Search Engine Optimisation, also known as SEO, is the art of making web pages rank high in search engines for keywords that are relevant for the topic or the niche of the website. SEO is rather an art than a science, because the line between awesomeness and search engines penalties is sometimes so thin that nobody can know what to do for not breaking it.
SEO is usually an important part of every online marketing campaign, even if it only brings results on long term. Combined with search engine marketing, it is a powerful promotional tool that can bring a significant number of qualified leads to a landing page, thus increasing the chances for profitability.
The first thing to know when thinking about SEO is that your website needs to be built with it in mind form the very beginning. On-site SEO rules have to be considered, so that the code is optimised for search engines to detect which are the most relevant keywords for a certain page. This means all “title” tags should contain the main keywords for each page and the “description” tags should contain a brief but compelling description of the page topic which should entice people to click on that particular snippet in order to read more. Moreover, the main keywords should only be mentioned with a density of maximum 2%, otherwise the page may get an over-optimisation penalty from Google. Other on-page SEO elements that should be considered are the H1, H2 and H3 tags. All black hat practices should be avoided, therefore the site wonder or manager should closely keep in touch with the SEO or internet marketing agency and be aware at all times of the methods used for all SEO campaigns. Once you get a penalty, it is very hard to remove it, therefore it’s best to avoid it at all costs.
Before writing the copy for your website, you have to do a proper keyword research, in order to determine which are the most relevant keywords that also have enough search volume to be worth pursuing good rankings for. This research is also part of the SEO process and it is done with the help of several online tools, an example being Google Keyword Planner, free tool available in the Google AdWords dashboard.
Off-line search engine optimisation should also be treated with great care. It refers to your inbound links from other websites and it is very important. All other things being equal, the page with the greatest number of relevant links wins the search engine rankings battle. However, Google doesn’t accept buying links, so you shouldn’t attempt to do this, or you risk a severe penalty that may cost you the business. Links should be freely given by other webmasters, only because they want to quote your pages, therefore great content is also a crucial part of a good SEO strategy. You need to offer information which is so exciting and interesting that it makes people want to share it on their blogs or Facebook pages. If you are good, they will link to you and search engines will notice and reward this by ranking you higher.