What follows is my advice on SEO for beginners in search engine optimization. That being said, it would be a mistake to infer that the SEO advice and tips below do not apply equally to those more experienced, or are somehow watered down and not very effective.
The basics of SEO are the fundamental building blocks to achieving top search engine rankings, and in less competitive markets are often all that is required. It is simply that the SEO basics alone will not suffice if we wish to rank well for highly competitive terms like "internet marketing." Then we have do more in addition to the SEO basics and work harder to get any success.
Beginning The SEO Process
The first step is to identify the keywords each of your pages will target. It is crucial that you get this right. You need to know the words your potential visitors are typing into the search engines, and from among the many different keyword phrases that apply to your page you should select 2 or three to target: A main keyword phrase, plus one or two closely related secondary keyword phrases.
To select which phrases to target, you need to compare the number of searches done each month (use this free tool), with the number of competing pages listed in Google or Yahoo search results. You want to find the best combination of high searches and low competition.
The newer your site is, and the less experienced you are, should decide the maximum number of competing pages for a keyword phrase before you consider it too difficult and cross it off your list. This search term difficulty checker can help you.
The Most Important Places To Put Keywords For SEO
Once you have chosen your keyword phrases for a page, write a page title using your main keyword. Include one or both of your secondary phrases only if they fit nicely and the title still reads well.
Put your title text in the TITLE tag in the HTML page code, and also in a H1 or H2 heading at the top of your page. This should be your first textual content on the page.
Put your chosen keyword phrases into a meta keywords tag and a description of the page content in a meta description tag in your HTML code.
In all of these places, have your most important keyword phrase occurring first in the text as the ordering is seen as an indication of relevancy.
Other Keyword Considerations
The fewer the words in your title, meta keywords and meta description tags, the more relevancy points a search engine will give each individual word (e.g., 100% divided by 20 words gives 5% relevancy points for each word. 100% divided by 5 words gives a 20% relevancy for each). This is not a major issue in most cases, but should be born in mind.
Try to avoid repeating any word more than three times in either the title, meta description or meta keywords tags. And never stuff any of them with lots of keywords.
Consider separating keyword phrases in the meta keywords tag with spaces instead of commas. This enables search engines find exact matches to more search phrases. e.g., some SE's might not find a match for "submit articles" if your meta keywords tag contains "articles submit, articles submission"
More Important Keyword Uses For Effective SEO
Use your keyword phrases again in the first sentence or two right after your H1 (or H2) title. Also sprinkle them naturally throughout the content, and also at the foot of the page if possible, together with other synonyms and related words. Use your secondary keyword phrases in H2 or H3 subheadings where you can.
An image near the top of the page called "keyword-phrase.gif" and with an alt tag of "keyword phrase something" also helps.
Ensure that all internal links to this page use its keywords in the anchor text (the words you click on).
On site factors like these are only half the story though. For more advice on SEO, continue to the next page where we look at Off-Site SEO.