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What is SEO

What is SEO

Edit 4 June: Just over a year ago we started Practical SEO blog with a post What is SEO. Looking back on it now it was not that naive, and we grew with it and with our audience. Sometimes going back to your beginning is a good way to plan for your future from your current position. Anyway, for all of you that wish to say Happy birthday to Practical SEO and get other people to learn what is SEO please retweet this post to your followers, or share it on Facebook and other social media sites.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is just a means to an end,  getting your site visible by search engines and getting more traffic. There are people out there that make a killer living from top SEO, but those guys keep up with Google’s algorithms and stay alive that way, basically, those guys have no competition. But not all of us can keep up with Google’s programming, and to hire such an expert to do your SEO is damn expensive. So the only thing left for a small website owner or any person that has a little of do it yourself mentality is to manage his or her own SEO. That is why we from practical SEO are here, to help you learn the basics and advanced SEO techniques that will help you get more quality traffic.

What is SEO - Seo Basics

What is SEO – Seo Basics

The first thing you need to think about is traffic, but instead of trying to get the quantity you always need to try and get the quality, quality traffic beats quantity any day of the year. The idea relies on niche marketing, if you target a certain niche, big or small, you have a significant chance of getting quality traffic, and what is quality traffic. Quality traffic is getting your site visited by targeted group of people, people that are looking for something related to your site, on the other hand you surely don’t want people getting to your site and leaving the next second because that is not what they were looking for. That is a great example of quantity traffic, while quality traffic and targeted visitors are more likely to stay, enter an email or make a purchase on your website.

Now before we wander into the dark alleys of SEO implementation, and I’m not talking about dark hat SEO, there is no need for that, trust me. Before we go down that road let’s get something clear. Do not think that SEO is the only way; yes this site is Practical SEO, but I will also tell you everything you need to know in order to run a successful website, SEO is just one way to go about it. Before you go deep into link building and on and off page optimization there is one thing you need to worry about, content. Good quality content is a must, forget about keyword stuffing, it’s not 1998, that doesn’t work. In order to get the search engines to like your site you will need quality and relevant content, which is at the same time authoritative in its own way. Your goal when creating a site is to make something interesting and valuable to your visitors, if you do that, every little SEO trick will be a giant bonus. On the other hand if you have no content and no quality, no relevancy, you can do SEO as much as you like, you will achieve nothing.

You have to think about SEO in this way, it is just a means to an end, it is your means to get search engines to get the traffic your way, but that is not even half the job. Once the visitors come through Google, Yahoo or whatever search engine they will come to your site and that is where SEO stops and you need to provide quality and interesting content in order to keep your visitors from leaving the next second. So before you try and please the search engines with SEO, try to make your site and content interesting and pleasing for your visitors and fans, because they are the ones that will make you money.

Before we continue with the actual Practical SEO training keep in mind that this is a long term project, nothing good can be achieved overnight. You need to update your site regularly with quality content and work on getting your site spread out its tentacles without going down the black hat SEO and spamming techniques. They may show a quick increase over a short period of time, but trust me, after a month or two search engines will blacklist you and all of your investment will be for nothing. Keep at it steady and you have a chance of making it work the right way, through Practical SEO.

How Search Engines Operate

Search Engines One on One

A search engine’s task is to search information throughout the internet, the whole World Wide Web. The search engines then display results normally in lists, a typical example is Google, whatever you type and hit search you will get a list of web pages, information, images, videos and all other types of files. There is one great difference between search engines and web directories, while web directories are operated by humans, search engines are algorithms that run themselves.

How Search Engines Operate

There are four key functions of search engines, through them you will see exactly how search engines operate.

The first function is crawling the web. Like we said search engines are algorithms that run themselves, a part of that algorithm are spiders or bots that follow the hyperlink structure and crawl the entire web. In theory, and trust me when I say that it’s true in practice, all websites are connected, something like a big massive chain. Example: My homepage has a hyperlink titled “How Search Engines Operate”, which is called anchor text. Now that hyperlink is pointing to another page where this article is located, spiders follow that and every other link on mu homepage and that is how they are able to crawl my other page that holds the article, and so on following every link available. Now you are starting to see the importance of linking throughout your website or blog, which is called On Page SEO.

