presence of related words to your primary key phrase by reference to the top site.
If you write naturally and if you have done your key word research as I have outlined already the other key phrases you should have in your piece will be related and relevant.
This will ensure that your latent semantic indexing or lsi content is good.
This in turn will ensure that your piece ranks well in the Google index.
And not just for your primary key phrase but for your related and nested key phrases as well.
Check out web design Dublin also.
Search engine optimisation Ireland will involve the same principles of seo which apply across the internet.
There are two principal areas of search engine optimisation when seeking to ensure that your website ranks very well in the search engines, particularly Google.
On Page SEO
On page seo is basically how your site is set up and created in the first instance and then critical areas such as internal linking, proper meta tags and descriptions, proper categorization of your content, good keyword heavy titles and h1, h2, h3 tags and so on.
WordPress CMS (content management system) is what we use and recommend for the creation of seo optimized websites.
There might be some debate between users of Dreamweaver and similar programs and WordPress fans.
If you want to make fancy websites with stunning design features and all kinds of fancy bells and whistles this might be a debate worth having.
But when you want to develop your business and build an online presence for your business or brand there is no contest-we use and recommend WordPress.
WordPress allows the building of websites quickly and which are very easy to use, update and add all kinds of content to such as video, pictures and so on.
And with the range of plug ins and themes available WordPress is the perfect platform on which to build your website and which allows a huge range of themes to enhance the look and feel of your site.
WordPress Plug Ins
Here are some plug ins that are absolutely essential for maximum search engine optimization and Google juice.
Recommended Plug Ins
1. Akismet (anti spam)
2. All in One seo pack
3. Contact form 7 (or similar)
4. Dagon Design Site map generator (or other site map generator)
5. Google Analyticator (or similar Google Analytics plug in)
6. Google XML site maps
8. Yet Another Related Posts Plug in (optional)
You can choose any theme you like provided it has some common characteristics including
1. It should be fast loading
2. Simple design
If your site contains lots of content in either post or page format you will need to ensure ease of navigation for your visitors and this is easily achieved with WordPress built sites.
If you need only a 1 page site to communicate your essential details such as your contact details and primary areas of business then ease of navigation will not be an issue.
But you may wish to capture leads with a submittable form on your site and these leads can be followed up with an autoresponder series which will ultimately lead to more business for you.
The range of options that WordPress built sites make these types of website ideal for businesses and groups of any size because the range of options as to how you interact with your visitors is endless.
In addition to the free WordPress themes that you can pick up there are some top class paid themes.
Two of the top paid themes in use on the internet are the StudioPress range of themes built for the Genesis framework and a theme called Thesis.
We not only recommend the Studio Press themes and the Genesis framework, we are switching our top, non niche sites over to one of these themes.
We will do a full review of the Genesis framework for WordPress once we make the switch; you can check out StudioPress Themes for WordPress yourself in the meantime.