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search engine optimization seo tutorial

Search Engine Optimization - SEO Tutorial
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Search Engine Optimization - What & Why?

We are living in the age of Google now. For anything and everything, people tend to do a Google Search. While in need for services and solutions for business challenges, people do a quick search to get what they want. Businesses that appear top on web search could reap huge revenue and profits.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) deals with the technique of writing/organizing web content in such a way that your web pages appear top on web search results and bring more traffic to your web site. This tutorial explains the ways of optimizing your web pages for better search results, the basic concepts of SEO and the tools involved.


SEO - How to do it yourself?

Search Engine Optimization is not a complex process. With proper understanding, you can in fact do it by yourself. Here are the simple steps:
Step 1: Identify your keywords

* The first step in the SEO process starts with identifying the keywords specific to your business.
* Keyword refers to the words or phrases, which your prospects are likely to use when searching for web content.
* This is a very crucial step as the success of SEO depends on this largely. Proper identification of keywords could hugely boost your business.
* On the other hand, improper selection could conceal your business from the eyes of prospective customers.

How to identify the keywords?

* Do a thorough analysis of your business to identify the keywords.
* The analysis should focus on identifying the common terminologies used in your business.
* For example, if you are offering a Network Monitoring solution, Network Monitoring would be your primary keyword.
* You can also interact with your existing customers to identify the keywords.
* A large number of web tools are available to guide you in identifying the keywords.

Following are some of the prominent tools:

1. Google: Keyword Traffic Estimator Tool
2. Microsoft: AdCenter Keyword Forecast Tool
3. WordTracker: Keyword Suggestion Tool
4. Keyword Discovery: Search Term Suggestion Tool
Use the above tools to identify all your keywords.

Step 2: Organize your web content

* After identifying your keywords, you need to organize your web content in such a way that the search engine crawlers identify your keywords.
* Just as we read a book from left-to-right and top-to-bottom, the search engines also follow a similar reading flow.
* They normally start reading the title tag, then look for the headings written in bold, then the content from left-to-right etc.
* Organizing your web content (specifically the keywords) along the lines of the Search Engine reading flow will enable your web page get a better rank in the web search results.

How to choose the domain name url?
What are the rule of thumb?


URL of your web page

The URL of your web page plays a very prominent role in determining the importance of your page.

For example, if you are offering a Network Monitoring solution, if the URL (domain name) is in the form of http://www.network-monitoring.com, it will generate more traffic than http://www.yourcompnayname.com. In case, you have already registered your domain name and it is not possible to change the domain name to reflect the keyword, add keywords to the names of your pages. For example: http://www.yourcompnayname.com/network-monitoring.html

While constructing the URL, keep in mind the following golden rules:

1. Hyphens in the URL should be limited to a maximum limit of three
2. Total number of characters in the URL should be limited to 100.
3. Research by SEO analysts has proved that the optimum limit is 72 characters.

URL length of 30 characters provides the best results


How to use title tag and meta tags?

Title Tag

1. Use Keywords in title tags
2. Keep the title tag as simple as possible and as short as possible (less than 10 characters)
3. Do not repeat the keywords in title

Stop Words /Poison Words

Search engines categorize the pages containing certain keywords as offensive or not useful to the reader. They call those words as stop words or poison words and the occurrence of such words anywhere in your document title, description or content could poison the ranking of your page. The following document provides a list of such poison words and it is better to avoid them in your pages.

Meta Tags

Next to the title tag, meta tags represent strategic importance. In each page, use meta description tags and meta name tags.

For Example:

<meta name="description" content="Network Monitoring Solution">
<meta name="keywords" content="network monitoring, network management ">

Try to use different meta description and keywords for different pages. Using the same description on all pages might diminish the importance.

How to optimize keywords in heading and webpage contents?

Heading Tag<H1></H1>

All search engines give great importance for the heading tag. So, if you have your keywords in heading tags, you are likely to add importance to your pages. Try to optimize keywords in all heading tags h1, h2, h3 etc.
Body Content

Content in your web pages are the primary communication means between you and your prospects. While tweaking the content for search engines, you should take care not to irritate the readers with unwarranted repetition of keywords.

Always keep in mind that you should write the content for the readers and not for the search engines. If the content is good/relevant and if you follow all the SEO best practices, the chances of attaining a good ranking are bright.

Analysts say that around 4 to 6 % keyword density per page is healthy. You can properly place and optimize the keywords within this prescribed density.

You should not attempt to have hidden keywords (that is, optimize keywords in white colour not visible to the reader, but available to the search engines) anywhere in the page. If search engines find out the trick, they impose stringent penalties and your web page would not be shown in the results at all.

What is Link Building?
How to get external or back links to a website?


Link Building/Popularity refers to the number of links pointing to your site from other sites on the Web.

If external websites have a direct link pointing to your website, it is more likely that the popularity of your site will improve. You can start with submitting your site to dmoz.org, Yahoo! and other directories first.

In SEO parlance, external links are also called as Back Links. Back links from reputed sites (that is, sites with a good page rank) could definitely improve the importance of your web page. If the page (from where a back link comes to your page) has been optimized for the keywords relevant to your business, your page will also be rated high by the search engines.

You can also make effective use of forums and blogs to post links to your website popularity. However, keep in mind that many forums do not allow blatant advertising. So, wherever some discussion very relevant to your business is going on, participate in the discussion and then post your link.

To find the number and list of back links pointing your page, you may just do a google search as link: For example, if your website is http://www.network-monitoring.com, you can find the number of back links as link:network-monitoring.com.

What is an Anchor Text?
How to use Alt Tags for Images?


Anchor Text

The anchor text of the backlinks also play a major role in SEO. Anchor text is the descriptive labeling of the hyperlink as it appears on a webpage.

For example, while Network Monitoring will be the content visible on the webpage, the actual link will be http://www.your-company-name/network-monitoring.html. Search Engines examine the anchor text to decide the relevance of the content on a webpage.
Alt Tags for Images

The alt attribute is used to define an "alternate text" for an image. The alt text is nothing but a description for the image. The original intention of the "alt" attribute is to help the reader when the image does not load on the browser. The alt text will tell the reader what he or she is missing on that page. The browser will display the alternate text instead of the image. For instance, in the following example, if the architecture image fails to load, the reader will know he is missing the software architecture image.

<img src=network-architecture.gif alt=Network Monitoring Software Architecture>

Nowadays, SEO engineers have started using their primary keywords in the alt text of the images with a view to improve their ranking.

What are dynamic web pages?
What is meant by keyword stuffing?


Dynamic Web Pages

All web pages can be broadly classified into two categories the pages that change often (dynamic pages) and the pages that remain unchanged for a long period of time (static pages). SEO Analysts have found that the dynamic pages rank higher in the search engine results. It is better to dynamically change your web content at frequent intervals.
Keyword Dilution/Stuffing

Normally, it is better to concentrate on optimizing one or two keywords on a single page. If you try to optimize more keywords on a single page, it will lead to keyword dilution as you will be stuffing your page with many keywords making it uninteresting to the reader as well as lowering the overall ranking of the page.



Dinesh Kumar Mohanty
Ultra Web Solutions®
Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.

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