Search Engines
Search Engines

The second function is indexing documents and pages. Once your page has been crawled by search engine’s spiders the search engine will index that page, which means it will store it in a giant database. Now you can imagine how many websites are out there, and search engines crawl and index each one of them and they give you back results in a fraction of a second. We will cover this later, but getting fast load time on your pages is crucial for both search engines and more importantly, real visitors.

The third function is processing queries. Once you type into a search engine How Search Engines Operate or any other keyword, search engine will go through it’s index and deliver all of the documents and pages that match your query. Now there are two different types of results you may get for your search, broad match and exact match. Broad match will do a search relating to all four words we used in the search, so you will get millions of hits. Exact match is when you use quotes around the search query, like “How Search Engines Operate”, then search engines will look up only the documents with that exact key phrase and you will get much less and more relevant results.

The last function is ranking results. When your search is processed and search engine find all of the documents that match your query it’s algorithm will calculate which are the most relevant ones and it will list them in that order, starting from the most relevant to the least relevant website. How search engines determine which page is relevant and which isn’t and how they calculate Page Rank is the next step of Practical SEO.

Calculating Page Rank 

Before we explain how search engines calculate Page Rank for your site or any other site for that matter, let’s complete the issue of How Search Engines Operate by explaining the last part, failure of spiders to crawl and index your pages.

We explained in How Search Engines Operate the way that search engines crawl and index your pages, but there is also the possibility that by your mistake spiders fail to crawl and index your pages, here are a few examples of why that happens. The most common reason why some of the pages on the website aren’t indexed is because the homepage has tons of hyperlinks, if you have over 100 links going from your homepage be sure that half of them won’t be indexed.

Unless your site has a bunch of external links pointing to your homepage all of the pages that are buried under 3 links/clicks from your home page won’t be indexed.

Of course all pages that require a login, pages accessible only via search box and pages that redirect before providing content will not be indexed by search engines. You need to place the most important links of all the pages that you want to have index on your homepage, but you can’t overdo it, as we said, too much links on one page will also have a negative effect.

Calculating Page Rank

There are several things that search engines use, in this case Google, to calculate Page Rank. Now mathematically speaking you can find the explanations all over the internet, and they will just confuse you, I mean Google’s algorithm for calculating page rank is out of this world, but hey, if there are people that say they understand it good for them. I am not an expert on algorithms, but I have been long enough in this business to know the basics behind the algorithm, so here is the basic concept of how Google calculates page rank.

Calculating Page Rank
Calculating Page Rank

The easiest way to understand is to look at every link coming from another site to your site as a vote cast by that website. But this is not democracy, in essence the more votes you have the more important your site is, but not all votes are equal. One vote may be worth 100 of others, depending on the value of that site or page rank from which the link comes.

Calculation of Page Rank is done by taking a part of value of each site and its PR pointing to your site. Although that is just part of the equation, Google uses your own back links and relevancy of your content to determine the page rank. But for now we will explain how it calculates page rank based on links coming from other sites.

The idea behind Google’s algorithm is that every link coming from some other site carries and brings a certain PR value to your website. So that is more than enough to figure out that higher ranked sites bring more juice to your site. But If a PR8 site pointing to your site has 50 links pointing to other sites from the same page, it will bring less value to your site than a PR6 website pointing to your site with only 3 links from that page to other websites. You see where we’re getting at, every page passes only 85% of its Page Rank to other sites, but that is divided by the number of links going from that page. So you should choose who you link to and who links to you, 1000 links from a PR1 site may be worth as much as 1 link from a PR5, or it could be the other way around considering how many outbound links the site has.

You also have to understand that not all PR values are the same; each PR is a set of values and not a single number. One website that has a PR4 may actually be on the lower boundary to becoming PR3 or it may be on the upper boundary to becoming PR5. All in all if you want to up your PR the first thing you need to do is get links back to your site, a few links from high PR sites might do the trick or you can try gathering thousands of low PR links. Remember one thing before we continue down the Calculating Page Rank, PR is not the only thing that determines where you place in search engines and how much traffic you get, but it is an important part of the equation.

Calculating Page Rank, Popularity and Relevance

There are two big pieces of the puzzle when search engines try to calculate your page rank and determine where to place your site in the rankings; those two pieces of the greatest puzzle involving online success are Popularity and Relevance.

