Basics Of SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is basically the process of optimizing your website pages to help give them the best chance to rank high in the search engines. This is going pretty important for any webmaster, as high rankings in search engines like Google will result in a lot of traffic, and in turn this should result in more money.

There are many experts in the field of SEO that can go into a lot of detail about the best ways of getting your pages to rank highly, but all you really need are the basics to rank well. The more detail you go into, the less of an effect your changes are going to make to your rankings. So if you just remember and work with the basics of SEO, you will you do perfectly well. So here are a few things that you should ensure that you have on each of your pages to help them rank well…

Title Tags

Make sure that you have a different title tag for each page, and that each title is relevant to the content within that page. So if you have a page about how to play on the river in Holdem, you should shoot for a title like ‘Playing On The River In Holdem’. By having relevant title tags, search engines will be able to work out what the page is about and match it to the search term someone has used.

Don’t make the rookie mistake of having all your page titles the same with the name of your website. If you notice, every time you search for something in Google, you will find that a list of pages will come up on the front page; all with titles related to your search. This is no coincidence; as Google is looking for the most relevant pages and uses the titles as a guide, so make sure you have good title tags to compete with the other pages for the high rankings.

As a quick tip, capitalize the start of every word in your header. It makes it look much cleaner and will look more appealing to visitors when they see your title in the search engines. Page titles without capitals for every word seem to be associated with spam sites, and so people will avoid these a little more than sites with capitals for every word.

The title tag should appear in the head part of your html file, and should look something like this… <title>Your Page Title Goes Here</title>

Use Appropriate Filenames

Whenever you save a web page, make sure you choose a filename related to the content in that page. In addition, make sure you use dashes ‘ – ‘ in between words instead of spaces, as the spaces will show up as ‘%20’ in the address bar and make things look messy. You can use underscores ‘ _ ‘, but dashes look tidier and help Google to understand the page names a little easier.

So if you have a page about Texas Holdem tips, you should save the page as ‘texas-holdem-tips’. I prefer to keep all the letters in small case, as it makes things easier for the future when you are working with links around the site. If you use capitals here and there, you may find yourself making mistakes and having broken links around the site, which is never a good thing for SEO.

Use h1, h2, h3… tags

These tags are used to highlight important headers or information to the visitors, and so it will also show what is important about the article to Google. Typically, you should use h1 tags around the title of you article, and then use the other h2, h3 tags and so on around the sub-headings within the article.

So for a typical article about how to bluff, I would more than likely use h1 tags around a title like ‘How To Bluff in Texas Holdem’, and then use h2 tags around sub-headings like ‘Bluffing in online poker’ and ‘Bluffing in live poker’. The other tags like h3 I might use for sub-subheadings, but its not often that I will go below using h2 tags, although h3 may be useful from time to time.

For those that do not know, these tags look like this… <h1>your article title here</h1> , <h2>your subheading here</h2> and so on. Just be sure to only use them when necessary and don’t go over the top with the amount of tags that you use.

Use Meta tags

The use of meta tags was something that I forgot about for a long time when I first created my website. The main meta tags you should use are the ones for keywords and a description of your site. These will also help to define your website to search engines and visitors quite like the title tag will. The meta tags go within the head of a webpage, and will normally be placed just below or above the title tag. So your page should look something like this…

<head>

<title>Your Page Title</title>

<meta name=”keyword” content=”Keyword Keyword Keyword”>

<meta name=”description” content=”Your web page description goes here”>

</head>

As you can see, you will need to use a different meta tag for the description part and the keywords part. For the description, you should use something that will appeal to visitors when they read it, as the description part will accompany the title of your page in the search engines. So make it relevant to the article and as interesting as possible, whilst trying to make an accurate description of the page at the same time.

The keywords meta tag should contain the keywords that are most related to the article. So for an article about ‘bankroll management’, I might use keywords like ‘Bankroll Management Money Online’. Only the use the keywords that are actually contained within the page, because it is going to be useless to stick a keyword like ‘Bluffing’ in there if there is no reference to bluffing in your article. Keep your keywords to the ones that relate closely to your page, and make sure that you do not repeat any keywords.

Get Links

Links are very important for websites, because it is one of the key ways that helps search engines to determine which pages should rank highly. If there is a good quality page on the web somewhere, there is a high chance that other people will link to this page, and so this means that it is a sign of a quality page. So in general, the more links a page has pointing to it form other websites, the more likely it is that it will rank well.

Whenever you can get a link, you should always try and use your keywords as anchor text. This means that if you are able to get a link to your poker software page and you are aiming to rank well for the term ‘poker software’, you should use the words ‘poker software’ as the link text. For example, if I want my homepage to rank well for ‘poker affiliate tips’, I will try and get links using anchor text like this ‘Poker Affiliate Tips’.

As an extra tip, try and mix up your anchor text as much as possible, if you use the same anchor text too often, Google may get suspicious and penalize your page.

It is not always an easy process to get links to your website, so for more information on the various ways you can obtain them, you should look at our article on how to get links.

So those are pretty much the 5 key tips that you will need to take on board to help make your pages rank highly in the search engines. But always be careful with SEO, and don’t just design your pages with the search engines in mind. Always think about providing your visitor with a well-structured site containing all the correct tags, and your rankings will soon follow.

If you go overboard with all the SEO work and try and force the search engines to rank you highly with lots of keywords in your tags, you are more likely to get penalised rather than rank well. So keep it simple and keep it natural. Google wants to see well-structured pages with good content, so give it to them.

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