In your quest in building a web site you may have come across the term SEO, it stands for search engine optimization. It means taking steps that will help your site have a better chance of listing high in search engine results on keywords related to what your site is about.
SEO is a complicated process, the things search engines look for and in what combination, referred to as algorithm in SEO language, is a closely guarded secret which some, called SEO consultants, earn a living trying to figure out. Nonetheless search engines do let you know in general terms what you can do to help your site climb the search engine ladder.
SEO is categorized into onpage optimization and offpage optimization. Onpage SEO are things you can do within the HTML code to make your webpages more search engine friendly. Those things begin with determining what keywords and phrases you want your webpages to list high on. Once that is figured out, the keywords need to placed within the HTML code where they will have the best chance of getting found by search engines.
Rumor has it that search engines place importance on keywords found in the title tag, the h1 tag (please note that the h1 tag should only be used one time per web page) and the meta description tag.
They also look for keywords within the main content of the webpage and in the link text, for example a link going to a webpage about dog training might have something like “How To Train Your Dog” as the text link. Some people also suggest using keywords in the file name of the webpage, e.g. dog-training.html
However, and this is an important however, if search engines notice that the same keywords are repeated too much on a single webpage they may think it is spam and not list the webpage at all. Keywords need to be placed in the right place and in the right proportion with the rest of the text on the page. Told you SEO is complicated.
Offpage SEO is about other sites linking to yours because the more sites that link to your site, the better chance your site has of listing higher. Obviously this type of SEO is much more difficult since you don’t have as much control over it, people generally want to link to sites they think are useful and will have value to their own viewers.
It usually takes a combination of both onpage and offpage optimization to list high if there are many other sites competing for the same keywords.
But sites with keywords for which there is very little competition may do well in search engines without the help of many outside links if some thought and research is taken into choosing keywords that zero in on something specific. For example a site has a better chance listing higher in search results with the key phrase “first time dog owners puppy training” than on a broader term such as “dog training”.