The Basics of Search Engine Optimization

The more search engine friendly your website is, the better your rankings will be in the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN Live Search. Several years ago, few web designers paid much attention to SEO, but today it is the lifeblood of every website. If your website isn’t optimized, it should be!What Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, search engines navigate or “crawl” through your website when they find it, building a database of the content on your webpages as they go. If a search engine can crawl through your website easily without encountering trouble, then your website is considered SEO-friendly.When SEO Goes Bad

There are a number of problems that a site crawler can encounter when visiting your website. Most of these problems can be easily avoided. Exclusively using graphics or Flash animation without actual text is sure as death for your website as far as the search engines are concerned. A site crawler can’t look at the graphics on your page. You should always add alt-tags to your graphics to help the search engine “understand” your website.

Forgetting to add page titles, descriptions, and other meta-tag information to your website is also a big “no-no” where SEO is concerned. These tags are embedded into the head section of your webpage and can help web crawlers easily understand what is on your page. Some crawlers ignore certain meta-tag codes, but most meta-tags are quite useful for creating SEO-friendly websites.Add Content to Your Website

Building a website without content is another sure-fire way to keep your rankings low on the major search engines. If you’re website doesn’t have anything on it, then it will not show up very high in the search engine’s index. You can correct this by adding quality content to your website by writing articles, showcasing press releases and using words to describe your products or services, rather than just showing a single picture.Don’t Cheat the System

One of the things that will get your website kicked off of the search engines is when you try to cheat the system. Some companies claim that they can increase your search engine rankings and guarantee top placement on Google or other such outlandish claims. Nobody can make these types of guarantees and you should never pay for an SEO service that says that they can.

Robert Barcus is the Director of Operations for Apheus Solutions, LLC – a website design and PC repair company located in Indiana.