Relevance is quite easy to determine according to search engines, which you might know as looking for keyword density, but don’t overdo it, keep reading. Once a query is placed, the search engine will go over your site looking for repetition of the key phrase used in the body of the text, headlines and subheadings, thus calculating the relevance of the query.

Popularity is what you might call off page linking. To put it simply when another person links to your site with an anchor text or even a description, article or blog, that person gives a vote of popularity to your website, which is looked upon favorably by the search engines.

Calculating Page Rank
Calculating Page Rank

So it boils down to link analysis and content analysisLink analysis shows which site is linking to your site; it also shows what that site has to say about your site, which is a very important part. There are sites that search engines prefer and consider as authority, link from a site like that is worth a fortune, of course we are talking about .gov .edu sites.

Content analysis search and show if the important keyword phrase is placed in the important parts of the document, title, meta, body. There is also a very complicated algorithm that tries to measure the quality of the content. Once these two pieces of puzzle are put together search engine will calculate your standings in the overall search and place you in an appropriate place on the results page. The higher your popularity and relevance are in the eyes of the search engine, the higher will your ranking be on the result page, and we all want to rank high.

When search engines try to figure out the quality of your website they tend to focus on two things, what your site is saying about itself and what other sites are saying about your site. The first one is shadowed due to overuse of keywords, but that is almost in the past as search engines have new and more powerful algorithms. Search engines will first see what your site is saying about itself, all in all it will check the relevance and density of your keywords in all of the important parts we mentioned earlier.

But then comes the part when search engines check what other websites are saying about your site. What it all comes down to is that if there are thousands of sites linking to your site, search engines will see it as popular, but it all depends on what sites link to you and what they are saying about your site. Links from high PR sites have more value than a low PR as we already said, and some sites are even blacklisted as link farms and may negatively influence your rating. So caution when gathering links is highly advised.

The most important part is not just the site that links to you, but the fact that search engines will try to evaluate the worth of the link itself, here is how that works.

The first thing search engines look when evaluating link value is the anchor text. For example, if someone links to my site with anchor text Practical SEO, search engines will automatically recognize that as a relevant link and they will add value to it. But if there are several links to my site with a keyword that I do not wish to rank for, like SEO Exposed, search engine will rank me for that keyword, because there are multiple sites that say my site is relevant for that keyword.

Next in evaluating link value is the rank of the site that provides the link. A site that has thousands of links pointing to it is a perfect place to get a link from, while on the other hand a site with a few links pointing to it has little meaning as it’s not present on the web.

After that search engines go to the relevance of the site that provides a link, if the site providing the link to your site is in the same niche, same topic, the link will have a bigger value. If the site is on some other niche that has nothing to do with your site the link will hardly get any value. So another thing to look out for is where you place your link, choosing a site related to SEO is a great place to ask a link from for Practical SEO, while asking a link from Weight Loss niche website is more of a waste of time.

Place of the link is also very important in evaluating link value, we all know that a link from the title is great, but most of the times a link from an article can have a greater value. That is because of the relevance of the text that surrounds it.

Keyword Tutorial

 

So far we have covered the basics of how search engines operate, although not necessary for succeeding in an online business, it is a competitive edge that every serious person needs to know before applying SEO techniques. What’s the use of other knowledge if you don’t know what will work? Well we have come to the breaking point for every website, creation process. Creation process is simple, you pick a niche, and we will talk about that later and it’s not that simple, and then you look for the keywords that you want to target.

Sounds easy, but trust me it’s not. You have to pick the right keywords; after all, you don’t wish to rank for keywords that no one ever looks for! So, what is our first step in selecting a keyword, it’s brainstorming! So you have a niche, we’ll use Practical SEO as an example. People that are looking for SEO, keyword research, linking, and any other thing related to SEO have a limited number of keywords they can use to look up sites containing information about those. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that typing “Yerba Mate tea” will not lead you to an SEO site. So look up all of the keywords surrounding your niche, synonyms and so on.

After you have written down dozen of related keywords or more you need to do some research for those keywords. What is the competition, what is the global search volume, conversion and so on.

You can do this by visiting Google Adwords Keyword Tool and typing your desired keyword. This is good for more than one thing; you will get the statistics for the keyword you typed in, level of competition for that keyword, global search volume per month and local search volume and also you will have a peak at the trends for that keyword.

