Understanding How SEO Works
If you have a website, you have probably heard of a lot of discussion about search engine optimization. This concept is not really about programming or anything that is highly technical. The basic premise is to make your website as easy as possible for the search engines to index. The idea is simple, but you have to understand how the search engines do it. Read this article to get a firm grasp of what SEO is all about.
The search engine crawlers look at one thing in your website. They look at the mark-up of your content. This is a coding language like HTML or PHP. They do not look at anything that is not text. So any images, videos, sound files and non-text content will be ignored.
When a search engine spider crawls over the text content, it is collecting data and content and storing it in its enormous database. If they come to a mark-up that is a link, they will follow that link to the landing page. These links are recorded, and the contents of the linked page are also indexed and stored. These tiny robots work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, continuously.
When the search engine robot reads content on a webpage, it reads like how any person would read, from the top, left to right, all the way to the bottom. If it detects mark-up for columns, it will read the web page column by column. It records everything that it comes across. As it records, it uses its algorithm to judge the relationship of the linked pages on topic relevance. When it detects an incoming link that has the same topic, that incoming link is given higher weight.
Knowing how the search engine crawler behaves, you can help it around in your website by organizing clear direction for the crawlers. Navigation menus are important to provide links to important sub-pages. Creating a sitemap that includes links to every page would be a helpful tool.
Your best keywords should be in your title because the crawler sees this as the basis of the webpage’s topic. Keep it to a two to three keyword word phrase that represents the topic the best.
The meta description tag is another area that the crawler looks at to glean information about the webpage topic. Use two to three, well-written sentences with good keywords. The title and description are index first because they are coded at the top of your page under the “head” tag.
As the crawler continues to crawl over your main content, it continues to collect data and determine the relevance of the content in relation to the title and description. Try to stick with one topic per page. If you have more than one topic, create a new page. This helps keep things organized and separated for the crawlers to they will not be distracted by other content on the same page.
Remember to keep your website simple and easy to read. It benefits your human readers, and it also benefits crawlers in giving your page the best rank possible based on your content. If you can do that, then you have figured out how to play the SEO game.