Below find an excellent
article for anyone trying to understand Search Engine Optimization. Written
in layman's terms!
SEO for CEOs
Search Engine Optimization Unmasked for CEOs
By Glenn Murray *
If youre like
most other CEOs, the term search engine optimization will
mean very little. Either that or it means expense! But it doesnt
have to be that way
If you feel like youre standing in a dark
room handing money to strangers to get you in the search engines, then
this article is for you.
This is an article
written by a business owner for other business owners and CEOs. It explains
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) in laypersons terms. It wont
make you an expert, but it will give you some insight into what youre
spending your money on, what you should be spending your money on, and
just as importantly, what you shouldnt.
But before launching
straight into an explanation of SEO, lets talk a bit about search
engines. Approximately 75%-80% of website traffic comes through search
engines. Whats more, research shows that most people dont
look beyond the first 2 pages of search results. This means if your website
doesnt rank in the first 2 pages of the major search engines, its
only receiving 20% of its rightful traffic
and revenue. (And remember,
being ranked number 1 when you search for your company name or web address
doesnt count. You need to rank highly for the words your customers
use at search engines.)
The biggest concern
for search engine companies like Google, Yahoo, etc., is finding content
that will bring them more traffic (and thus more advertising revenue).
They do this by using complex algorithms to determine whether a site is
useful and should be included in their search results.
This is where SEO
SEO is the art of
ranking in the search engines. Nothing more, nothing less.
SEO means creating
your site such that the search engines consider it useful. The two main
weapons in your arsenal are:
- Links to your site
Figure out what words
your customers are looking for at search engines, and use those words
at your site. By frequently using keywords that are important to your
customers, you tell the search engines what you do. These keywords are
used in your copy and in the code behind the page. Generally speaking,
the more you use the keywords, the more relevant you are to searches in
Keywords in Your
The use of keywords
in your copy is easy to understand. But its not easy to do. You
cant just pepper your site with a meaningless array of words. The
trick is using the most important keywords a lot without compromising
the readability of your copy. Its a balance between writing for
the search engines and writing for your reader.
TIP: If you
find this too time consuming, a website copywriter can take care of it
for you. And if you know your keywords already, it should cost you no
more than normal web copy.
Keywords in Your
The use of keywords
in your HTML code is harder to understand, but its easier to do.
There are four main places these keywords are used:
TIP: When you
hear people talking about meta tags, this is what theyre talking
about. To see how meta tags are used in practice, go to Google and pretend
youre a customer. Search for something your customers would search
for. e.g. If youre in car audio, search for car audio.
Click on the first couple of results to bring up their website. Right-click
on the home page, and select View Source. Youll see
a whole lot of code. You can ignore most of it. What youre looking
for are the following
CONTENT="keyword 1,keyword 2,keyword 3"
CONTENT="Meaningful description of page using the main keywords"
alt="Meaningful description of picture using the main keywords"
title of the page using the main keywords</title>
Take a look at the
way the creators of the site have used keywords in these areas, and follow
their lead. You already know theyre ranked highly, so chances are
theyve done a good job. Alternatively, take a look at my site, http://www.divinewrite.com
to see how Ive done mine.
LINKS TO YOUR SITE
Now that you know
how to tell the search engines what you do, lets talk about how
to convince them youre important.
Links to your site
(or inbound links) are the most important factor in ranking.
The more links you have to your site from other sites, the better your
ranking (related sites generate better rankings).
of the Internet as a big election. All the websites in the world are candidates,
and all the links to those websites are votes. The more votes (links)
a candidate (website) has, the more important it is, and the higher its
There are many possible
ways to generate links. Some are dubious (like auto-generation software).
Others are legitimate, but offer limited results (like asking customers
and suppliers to list you on their sites, and adding your site to various
business directories). You can experiment with these methods, but Ive
always found the best way to generate inbound links is to write helpful
articles and let publishers of newsletters and e-zines use them for free
on the proviso that they link back to your site.
People who publish
e-Zines and newsletters are always hungry for quality content. And there
are websites out there dedicated to giving them just that. If you submit
a well written, relevant, helpful article to one of those sites, you can
have thousands of newsletter publishers ready to snap it up. Then you
just sit back and watch the links multiply!
TIP: This method
is beneficial in other ways too. Readers of your article will see that
you know what youre talking about, and because youre published,
theyll see you as an authority.
to say how much time youll need to spend generating links. You just
have to keep at it until you have achieved a high ranking. Even then,
youll still need to dedicate some ongoing time to the task, otherwise
your ranking will drop.
So to cut a long story
short, it comes down to this. If you have a lot of the right keyword phrases,
used in real sentences, distributed realistically throughout your site,
and a lot of links from other relevant sites, you stand a good chance
of being ranked highly.
Thats what youre
paying your providers for. And thats what SEO is all about.
* Glenn Murray is
an advertising copywriter
and heads copywriting
studio Divine Write. He can be contacted on Sydney +612 4334 6222
or at firstname.lastname@example.org.