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Week 10: Search Engine Optimization

This week we talked about search engine optimization (SEO), in other words how to make your website more accessible to search engines.

Search Engine Optimization

There are several ways you can improve the reach of your website in terms of SEO. Firstly, it can be divided in On-Site and Off-Site SEO. As the name implies, On-Site SEO consists of changes to the actual website to make sure it is found by search engines when people search for the topic it deals with. Off-Site SEO mean promoting your website through external means, such as social media or paid advertisements. Of course, both should be used to create the best effect.

On-Site SEO

SEO which does not make use of paid marketing strategies is called organic or natural SEO, while the opposite is known rather as Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

However, both pay attention to the kind of language which people use to search for the particular topic. This is known as Keyword Research and basically means that the kind of words people are likely to enter into a search engine are the ones that should appear on your website a lot. Keyword tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner and WordTracker can be used to measure the value of a keyword.

Keywords can and should be used about everywhere – website url and name, headings, posts, pages, tags and categories. Even links and images can be optimised through the HTML ‘title’ and ‘alt’ attribute. Most importantly, keywords relevant to each site should be present in the page’s title and first paragraph.

Off-Site SEO

You can further promote your website by submitting it to web directories, such as DMOZ, and to Google Web Tools & Analytics (or OpenAnalytics, an open source alternative). Another big factor in Off-Site SEO is the use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. They can also be used to interact with your audience and build a network with high ranking sites of a similar topic.


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