Understanding SEO foundations is the key to SEO Success
Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a complicated practice.
Many variables affect your site’s search engine rankings. Things like hidden text, keyword stuffing, and other questionable practices can all negatively affect your website’s search engine rankings.
At the same time, valuable links, logical site architecture, and structural attributes can boost your search engine rankings. What’s a newbie to do? With so many different SEO factors to learn, it’s easy to get discouraged – especially when you’re just starting out.
The Goal of SEO
Despite the many SEO intricacies, the basics of SEO are not difficult. The goal is simple. SEO is the practice of getting your website ranked in the search engines for keywords. The target search engine is usually obvious: make it happen in Google. The reason for SEO is also easy to understand: to get more free traffic sent to your website.
The way you get rankings in the search engines come down to two elements: on-page factors and off-page factors. Each of these factors affect how the search engines rank your website’s pages by the search queries users type. On-Page factors include everything on your website that helps the search engines index your web pages. Some of the factors you can change and some you can’t (like domain). On-Page factors include:
- URL and Domain
- Keyword in title tag
- Heading tags (H1, H2, etc)
- Navigation (few clicks to any page)
- Freshness of pages
- And much more…
However, the more important factors related to SEO are the Off-Page Factors. Off-Page factors mostly relates to the quality and quantity of links pointing back to your site, or backlinks. There are different opinions about how important Off-Page elements are. SEO expert Jill Whalen suggests Off-Page factors are responsible for 70% of your SEO success. In other words, if you want good organic rankings in Google, you must have good links. Off-Page factors include:
- Total incoming links
- Incoming links from high-ranking pages
- Anchor text of inbound link
- Directory links, especially from DMOZ.org.
- And much more…
One of the best summaries for SEO factors that affect organic rankings in Google is found at Vaughn’s SEO Checklist. Several webmasters contribute to this list on a regular basis. It’s a fairly accurate representation of how Google currently ranks websites by keywords. Brian Dean’s 200 Ranking Factors isn’t a bad list either.
In Austin, SEO is a competitive space- but we are a cut above the rest! We are happy to prove it- Let us help you optimize your website, in Austin or wherever you may reside.