Keyword Research
Keyword Research

The greatest thing is that you will also get plenty of other related keywords and their statistics, so that way you can choose even more related keywords and find the right one for you. Now when we say the right one for you we mean the one that will bring you profit. In order to find that keyword you need to look at conversion rates, which is a number or percentage of people searching for a term that actually click on the link or buy the item or product.

After that the estimate of number of searches, how many people are looking for that exact phrase, the price for the click from the advertisers or value per customer. And the last part is to evaluate the competition, or in other words, the difficulty to rank highly for that keyword. Once you do all of this you will get a nice list of keywords to use, but don’t make the mistake people did 10 years ago. Stuffing keywords on one page is meaningless, so pick two or three keywords per page and go for a percentage of 1.5% to 5%. Everything over 5% is going overboard. After your site is built up and established you can experiment, but until then take it nice and slow.

Since this is Basic SEO we won’t go further, this is more than enough for you to grasp the concept and actually act on it; the next part is Long Tail Keywords, something you need to learn if you want to make it in the online world.

Long Tail Keywords

Let’s first define long tail keywords; well they are easy to define. A long tail keyword is a keyword phrase containing at least three or more words. Long tail keywords are used to refine the search you are getting from search engines. If you have a site selling products like organic tea, you can squeeze in some traffic from search engines, but using a more targeted keyword like organic Yerba tea is a keyword phrase that has more chances of making high rankings and higher chances of conversion.

The idea is simple, if I want to find a specific product, meaning I probably wish to buy it, I won’t search for a general term, I will look for what I need, which means that long tail keywords get a higher conversion rate and are essential to your online business. All in all you will sacrifice a bit of your overall traffic in numbers; you will replace quantity for quality.

Long Tail Keywords
Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are not used only to get more of quality traffic; it is used to specifically target a niche. It is far easier to specify what your site is about to search engine crawlers using long tail keywords than short keywords. If you use a keyword like Brazilian Natural coffee, rather than just Brazilian coffee, your site will be marketed better by search engines and will get a higher place in the search engines. Well the part about getting higher rankings is almost always due to lower competition, which is also a bonus for you. It is far easier to rank high for a targeted long tail keyword than for a commonly used term that gets millions of searches a day. I will explain this in detail when we cover monetizing your website, trust me, this will be your money ticket once you start covering a certain sub niche as an affiliate or as a seller.

You are probably wondering why all the hype about long tail keywords, is that all, I knew that? Well, you are one out of 50 that knew that, trust me, I have been trying to explain this simple truth to many wannabe online marketers, long tail keywords are the way to go. First off, you are targeting a niche that is smaller than your average niche, but has the equal potential as larger marketers, which means you have less competition but have the opportunity to earn the same amount of money big shots do and that is what targeting long tail keywords is all about people.

There are other benefits of using long tail keywords, one of them being lower cost for pay per click advertising. Of course, that is also due to the lower competition for those keywords, but hey anything that works is good as long as it is not forbidden by search engines. In the end you have to think carefully what long tail keywords you use, the same as with normal keywords. Go through Keyword Tutorial to see everything about keyword research, the same applies for long tail keywords. You have to be sure if you are investing your time and money into a profitable niche, into a profitable long tail keyword. Otherwise you will just be wasting your time and your money, research is the basis for online success.

Tags, Meta Tags and Informational Architecture

We already mentioned a few things that must be done in order to rank well, but tags, meta tags and title tags are all the things that describe what your website is about, so you need to use them wisely. The basic idea is to keep all of them relevant and to the point, we will make some examples later on about bad and good tags, but you should already know because this is still basic SEO.
If you are using a WordPress blog platform, then you should go to settings, permalinks and set your URL to display postname. If you are building an html site always use a keyword in the URL, but try to keep it relevant and short so that both users and search engines could get the idea what the page is about with just a short glimpse.
You should use a URL like http://www.practicalseo.org/blog/optimizing-your-website/. From this URL you can see exactly what the page is about. If you look at Amazon or plenty of other sites you can see URL’s like http://www.amazon.com/dp/1449529577/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277344882&sr=8-1, which is a clear example of a bad URL.
If you have a good URL you can use the URL itself as an anchor keyword or keyword phrase, which makes your SEO task much easier. As far as title tags go you should always use a keyword in them while trying to keep them informative but not long and without sales language.
When doing your keyword research and planning on using those keywords on important or any other pages, you should keep in mind to avoid the following things as they prevent search engines to index your page. Avoid embedding text into flash applications or Macromedia flash files. That also goes for image files likes png, jpg, gif etc. Never make a page behind a submit form, like login page an important page. Search engines cannot crawl those pages. The only thing that pages search engines will crawl on those pages are title tags and meta tags and description. So if you have to use such pages be sure to make all of the mentioned things relevant and to the point as it will make it much easier for search engines to rank your page well.

