The Good and the Bad
On-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a series are techniques used to improve the chances of your site being ranked at or near the top of searches. For example, the best keywords can be used and your text scattered with the optimum number of these keywords. The keywords should be placed in the locations search engines like best.
Examples of effective on-page SEO include:
• Include your keyword in the page’s title
• Ensure that the site has meta tags, which are the description tags which appear in search engine result pages. Ensure the beginning and end of your meta tags are marked and make sure they are limited to 160 characters in length, including spaces.
• Include keywords in the header tags (also known as H1 tags). These are the headlines at the top of the article and within the web content.
• Include keywords in ALT image text. These are the descriptions added to an image which are displayed when a user places the mouse cursor over the image.
• Ensure the content includes internal links. These are links which connect to other blogs or other parts of your website.
Off-page SEO is as important as on-Page SEO. One good off-page SEO technique is to backlink or link building. The more links your site has to other sites – especially sites search engines considered “authoritative” – the higher your site will be ranked by search engines.
The biggest benefit of backlinks is that they cause search engines to give your site higher rankings on search pages. If your site is in the Number One spot on the first page of a search for your niche, you are almost guaranteed to be clicked on by thousands, if not millions, of people every day. And if only a tiny percentage of those visitors actually buy something on your site, you can make a lot of money.
But if you end up anywhere except for the top half of the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for your product niche, it is likely that there will not be many sales. If this happens, it’s time to improve your SEO by creating more backlinks.
Good Backlinks vs Bad Backlinks
The best backlinks link to authoritative sites. These are sites most people would visit if they were looking for specific information. Examples include Wikipedia, eHow.com, Wikimedia Commons, etc.
For example, if your website offers cars for sale and there are two links on your web page: One links to Motor Trend magazine’s website, which says your site is a great place to buy cars. The second is to a food blog where there is a recipe you liked.
In this case, the first backlink would substantially increase the value of your web page in the eyes of the search engines. The second wouldn’t help very much, although if it had the proper keywords it might help your rankings a little.
Types of Backlink
There also are three types of backlink, each of which is valued differently by search engines:
• One-Way Links – These are links from one or more pages of another website to yours, without a link back to that site.
• Reciprocal Links – These links connect to another site and the other site links back to your page. Another term for this is link swapping.
• Three-Way Links – This is when there is a link to a website, but instead of linking directly back, the person running that site links back from another site.
Most links will add value to your web page for search engines but avoid getting backlinks from sources such as gambling or pornographic sites. These will harm your site’s reputation among the big search engines.