Seo How To Work With The Engines
There has been much talk in the past about the relationship between the SEO practitioner and the Search Engines like Google. Some people see it as a war between the two parties, whilst the others see it as a matter of co-operation and working together to meet the same aims.
True the two don't see eye to eye all the time, the Engines wanting to get the very best sites listed for any given term, while the SEO professional just wants the site they are working on on the front page, as that is after all how they make their money.
There is however a way of pleasing both of these groups, and in reality it is quite simple. All you have to do is have something interesting to say or sell and then say it in a way that the Engines understand.
These two goals are however not always that easy to reach, many sites in reality having little to say or to offer that is different from the masses, which of course makes it difficult to get to that first base, the most important base, which is to have GOOD CONTENT.
It is however possible (with lots of work) to achieve the goal here, but it will take extra time and thought at the copy stage, and if you are selling products, you will have to look at creating your own product descriptions, in other words don't use an 'xml feed' from another source (which will make your site look exactly the same as thousands of others), at least if you want these product pages to get ranked.
So, with this bit of extra work on the copy, you now have to use it and lay it out in a way that the Engines can read and understand.
Trickery? No - Convincing? Yes
This leads me back to the title of this article, you see, Search Engine Optimisation is NOT about 'Tricking' the Engines. Instead it is all about 'Convincing' them that the page is worth listing.
It is much the same process as any salesperson will do with a customer, they don't (should not) trick the person into buying their products, but instead lay out the benefits of ownership and show that it will meet their needs, all in a way that convinces the person to buy.
It is just this process that is required with SEO. In the case of the engines, they after all just want to list a page that meets their needs, which is a page that matches the selected search term either in 'word match' terms or in terms of 'what that page is all about' (the latter by the way is increasingly being used by the Engines these days, they are getting very clever about realising that a page all about canines is also all about dogs - even when the word 'dog' is not even on the page - another story here).
So how to Convince the Engines?
The big question is thus, "So how do I convince the Engines then?" In basic terms this means:-
1. Use the TITLE (the one shown at the top of the Browser, the META Title) to describe what the page is all about.
2. Make sure you also back this up by using the META Description and Keywords areas. It is true these Meta areas don't help a lot in SEO terms, but the description could well be used in any SERPS listing and a good one can make all the difference to getting a click through or not.
3. Ensure that the 'on Page' Titles use the old fashioned Header Tags (h1 - h6) as the Engines are under the impression that these highlight the important words on a page (it all goes back to the early days of Printing and 'mark up languages' - yet another story)
4. Use the words you are want to get listed for (and words that are like those that you want to get listed for) in the body copy, the density of these being something around 2 - 4%.
5. Interlink your pages in the site using these terms (again the engines take note of the use of links on a page and all those links too that page - whether from the same site or another one).
6. Try to use at least 350 words on a page
All of the above will help you convince the Engines to list your page.
Is there more to it than that? Well of course there is, the biggest area being that of Links from other site, known as 'Off Page' optimisation. This area is one that also needs attention if rankings are wanted and again is all about common sense and logic.
by: Graham Baylis