 

SEO Meta Tags
SEO Meta Tags

Here are the basic SEO rules you need to follow about optimizing text on a webpage:
-    Quality of the text. Search engines have very smart algorithms that prefer well written text made for real users and not keyword stuffed text that has no sense. So the higher the quality of the text the better it is for you and search engines will look favorably on your website.
-    Repeat the main keyword. Although keyword density is not important as it once used to be, keeping the main keyword or keywords repeating a few times throughout the text helps the search engines figure out easily what your page is about.
-    Keep your text in one place. A good designer and programmer will always use CSS layouts over table layouts, like people used to a few years back. Keeping your text together is very important because search engines might get confused if your text is scattered over a few tables and they might see it as several different texts. That certainly won’t help your rankings or the search engines view on the quality of your content.
The next thing you have to do, I say have to, not need to because this is a must, is to make an easy architecture of your site. Every single of your pages should have a navigation menu available. But keep in mind that if you have a larger site with over 100 pages it would be wiser to divide the links. Put on your homepage links to categories and from categories links to other submenu pages. Never go more than 2 links deep, 3 links deep for very big sites. That will ensure that all of your pages are indexed by search engines and that will make your site a lot easier for users.
The last thing to keep in mind is duplicate content on your website. Although you didn’t steal the content from another site, duplicate content will have a negative impact on your website. The reason is simple; if you have links pointing to two different pages with same content then you will be dividing the worth of the page from where the links are coming from. Either remove those pages or use a 301 redirect and your problem will be solved.

How to Create a Website Worthy of Traffic

The question that everyone in the online industry has is how to rank number one in the search engines? Every single person with a website knows something about SEO, and some people pay great amounts of money for people like me to do SEO for their site. The fact is that not every website can be numero uno in the search engines. The reason why? Simple, not all websites deserve to be number one, the first thing a website needs in order to rank well in the search engines is quality content, basically, a website worthy of traffic.

A website that is currently number one in a certain field is not there just because of SEO, it is there because it has something of value to offer. If that wasn’t a fact than the site wouldn’t be number one for a long time and the most important thing is that such website can never keep onto its visitors, and that is what we all want. Ranking high in search engines is just a means to an end, end being plenty of visitors.

Website Worthy of Traffic
Website Worthy of Traffic

The basic idea behind getting and keeping a large number of visitors to your website is usability. Usability is the simplicity of your website, easier to use, but at the same time attractive, website will always be in front of the competition. The idea is to make your site user friendly, providing the best experience for your visitors through the following:

-    Organization and informational architecture is number one. The more your website is arranged by hierarchy the easier is for your visitors to find information they are looking for. The hierarchy on your website needs to be intuitive and simple, a complex hierarchy will only confuse a user and it will make it hard for the visitor to find what he is looking for, which is a big minus for you and your website.

-    Although some will argue that design is one of the last things you need to attend to I will strongly disagree. The layout and graphical elements of a website are directly related to the usability of a website. Visibility and contrast of the website, along with fonts and colors directly influence how usable the site is. No one wants to go blind trying to read the letter on your page. If you put your navigation and advertisement on your website in the same place it will look unprofessional. Separating important aspects of a page is crucial for visitors to understand the content of the page. The basic rule of website design is to make all of the important elements of the website, like logo, menu, layout and colors, the same throughout the entire website. Consistency is always a good thing and users like that. Just imagine how hard it would be for a visitor to navigate through your website if the navigation was different on every page!

-    A very significant, in fact critical part of the website usability is navigation.  Good navigation needs to guide users through both top and deep level pages with ease. You have to realize that navigation is the primary function of a website, without it no one can access your site’s content, so you should realize how important a good and easy to use navigation really is.

