Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is often considered one of those secret things that are done way out of the view of the public eye. Although those successful at SEO often do have a great amount of knowledge and experience (that only comes with time), most SEO activities are logical and can be performed by anyone with basic Website design knowledge. Below are three basic but absolutely fundamental SEO related activities/concepts that every Website designer or owner must consider.
When less is more with SEO
You need to define what your Website or blog is about and keep the focus tight. What is meant by this is it is far better to focus on one (or a few) topics rather than 20 topics per Site. For example, suppose I have a Website called ‘The Gary Site’ and on this Site I only have content about famous people with the name Gary then it is simple for people and Search Engines to understand what the Site is about. If however, on ‘The Gary Site’ I include a windsurfing journal, WordPress articles, some architecture photos, a section with famous people called Gary etc. it is very non-specific and people (and Search Engines) will be ‘confused’ as to what the Site is about. Think about restaurants for example; those with a specific focus such as Thai food alone usually do far better than those who serve some Italian food, some Thai food, some French food, the occasional burger etc.
Content is king
With content, generally ‘more is more’ however the content MUST be original and compelling (it must be interesting to people engaging with the content). There of course are all types of content such as text, video and voice (e.g. mp3/podcasts) but always ensure that text descriptions are given for non-text content; non-text content either isn’t indexed at all by the Search Engines or the information isn’t processed in it’s entirety by the Search ‘bots. Original content of course may be created by visitors themselves such as with Wikis and Forums (think of YouTube and Wikipedia where almost all content is visitor generated).
SEO is logical
SEO is no mystery. It is common sense and hard work. Forget about trying to fool the Search Engines to get people to your Site. Think about what you like about your favourite Websites and what they are doing well. Make life easy for your visitors, have compelling content and let people know when you have original and valuable information on your Site. Answer questions such as; what will make visitors return to my Site? Will visitors find my Site useful? Do I have content that can’t be found elsewhere?
With SEO, the most important aspect of all is getting the basics right. Concentrate on a great experience for your visitors and the rest will fall into place!