Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a term thrown around a lot these days and you need to be able to understand it before trying to do well on sites like Google. Here are a few basics that might help you to understand what everyone is talking about:
Search Engine – websites like Google, and Yahoo (Bing) where you enter search word or phrase and a list of possible sites to go to for that information is provided
Meta-tags – the background information provided with all websites including title, description and keywords – these are visible by viewing the source code and looking at the very top of the screen (title) – they are used by Search Engines to help categorise sites
Source Code – the background coding used to tell your internet browser how to display a website and the search engines what is on your website. To view this hover over any website, right click then select “View Page Source”or similar from the options provided.
Title – possibly the most important information on your site for Search Engines – this is a short title given to your site/individual pages which is used by Search Engines when they categorise sites and is displayed at the top of your browser
Site Description – the second most important information on your site for Search Engines – a sentence that summarises the key information that your site/pages contains
Keywords (in relation to meta-tags) – background key words and/or short phrases associated with your site that help search engines to categorise your site – these are largely considered to be obsolete in the web world these days as Search Engines no longer give them consideration when categorising sites
Keywords (in relation to the visible content of your site) – the most important words/phrases in your site/pages which describe the site content and help search engines to categorise your listing.
Content – the text and images visible on your site which are relevant to browsers and search engines.
Links – text or images that you can click on to lead to another page or website.
Google Places – Google maps have a separate place where you can list your business and provide a wide range of links, images and information. These listings help Google to create the map related links near the top of their search results.
Social Media – free to use websites that allow users to connect with friends, colleagues or the public at large in a range of different ways. Some examples of Social Media include: Facebook (pages, groups, people and advertising), Twitter (max 140 characters per message – links possible), YouTube (video), Flickr (images), Pinterest, Picassa, Google+. Social Media can be used just to watch what is happening or you can actively participate by adding your own content to the individual sites. As a business you can utilise Social Media to connect with your customer base and attempt to generate more followers for your information. It is also possible to advertise on some sites such as Facebook and YouTube.
Blogs – articles that are written for the web and displayed on a privately owned or business website. The term Blog is also used to describe a website that is made up of lots of blog posts.
Google Adwords – paid listings on Google and/or Google-based search displays. On Google they appear at the top and the side of search results depending on how much you choose to spend per click/per day. These are managed yourself, including setting a budget, choosing keywords, demographics, timeframes and geographics. You also choose what links to put in place, a title and a short description for the ad. What you have to monitor carefully is who else is advertising and whether your clicks convert into business.
Google Adsense – displaying Google listings or Adsense search boxes on your own site in order to get revenue through browsers clicking on the Google Adwords links.
Sitemaps – a special file which is generated for your site describing what pages and content you have on the site. This can be submitted on a regular basis with any changes and helps Google and other search engines to categorise your site.
Ranking – where your website sits in lists of results on search engines for key searches.
Optimisation – the process of improving the ranking of your site for key searches on the major search engines – especially Google