-    Another thing you need to keep in mind is the functionality of your site and optimization for multiple browser platforms. You have to make sure that every script, every anchor link works, nothing should be broken as that represent a minus for both visitors and search engines. You have to make sure that your site is visible in every popular browser, Firefox, Opera, Internet explorer and Google Chrome, that way everyone can have a great experience when visiting your website.

-    The last, but one of the most important things of the site’s usability, is your content. We mentioned that content is king and that without quality content you can never get and keep the number one spot in search engines. But people tend to forget that content also needs to be usable and that is often overlooked. What do I mean by usability of the content, well it’s simple, the headline, subheadings, accuracy and quality of the content all make the content easy to read and easy to navigate through making it more likely for visitors to like your website and come again and also to gain links back to your website. No one wants to neither read nor link to a website whose content is hard to go through and one that can’t be understood.

Creating a solid usability is basically providing easy access and comfortable experience for your visitors. If you succeed in this task you will gain higher conversion rates, more links from other websites, and a great relation with your visitors that will gladly come back to your website.

High Quality Content, You Must Have It

Why do you need to have high quality content? As we said in the previous part, sometimes it is not so hard to rank as number one, but it is very hard to keep that rank. Also, it may be somewhat easy to rank as number one, but only if you have less competition. So besides building backlinks and doing off page SEO, you need to do on-page SEO. And on-page SEO is more than just optimized keywords and easy navigation with do follow links across your site. 50% of the on-page SEO is content, high quality content is what will make your site better than others. High quality content is what will make Google and other search engines place you before other sites.

But, you are not building a site with high quality content for search engines; you are building it for your users, your visitors. But that is the same, by making your content good you will ensure that the visitors like your site and as such the links will come in. And that is when search engines think that your site has relevant and high quality content and as such they will give your site a proper rank.

Practical SEO Success
Practical SEO Success

There is one issue with high quality content, the best content in one niche can be a total disaster compared to some other niche. There are no guidelines and rules that specify exactly what high quality content really is, like with design for instance. To know what kind of content you must have you need to investigate the competition and of course there are some universal guidelines that you need to follow, so let’s go over those.

The first thing you need to do is research your field, your niche. The best way to address the needs of your market is to provide direct and simple answers to the most sought out questions. And how will you do that, by research of course, and the best and easiest way to do that research is to join a forum in your niche and look for the most active topics and most asked questions. If you see that thousands of people are asking what Mickey Mouse looks like, make a page showing his picture with big letters, THIS IS MICKEY MOUSE. I think you get the idea, find the issue that is wanted and address it in a direct and simple manner.

The second step is to get someone to back you up. You might think that this is hard but in reality it isn’t. All you need is one so called expert in your field or a known name in that field that will provide simple insight, a short article or something like that. If you can’t do that then ensure that your site has a few quotes from those experts, which will get your content authenticated and seen as respectable by both visitors and search engines.

Next step you have to follow is creating a one stop shop. That means that your pages need to be to the point, to that matter that a visitor will find everything he needs in one place. If you are just starting out, the best idea would be to market a specific subject and provide all of the needed information on that subject. Going to broad and having multiple niches on one site can be confusing at first and it is harder for you to maintain such a site.

After that you have to add a touch of yourself, a unique touch that can’t be found anywhere else on the web. This is the part that causes the most trouble for everyone. Gathering info from other sites and creating your content from that is great, but if you want to be number one you need to have something that nobody else does. So think about it long and hard and come up with something that will add that extra touch to your high quality content.

One thing that makes search engines like your content very much is non profit content. If you make an article with several links pointing to a product and there are advertisements around your product, the search engines will see that as affiliate advertising and they will not like what they see. On the other hand if you write a quality article with no links at all, or link to other non commercial pages or sites, the search engines will like what they see. Remember this part as it is very important. You can’t expect that an advertising article will be seen as more important than an article that gives advice without asking for anything in return.

For the last guideline I will use Practical SEO as an example. It is much better to have a smaller number of pages, each addressing a certain issue to the core than having hundreds of relevant pages that need to be put together to get what you have on one article found here at Practical SEO. Better create a page that has 1000 words and explain everything than creating ten 200-300 word pages that are simply classified as relevant. In fact 100 of those pages cannot amount to one good quality page that says it all. By creating a single page of high standard you can be sure that over time that page will become the so called “industry standard” and other sites will refer to it, and that is what we want. That is when you are sure that you have high quality content.

