“I've waited for a thousand yearsFor you to come and blow me out my mind…”
Oasis “Lyla”

“You know, SEO is just like anything else.  If you take the time and effort, you can learn and understand it.”

“So, what are the components of SEO?”

“The simple answer is that SEO strength of a given website / web page is calculated from the text on the site / page and the links pointed to the site / page.”

“That´s it?  That´s not so difficult to comprehend.”

“Well, not so fast. Let´s start with the text on the page.  A long time ago, people were concerned about issues such a keyword density…however, such factors aren´t that important anymore.  The text on an optimized page should be written more for the people that read it than for the search engines…except it should contain enough words so that your targeted keywords are represented on the page in as many different permutations as that makes sense within the context of the writing.  One way to do this efficient is to write your text normally, and go back and “enhance it” with various targeted keywords so it still reads normally without seeming keyword-stuffed.  Also realize that words in the margins, header & footer aren´t given the same weight by the search engines as words in the body of the text…so if you think you can overload these areas with lots of keywords, you will find that effort will not reward you.”

“Now, that just applies to the text on the page…we still haven´t talked about the page code.  Don´t worry about whether your code validates and don´t spend any time with meta tags…they won´t help you rank.  Focus on the title tag:  that is the most important SEO element that you control.  Make sure your top 1-2 targeted keywords are included in the title tag…and try to put them at the beginning of the title tag for greater emphasis (though some sites that go for stronger branding place their brand ahead of their keywords). “



Planet of the Apes

“Your domain name is also something that´s within your control.  If your domain name is an exact match with the keywords you are trying to rank for (assuming your domain name is .com, .net, .org, or the cc.tld in the country that you are targeting), you have a huge advantage in being able to rank for that term.  However, if your domain name is brand new, you are left at a huge disadvantage for ranking well…search engine algorithms greatly favor websites that have been in existence for a long time (assuming the site has created and developed relevant content for its topic and not just been a parked page). “

“Now, the link component of the SEO equation is the hardest part to comprehend.  Some people think the more links to your site you get, the better it is for you…while this statement isn´t exactly false, there are so many factors involved in determine the value of links that I would shy away from making it.”

“First, you do want the links to your site to contain keywords that you wish to rank well for…however only to the extent that it matches a natural linking pattern (which is why it is so desirable to have your targeted keywords as part of your domain name).  If the overall link text to your website is algorithmically unnatural, your site will be devalued in the eyes of the search engines since it is expected that a certain % of your inbound links will contain link text such as “Link”, “Click Here”, “Company Name”, etc.”

“Secondly, it´s well known that the links that pass the most value are contextual links…links contained within content in the body of a given web page.  Search engines are now able to discern links placed in the header / footer / margin of the web page and devalue them accordingly.  Links placed on “Links Pages” (pages containing nothing but links to other sites) pass very little value and a website that builds links solely by trading reciprocal links with other sites instead of earning them editorially will not gain significant search engine traction (though a certain amount of reciprocal link trading is considered normal and natural).



Lisztomania

“Thirdly, a website has a finite amount of “link strength” that it can parcel out to other sites via linking out to them which means that the fewer outbound links on a page, the more “link juice” is being passed onto each site that it´s linking to.  If a website / web page is linking out to a large number of sites, even if that particular site / page is strong, the value to each of its link partners is greatly diminished.”

“Fourthly, a major component of link value is the topical nexus between your site and the site linking to you.  If the site linking to you is thematically similar, the link will be valuable…if not, it won´t.  It´s now also known that the geographical nexus between your site and the site linking to you is also important…a link to your site from a site in the same geographical region as you will carry much more weight than a link from a “distant geographical” site.”

“Fifthly, many links to your website can be generated from the social media sphere (e.g. Twitter, Digg, Reddit).  Some of these links will help you with your search engine rankings…some will just give you traffic with no SEO benefit (though Social Media visibility will often generate static web leads that will benefit your SEO efforts).”



Mars Attacks

“Now people are always focused on where they might rank for a particular term…but there are plenty of variables here too.  First, make sure you turn off personal search before trying to find your ranking.  Assuming this is done, your rankings will greatly depend on what types of universal search results Google throws into your search (such as videos, news items, images, blog posts, etc.) and where they are placed.  Also, if Google sees your search as having “local intent”, they will throw a ten (usually) pack of local results into the first page of search results (which makes it important that you claim and optimize your Google local listing).  Google can also geographically slant your results so that people in different parts of the country will see results in a different order (and if you´re not using the dot com Google, your results will be strongly slanted towards websites in that particular country).  Furthermore, the concept of “everflux” holds true which means Google is continually updating its index and shuffling its rankings making any meaningful measurement of rankings impossible.”

“Ultimately, SEO isn´t the ‘end game´…just a means to the end.  One doesn´t do SEO to get rankings…one does it either for lead generation or to increase revenue.  All these technical manifestations that I´ve just described have to be put forth in the context of furthering a business purpose.  ROI is the most important metric for SEO and if the ROI isn´t greater than the cost and the time spent, the SEO effort failed no matter the traffic and rankings.”

“To insure ROI, you need a site that´s not only professionally designed (and that doesn't contain any SEO obstacles), but one that contains a site architecture that works well for both the search engines (so they can spider and index all the site´s content) and for the users (who need to be given very definite paths for conversion).  The copywriting of the site also must be top notch…it must speak to the visitors and meet their needs.  It needs to sell them on the idea of conversion and offer a simple, painless process to turn a prospect into a sale or a lead.”

“And, the copywriting also must contain all the necessary components for successful SEO which are as follows…”



Barbarella