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Understand SEO and Implement a DIY Strategy

Updated on April 26, 2014

SEO Will Help your Website Achieve a Higher Search Position

Common SEO Terms

  1. Off Page SEO - This can be considered anything that benefits a website but isn't actually done on the website. i.e SMM is considered off page SEO.
  2. On Page SEO - On page SEO is any modifications done to a website or page to increase its search potential.
  3. Black Hat SEO - This is the worst kind of SEO. Some SEO groups deliberately use shady techniques in order to increase a website rank. The effects may be good for a while, but the benefits are definitely shortlived.
  4. White Hat SEO - This is Google, Yahoo and Bing approved SEO. Although most search engines pull results from Google, ensuring ease for all crawlers and bots will also help with a websites SEO.
  5. Back-Link - A link posted from anywhere on the web that directs to a website.
  6. Reciprocated Link - A link to a page that links back
  7. Webmaster - The administrator of a website is a webmaster.
  8. Google Juice - The spawned up phrase "increase Google juice" refers to a quality incoming link.

What is SEO and Why it's Needed

Whenever I'm explaining to a new webmaster that SEO is the reason they're website is not having a high search engine position, a common question seems to be a asked by nearly every webmaster. What is SEO?

Many, many years ago I too would have asked that exact same question.

After all, when websites where first being created and hosted, they where nothing like they are today.

A very simple page. Most HTML language scripts where undergoing updates and new languages where still being developed. The kind of websites being created had a much different target demographic then what they do now.

A simple search of what this very website, HubPages was like in 2001 will show how much they have changed.

Now, after all this time of being an SEO professional, the only real question I seem to ask myself is, what search engine will be the next leader in bringing quality results.

Not many people remember, but way back at the start of the whole search engine era, all we had was Yahoo!

The only reason they lost there glory was because in the end there marketing plan revolved around revenue raising - Keywords and the like where being sold at such a high amount that only spam and marketing reached the top ranks.

This cleared the way for a new search engine to make a name for itself. Guess who it was.


Google was the reasoning behind the need for SEO when they made there entrance.

No longer where keywords and other meta-data only used to rank a page.

When Google first came in there means of site ranking was, at the start, ingenious. Page-Rank!

Page-Rank was developed by Larry Page at Stanford University, that's the reasoning behind the branding. Page-Rank.

He devised a link analysis system. A system where each link is a vote. The more links equals more votes which gives a page a higher priority.

Unfortunately though, a lot of webmasters abused this attribute and called to action for Google to create a more complex algorithm to compensate.

That same algorithm has morphed into what it is today. Google is forever changing the way it's crawlers are programmed to asses and rank websites, ensuring a display of constant high quality search results.

Nowadays there are literally hundreds of deciding factors that effect a pages position.

So when I'm asked what SEO is, to avoid confusion from a client, I simply say that SEO will help any website achieve a higher search position.

The Expertise Behind SEO

Many factors are taken into account by an SEO expert.
Many factors are taken into account by an SEO expert.

Basic SEO Factors

The "SEO Pyramid".
The "SEO Pyramid".

Consider this before a DIY SEO Strategy

SEO is important, but it shouldn't be the only thing a webmaster is worried about on there website.

A website should always make a visitor happier before a search engine. If your visitors continually surf away from your page, search engines will notice it. They will also penalize you for it.

In actual fact, on page SEO should be completed before attempting any off page SEO. If a website isn't fully optimized first then any off page work wont have the desired effects, if any.

The reason being, how can a page target words and phrases if that page doesn't have any relation to those key-words being promoted.

A basic strategy consists of 3 prime factors.

  1. Links
  2. A search engine optimized page
  3. Quality keywords

These are all the fundamentals that must first be considered before endeavoring any work.

If a website fails in these three zones, a majority of the visitor traffic that page receives will not be coming from a search engine.

Increase Google Juice

Incoming links are commonly referred to as "juice". The appropriation comes as a reference to the increase in search potential gained.
Incoming links are commonly referred to as "juice". The appropriation comes as a reference to the increase in search potential gained.

Linking Strategies, Reciprocated and Back-link Building

A good linking plan plays an important role in the accompaniment of an SEO strategy. It's not the number of links that makes the difference in a search result. It's the quality of the links, individually.

Remember, only give and receive links from reputable websites that are of relevance.

There are 2 types of links used in SEO

  1. Reciprocated Links
  2. Back-Links

A reciprocated link is linking to a page that in turn links back.

A back-link is a one way link to a page that doesn't link back

Both of these links are effective at gaining keyword notoriety and at increasing a websites presence within a search result.

This is achieved as every link has anchor text. This is accomplished through the use of the title and/or alt text attributes.

Getting a quality link really isn't that hard nowadays. So many social sites allow you to place a link to your website in your profile page using the above attributes.

Ever heard the phrase "increase Google juice"? This is the term used for a quality incoming link.

SEO On a Website Should be the Primary Target

SEO is the "target" we are attempting to achieve.
SEO is the "target" we are attempting to achieve.

Increase Search Potential

S.E.O, the acronym for Search Engine Optimization.
S.E.O, the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. | Source

Implementing SEO on a Website

SEO on a website can take several hours to do correctly. It may come down to the script and coding used isn't adequate enough, in which case it is best left to us experts. However, there are basic things a webmaster can do in order to attain better performance.

Creating a more rich visitor experience can also help a search engine crawler when it comes to indexing. This can be done in several ways.

  • Hyperlinks

Using hyperlinks on your page appropriately can help a search engine crawler with building search relevance.

A hyperlink is the navigation links at the top of a website that when clicked on directs to another page.

Placing (not stuffing!) key-words here plays a beneficial role.

  • Use the h tag attribute

The h tag is used, consecutively, from 1 to 6. e.g h1, h2, h3, etc... It's role is used for headings on paragraphs, titles in dropdown menus, etc... For SEO purposes don't go past the h4 tag. You can use multiple amounts of one tag, but keep them in numerical order from h1 to h4.

Using text that helps users easily understand your content, with keywords in it, is also beneficial.

  • Optimize your p tags

The p tag is the paragraph tag. It can be used to place text, imagery, video and the like on a page. To increase search potential, place optimized and relevant text that engages users in this section.

Keywords Need to be High Quality and Effective

The right keyword choice makes a substantial difference in your websites search position.
The right keyword choice makes a substantial difference in your websites search position.

Where to Find High Quality, Relevant Keywords

Keywords are a major problem for some pages. Where to find them, where to get them, how to insert them, the meta-data used and so many other issues are faced by new webmasters.

Your niche defines the obvious choices - A pages content and target audience are where keywords should be derived from. Not a keyword that is only of interest to Google, Yahoo, Bing and every other search engines crawler.

All keywords should be discovered in context upon reading it. Without the need to stick out like a sore thumb. Keep everything concise and understandable.

Don't target keywords every other website is targeting. Doing so, if a website doesn't have the reputation yet, will accomplish nothing. The keywords of priority are keywords that have a low target rate. These are the diamonds in the rough when used correctly.

If your having trouble finding high quality keywords for Google, I have a hub that answers all that question and more.

The Keywords hub can be found at Google, Yahoo and Bing SEO Keywords.

Professional or DIY SEO?

Do you pay a Professional for SEO Services or Do It Yourself?

See results

© 2013 Martin Heeremans


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