We have all heard the advice about Search Engine Optimization. You might have also read my article about Danny Dover’s book SEO Secrets. However, I realized that our blog hasn’t outlined the basic SEO concepts that are important to small businesses, interns, online retailers, etsy merchants, and entrepreneurs.
As I have entered this line of work, I have found that nearly everyone should have some basic knowledge of SEO under their belt in this complete techno-turnover in business. I am simply going to list terms and definitions because I don’t think there is another site that breaks SEO down into the simplest of elements:
- SEO: the process of naturally affecting the visibility or ranking of a website or web page on search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing.
- Google: Created by Larry Paige and Sergey Brin in 1996 with the goal of developing an integrated and universal digital LIBRARY. Google was actually based on the scholarly model that libraries use to find articles and research. This is why keywords, titles, and headings are so important, that was how college students used to find research in the olden days.
- Keyword: What targeted prospects are likely to search for. A word or phrase that implies a certain mindset about a product, service, or article.
- Robots.txt: “A file that sits in the root of a site and tells search engines which files not to crawl”—Search Engine Marketing Glossary
- Sitemap: A page that gives secondary routes to navigate through your site. These should be useful to humans, not search engines. They should usually be on your homepage, and use anchor text to help search engines identify individual site pages.
- Anchor Text: This is the text that a user will click on to follow a link. This is another way that search engines will classify your site, depending on what words are used when other people link your site.
- 301 Redirect: This means, “this site has been moved permanently to a new location.” If you change the URL or permalink for your site, then if anyone has linked it prior to that, your site will not be found. Make sure you do not break your links or Google can ban you.
- Spam: This is bad. You do not want to sound/look/act/breathe like spam because Google will lower you in rank. The guidelines that determine “appropriate” marketing techniques change all the time, but you are probably safe if you follow these guidelines: do not build up low quality links, do not host large quantities of duplicate content, do not pay someone who promise to give you a “higher ranking.” Stay updated with the latest SEO rules/regulations.
- Google Keyword Tool: This is a brilliant way to keep up to date with Google traffic. Search the keywords you are using in this amazing tool and find out how many people are searching for it, and what your competition is like. It also suggests other keywords that can help you heighten your ranking.
This is not a complete list by any means, but it is all you need to get started. I would highly recommend trying SEO yourself, or hiring an intern to do it for you. I would not recommend hiring any company that PROMISES to make your site rank higher because a lot of these companies have been busted for fraud. SEO should be an organic and creative process and it really relies on discovering unique keywords and understanding your target audience. If you have any questions, leave a comment!
Lastly, I will be writing an article about “stuffing,” which is the old way of doing SEO that CAN get you BANNED from Google. Look for it in the upcoming weeks.