What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how can you improve it for your website

If you want to hide something, hide it on page two of a Google Search result. (Pun intended) Who has the time to dig deep into another search result page? This is the reason you want your website content to appear on the first page of search results. This is called Search Engine Optimization.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
By focusing on one or two keywords and optimizing your blog and posts for them, you can improve your chances for appearing at the top of Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
So how do you improve SEO for your website?

Keywords

What is your blog post or website talking about? Keywords are the words or phases a website is talking about. keywords are what search engines zero on.
Choose your keywords carefully, but don’t go for the big, generic keywords, like “technology” or “marketing.” Chances are negligible that you will win that search battle. You should instead go for long­tail keywords, like 21st century technological trends or digital marketing best practices.

Headlines

This is the first place a website visitor will look. It therefore should be the first place to put your keyword. If you’re writing about smartphone battery life, your headline should be something like “5 Tips for Improving your smartphone battery life.” This tells the search engine what you’re writing about and tells the spider what it should be looking for when it crawls your site.

Anchor text

This can also be called hyperlinks. Search engines pay close attention to whether you put your keywords in your hyperlinks. If you’re writing about smartphone battery life, you need to create a hyperlink with those words that also leads to a site about the same thing. Never link to phrases like, “Click here for more information.”

Body copy

This is the actual text of the blog post  and it needs your keywords. If you’re writing for Search Engine Optimization, you need to target about 2% of the keyword density. That is, out of every 100 words, you should use your keyword two times. Going higher than 2% can make your writing sound forced. So, a 300­ word post should have no more than six occurrences of your keyword.

Backlinks

A bank link is an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website. The more links that point back to your blog, the more important Google thinks your site is.
You can build up your backlinks by leaving comments on other people’s blogs, using your blog URL in your email and forum footers, and, of course, writing quality content that gets other people to write about you.
Backlinks in blog comments do not carry much impact on your total SEO. Where the real backlink power comes from is when other people write about you or link to you on their blog. It also introduces you to new potential readers and social media connections, thus expanding your network.

Software

There are a number of applications available to help you optmise your site to be search engine friendly. WordPress has various plugins to help you in that process. These plugins monitor your readability and how the keywords have been used on your site.
The world of search engine optimization is complex and ever-changing, but you can easily understand the basics, and even a small amount of knowledge can make a big difference.

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