A Single Step
Welcome to my quest to become an internet marketing Jedi. Follow me as I learn SEO, Affiliate Marketing, Niche Marketing and other online money-making strategies. Hopefully, some of you will learn from my baby-steps. Perhaps, one day, when I've mastered all this, I'll teach you.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

On-Page SEO

Hey, everyone.

Just to review, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  It's all the things you need to do to get your site/blog noticed by search engines like Google and Yahoo.  As I've said before, from what I'm learned, search engines rank search results by two criteria; relevance and popularity.  On-page SEO is things you can do directly on your site/blog and to tell the search engines what your site is all about.  This helps them decide if your site is relevant to a given search.  Off-page SEO is things you do OUTSIDE of your site to show that it is popular and most likely authoritative.  this mostly involves creating back-links.  That's when other sites post a link to your site; not the other way around.  Each back-link is like a vote for your site.  The more you have, the more popular and authoritative your site appears to be to search engines.

Right now, I'm gonna focus on on-page SEO.  My plan is to use the top 10 or 20 on-page SEO techniques on this site before moving on to any off-page SEO stuff.  I figure, before I try to gain popularity, I better make sure I've established my relevance.

It all starts with your key words.  Again, key words are the words you type into a search engine to find what you're looking for.  You need to figure out what key words other people will type into a search engine to find the kind of information you have on your site.

Most on-page SEO is about using your key words in the right places.  A lot of this involves HTML code.  That's the computer code all websites and blogs are based on.  I know, I know; it's a scary foreign language few of us understand, but the good news is, you probably don't need to MASTER HTML to use it.  You just need to know enough to change what you wanna change and if you do a search for these things, you're bound to find a blog or website that tells you EXACTLY what to do.  Don't go monkeying around with the HTML unless you have a clear idea of exactly what you need to do, which isn't hard to find.

Anyway, after doing a quick Google search and polling a few first-page results, I've come up with the following list of the most important on-page SEO techniques:

1. Title Tags:  You title tags are the hidden code (or "meta" code) that can be seen at the top of your browser and in your search results.  See the text at the VERY top of your browser right now?  That's the title tag for this page.  Also, when you search for anything, you see the title tag at the top of each search result; the text you click on to see the page for each result.  You've got to have some good key words or key word phrases in you title tag.  In your HTML, you title tag looks like this: <title>Your site:page name</title>.  Something like that.  If you know how to view your site's HTML, you should be able to 'Find' your <title> tag and change it to whatever you want people to see.  The title tags should be 10 to 60 characters with only letters and numbers in them.

2. Header Tags (H1, H2, and H3 Tags):  The H1 tag tells search engines what the topic of each page is about; not the topic of the whole site, just the topic of each page.  There's a great article on everyjoe.com that explains it like this.  Imagine your site is like a report like the kind you had to write in high school and college.  The title tag is the title of your report.  The H1, H2, and H3 tags are the main heading, sub-headings, and sub-sub-headings respectively.  The lower the number, the more important they are.  Again, if you can find these in your HTML, you can edit them, but make sure you look up some good directions on how to do that first.  I'm not knowledgeable enough to do that now.

3. Your Domain Name:  Your domain name is the name of your site.  It's the part that comes after "http://..." and ends with .com or .net. or .org or whatever.  For example: www.yourwebsite.com is a domain name.  Use one or two of your top key words somewhere in there.

4. Your URLs: Now, the difference between a domain name and a URL is a bit tricky.  It took me asking for help on Warrior Forum to figure this out.  Basically, your domain name is the address of your site, but your URLs are the addresses of each page ON your site.  One guy on Warrior Forum explained it kinda like this: He said your domain name is like a city and your URLs are the addresses WITHIN the city.  Anyway, you're suppose to throw in a key word or two into your URLs on top of the ones you put in your domain names.  Just make sure the name of each page has a key word or two in it.  I think you do this using the header tags I talked about in #2.

5. The Meta-Description: Again, "Meta-", when it comes to websites, means HTML that is not normally visible on the site, but may be somewhere else.  The meta-description is not seen on the website, but it's seen in the search results.  Remember in #1 when I told you that the title tag is the text you click on for each search result you get?  Well, the meta-description is the short description of the site that appears right underneath the clickable title.  This, again, is something you have to go into your HTML to change.

6. Key-Word Density:  This is how many times you use your key words on each page.  From what I've read, it seems like you wanna have a key-word density of about 2%.  I think that means you want your key words to be 2% of the total number of words on each page.  There's plenty of online tools to help you figure this out if you search for them.

7. Internal Linking: This is just when you link your pages together by having a link to you other pages on each page.  I don't think every page has to have a link to every other page, but a person shouldn't have to click more than three links to get from one page on your site to any other page.

8. Good Content:  This is almost self-explanatory.  If you've got good content, people will keep coming back and linking to you.  Give them value.  Entertain them.  Help them with something.  Show them a product or some information that'll make their lives easier. 

9. The Beginning and The End:  You're 'spose to use your key words in the first and last 50 to 100 words on each page.

10. Alt Image Tags:  If you use any images on your site, those images are bound to have HTML tags of their own.  If you can find those tags, you can throw in some of your key words in the description on each image.

Well, those are about the ten most important things you need to do, again, according to the websites that turned up when I searched for the "most important on-page SEO techniques".  I've done some of these with this tie already, but I need to finish doing all of them.  I'd post links to instructions on how do do each of these things, but it depends on what site you're using.  

By the way, you'll notice I put almost all the the items on my list on bold type.  I've read that putting your key words in bold, italic, or underlined type is another way of putting emphasis on them and telling the search engine crawlers they're important.  "Crawlers" are the little programs that come and sniff around your site and inspect it and then report back to the search engine about how well constructed and popular your site is.  If you've got everything fine-tuned, they'll give a good report and you'll climb those search engine ranks.

Anyway, good luck with your endeavors.  See ya 'round.

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