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Search Engine Optimization 101

seo by Shannon Noack on January 18, 2010 | 7 Comments

More and more people are looking to improve their search engine rankings. They want their company to come up first in their given category, or at least on the first page of results. But in order to improve your rankings, you have to understand how search engines like Google go about ranking sites and what exactly Search Engine Optimization means. We practice clean SEO here at Snoack Studios, and will share some of our tips in increasing your SEO in an honest and fair manner.

SEO Defined

Search Engine Optimization is defined by Wikipedia as, “the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results as opposed to search engine marketing (SEM) which deals with paid inclusion. Typically, the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image searchlocal searchvideo search and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web site web presence.” Simply put, SEO helps improve traffic to your website in a fair manner and boosts your search engine rankings.

How does Google rank sites?

Google ranks sites based on a number of factors. The main factors are incoming links, the rankings of those incoming links, and relevant content. Incoming links are the number of other sites out there that link directly to your site. The more sites that link to you, the better, and the higher their search engine ranking, the more points you score for that link. Relevant content is the biggest thing that you have control over. Don’t pack your site with meaningless junk content in order to boost your rankings. Include enough relevant content in order to satisfy users with good relevant information and give search engines lots of good keywords that will be relevant to searches. For example, I want people to find the Snoack Studios site by the words Snoack Studios, web design, print design and branding. So those keywords are mentioned throughout my site a number of times in order to satisfy readers and search engines, but it’s not done in excess, which will only hurt rankings.

Boost your rankings in your code

There are a few things that can be done behind-the-scenes in your code that can help your rankings as well. Unique page titles for each page help search engine rankings. This gives the search engines more keywords to look for in your site. Titles for your images and links also help rankings, just like page titles, they offer another chance for keywords. Unique page descriptions are yet another way to include more keywords.

Things that do not help your rankings

Google has recently released that they do not use meta keywords to rank sites. Keywords are what people search for, and those can be included in your site through content, page titles, link titles and image titles. But meta keywords are something different. They are defined in the header of the page and do not help you. Other things that could hurt your rankings are sloppy, unvalidated code and blackhat SEO methods. If you’re caught practicing unfair SEO methods, you could be blacklisted from search engines.

At Snoack Studios we take pride in providing clean code for our customers that is setup in a manner that only aids SEO in order to maximize search engine rankings. Keep in mind this is a very in-depth topic that we have only scratched the surface of today. Look for more posts coming soon on how to monitor your web users and maximize your search engine rankings.


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