An Introduction To Search Engine Optimisation

Do you dream about searching, for example, ‘camping equipment’ and finding your camping equipment retail website on page one (at the top!) of the search results page? Good – that’s exactly what you should be striving for. At eSources we have gathered our best SEO people to help you achieve that goal.

In the coming weeks we will be publishing a comprehensive series of articles on the art and science of search engine optimisation (SEO), i.e., constructing and marketing your website in ways that will maximise the opportunity searchers will find your product when using keywords relevant to your product. Art and science? Indeed, there is a great deal of technical information that you should know that will help you position your web pages most favourably. Plus, there is a real art to creating a website that appeals to both your living and breathing customers and to those intriguing ‘web spiders’ that crawl around the Internet sorting out information.

Web Spiders

Our series starts at the beginning with explanations of web spiders and their crawling habits (Search Engines Deconstructed Part I) then describes how spider programs establish page rank and display results in search pages (Search Engines Deconstructed Part II). Finally, we introduce you to a very technical spidering process called Latent Semantic Indexing that helps spiders analyse the overall content of a web page (Latent Semantic Indexing). It’s important to understand these methodologies so that you can design your web pages to take advantage of the opportunities.

Key Words

We then show you how to identify the best key words to use for your product (The Key to More Traffic – Key Word Research) as well as how to analyse your competitions’ use of keywords (Key Word Competitor Research).

Structure

Search engines index pages depending on how a site is built and the value it provides to certain audiences or visitors. Search engine spiders crawl the Web and include web pages they find relevant within their search engine index. Our site structure article (Site Architecture) gives you tips on structuring your website to appeal to the spiders.

Naturally, your domain name is your first introduction to users and to spidering programs. Read our article (Choose Your Domain Name Wisely; It’s the Threshold of Your Marketplace) to make the most of your site’s moniker.

You may be surprised to learn that a sitemap helps more than your web’s users, it also helps web crawler programs understand and rate your site. Our article on site maps (A sitemap is Not Just a Map, it’s an SEO Tool) gives you pointers on why and how to develop a site map.

Page Specific Optimisation

After introducing the background information, we will provide you with very specific information about each section of your website, including your homepage (Tips to Improve Your Home Page), content pages (How to Attract Website Users with Content, Optimizing Web Pages and press release for SEO), images (Optimizing Images), flash elements (Optimizing Flash) as well as general tips about headlines, fonts and so on.

Linking and Appealing to Specific Search Engines

Yes, there is a good deal to balance in order to practice successful SEO – that’s the ‘art’ part of the science.

A second very important strategy for attracting spider attention is the use of links to other relevant sites. The better your links, the higher you are ranked. Our article (Linking Strategies) explains the reasoning and shows you how to put linking strategy into practice.

Plus, you need to understand that each of the major search engines has slightly different ranking rules. Our engine-specific articles (Optimizing for Google, Optimizing for Yahoo and Optimizing for MSN) gives you the scoop in each search engine’s preferences.

Now that you know what the search engines like, you need to also know what they don’t like. Some tactics are considered no-nos and you can be penalised. Read our article (Avoiding Search Engine Penalties) to stay out of trouble.

Bottom Line

Whew! Now that you’re an SEO expert, let’s return to basics. Bottom line, the best way to achieve excellent search engine rankings is to be sure that your site is full of useful content to your users (SEO is Making Your Site Meaningful) and it’s intuitive enough to be easily usable by your users (Putting Yourself in Your Customer’s Shoes).

Prosperous Reading!

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