This explains everything you need to know about high quality content; our next stop is getting links to your site or in other words utilizing the power of Linkbait, so look for Creating Link Bait article on Practical SEO.

Principles of Practical SEO

This is a bonus article explaining in short the basic principles of Practical SEOPractical SEO has one goal in mind, to help you rank better and get more visitors without spending money, or with the least amount possible. All of these principles listed here can be found in SEO basics of Practical SEO.

Practical SEO Principles
Practical SEO Principles

The first principle of Practical SEO states that when a user is satisfied so are the search engines. In other words, try to please your customers, if you manage to do that you won’t have to worry about search engines.

The second principle of Practical SEO states to always aim for quality rather than quantity. This one says it all, it’s better to have only a few pages that are full of quality content, than having hundreds of relevant pages that amount to nothing.

The third principle of Practical SEO states think small, do big. Like with the second principle of Practical SEO the idea is to focus on small but precise and targeted things. For instance a niche, the more targeted niche the more targeted visitors that know what they want, all you need to do is provide that for them and you will succeed.

The fourth principle of Practical SEO states that organization and architecture of your sites needs to be clean and simple. No use of adding tons of navigation links, a simple and small site with simple navigation has more chances of succeeding when starting.

The fifth principle of Practical SEO states that there is nothing as important as keyword research. Research in general is the basic of SEO, but a good keyword research can mean the difference between succeeding and failing.

The sixth principle of Practical SEO states that new is good. New is good in everything you do with your site, especially new and fresh content. Updating your site regularly is a must if you want to make it in the online business.

The seventh and last principle of practical SEO states to connect everything you do. Linking is as important as the content and keywords you are using, without linking your site won’t be visible. Link throughout your site and off it, make as many quality backlinks as you can. But again, choose quality over quantity.

These are the seven basic principles of Practical SEO; if you respect all of them your success will be guaranteed. If you fail to respect even one of them your site may fail, all of the criteria must be met to ensure the most positive effect and to ensure that your site gets plenty of traffic. This is a balance you must come to respect, remember, quality over quantity and always aim to please the user, not the search engines like some self proclaimed SEO experts might suggest.

To learn about advanced aspects of SEO and link building please read the following posts and categories:

Creating Your SEO Plan & SEO Implementation

How to Easily Increase Traffic & Rankings in SERP

What is SEO from the Link Building Perspective

Unique Root Domains and SEO

SEO Dictionary, Most Used SEO Terms & What They Mean

Link Building

Link Building Tips

About The Author

is the founder and CEO of Practical SEO and also a passionate blogger. All of his free time he dedicates to his Practical SEO blog and giving free advice as well as participating in the blogging community.

Connect with me on Facebook | Twitter | Google + | LinkedIn

4 Response to What is SEO

  1. seph from search engine marketing agency on December 23, 2010

    For me, search engine optimization (SEO) is the art of getting a website to work better with search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN and ASK. You don’t pay anything to get into Google, Yahoo or MSN To get into Google, for instance, you must consider and largely abide by search engine rules and guidelines for inclusion.

    It’s thought all search engines rank websites by the quality of incoming links to a site from other websites and hundreds of other metrics. Generally speaking, a link from a page to another page is viewed in Google “eyes” as a vote for that page the link points to.

  2. What is SEO from the Link Building Perspective on January 7, 2011

    [...] let’s look at SEO from the link building perspective. When asked what is SEO one of the things that is mentioned is link building, although some will argue that SEO includes [...]

  3. Prince Zermic on February 15, 2011

    SEO is one of the most effective things you can do online, getting your web site optimized in such a way that the search engines will reward you by basically sending traffic your way. SEO is not really that simple, but the bottom line is, if your page is optimized both on page and off, you generally get higher natural search engine rankings, which leads to traffic for you.

  4. Andrew@Serperb SEO Cheshire on June 5, 2011

    The art of SEO changes constantly which not only keeps us on our toes but also separates the pro’s from the fraudsters. That’s why it is still enjoyable for me and not just a means to an end as you say.

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