Understanding the basics of SEO
If you have a website, whether you are a small business or an individual, and you wish to have more traffic to your site, you must understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO as it is commonly referred). And while there are those which would make you believe that SEO is coding, text, and a bunch of very technical stuff, the truth is that it is not incredibly difficult to understand. True, there are some advanced techniques which would be left to the professionals, such as analytic analysis, website design, and key word density research, but for the most part you can start getting your site SEO equipped if you know the basics.
Why should you know SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the only real way in which a website and a search engine communicate. Search engines look for various content on websites and then they compile a list of those sites which best meet that which is being searched for. These show up on what is known as the SERP or Search Engine Results Page. This is the page that you see when you type any word into Google, Bing, Yahoo, or MSN search. Now, most of us understand that to have more visitors, you need to be at the top of the first page. This is a bit idealistic, as you are competing with over a billion sites. However, if you can get on the first page, then your chances are greatly increased. Think about it. Do you ever really look at page 5 or 10 or your search results? Probably not.
SEO is the only way to get better SERPS.
What is the first step in SEO?
The first step in getting your site ready for SERPs through Affordable SEO is to have great content on your site. It may sound a bit rhetorical, but having text which is full of grammatical errors, misspelled words, and stuffed with unnatural wording will not bring you many visitors. There is a misconception that if someone saturates their site with a keyword, that it will make it easier for the SERPs to find the site. While this is somewhat true, it is also dangerous. As the analytics which search for content also look for sites which are spammy, a site which has too many keywords may be viewed as malicious or as spam.
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When creating your keywords use long strings and vary the content. The more natural your page reads, the more apt you are to have viewers read the content and share snippets of the content. And as your SEO is greatly dependent upon building up the views and shares, having readable material is the first step.
By this I do not mean that you need to start buying green technology and eating foods which have no pesticides (though it would not hurt), but rather that you make a means to create content through others. When others view your site and leave comments, or share the content, this is known as organic. Organic content is great for SEO as it shows that others are interested in what you have to say, sell, or offer. Primarily, your sites organic content is built with a collaboration between the media and images on your site and social media.
More than just words
Beyond the words and the organic content are the videos, images, and multimedia engrafted into the site. A website which is properly SEOed will have tags and alt-text added to this content. This is where it is useful to have a professional. If your site has a great deal of visual content (and most sites are starting to go that way) then you will need to have the appropriate tags on your images, videos, and such to make them searchable. Keep in mind that the goal is to make the content of your site able to be found on search engines.
The Cycle of SEO
When you perform SEO on your site, you will not see the results immediately. The reason for this is due to the way in which search engines process their algorithms. Generally, you will see some results in a few days to a week. However, it really takes about a month to get all of the SERPs for all of the pages solidified. That is the good news. The bad news is that SEO is an ongoing process, not a one time thing. You might be at the top of the SERPs one month, but if there is not new organic content, or if your site sits dormant, it could quickly drop to page 4 or 5 of the search engine result pages. If you do not have the time or commitment to keep up the SEO of the site, it is recommended that you use a professional service.
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