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SEO Terminology - Buddy Web Design (April 2014 newsletter)
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One of the main aims of a website is to get business when people search for things on the internet. The process of getting your website to page 1 of search engines is called SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.
On the website www.seobook.co.za you will find more information on this topic and it includes the free SEO Book, Relevant SEO 2014 (What small and medium business owners need to know about SEO).
The following is an extract from chapter 2 of the book and covers important terminology.
2. Important terminology, definitions and introduction
To understand SEO there is some terminology which needs to be understood first.
A search engine is a website like Google, Yahoo and Bing. These websites have changed the way people search for things. People no longer use the yellow pages to search for things, they visit their favorite search engine to search for businesses like yours. Search engines writes programs and formulas (algorithms) to determine which web pages provide the best information.
A webpage refers to an individual page on a website. Each page of a website has a unique URL (Page address).
A Website is made up of individual web pages. A typical small business websites consist of the following web pages. (Home page, about us page, a couple (or hundreds of) products and services pages, FAQs pages, newsletter / blog pages, photo galleries, links pages.)
CMS is an acronym for Content Management System. A Website + CMS allows the website owner to update the individual web pages of their website, the individual pages which makes up a complete website. Technological advances have made content management systems easy to use and affordable. Kids in primary school are now using tablets for learning. Wozaonline have already signed up more than 25,000 small South African businesses. Business owners are migrating to Websites with a CMS. (CMS Websites).
Robots and Spiders:
Robots and spiders are programs used by search engines to crawl through the internet which consists of many billions of individual pages.
URL is an acronym for Uniform Resource Locator and refers to a specific page address on the internet. There is only one webpage for each individual URL.
Links is important for the robots and spiders to function. They start off with a few individual webpages and follow the links on those pages and then follow the links on those pages and so one. Without links search engines would not be able to function. Website owners decide to which pages they want to link. On the website www.kwikwaponline.co.za I have for example linked to pages I feel would provide valuable further reading on the subject of SEO for small and medium businesses. I can link to a website's general home page or target a specific URL / a specific page or section of an "outside" website. These links are called outbound links.
Link Anchor Text:
The text which I have used to describe the links are my description of the links.
Backlinks / Inbound links
Backlinks or Inbound links are links coming into your website form other websites.
The founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergy Brin, invented Page Rank. They rate a website according to the numbers of backlinks and more importantly the quality of those backlinks, considering the anchor text of those back links as well. Page rank is an important part of SEO and it is done off your website. (Off-site SEO)
On-site / Off-site SEO
For the bulk of small and medium business owners On-site SEO would be the prime strategy when doing search engine optimization.
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization and it involves things you can do on your websites as well as things which happen off your website. By linking your business Facebook page, your Google+ account to your website you are busy with off-site SEO. By working on quality content on your website, you are busy with on-site SEO. If you get the on-site SEO right you are more likely to succeed with off-site SEO. People will regard you as a quality resource on a specific subject and will link their websites to your website. The more important those people and websites are, the higher the value search engines place on the inbound link. It is similar to publishing a book and getting an endorsement by a respected well known person, or similar to producing a movie and mentioning in the press or on the DVD cover, what the New York Times said about the movie. That's how search engines see it.
Google+ is another way people can give your website a thumbs up. It is also considered by Google as an indication of the importance of your website or of a specific page on your website.
Making sure your website is crawlable, ensuring the correct Meta tag descriptions are being used at the right places, are some of the irrelevant SEO factors for small medium business owners as it is up to skilled professional programmers and coders developing CMS websites to make sure that these things are in place when designing the architecture of your CMS Website.
They are no less important though and it is important to discuss these factors with the web design company you engage with. Web design companies typically employs specialist PHP developers and HTML specialist. You do not need to know details about what this entails but to ask your web design company for examples of their clients on page 1 of Google.
The programs and formulas used by search engines to ask questions are called algorithms. There are more than 200 of them. These change on a daily basis. +- 2 per day at Google in 2013 alone. Whenever there are major changes being implemented it is given a name like Panda, Penguin and Humming Bird. These major changes can see a website drop from nr 1 to number 1000 quite quickly, like when Google recently started penalizing websites with a large number of low quality inbound links, whether the website owner was responsible for this or not.
Black- and white hat SEO
Trying to cheat search engines with practices such as keyword stuffing, hiding website text from humans but not the search engines or being involved with a low quality link building schemes are called black hat SEO. Getting caught with black hat SEO will see you being removed from the index of search engines completely. White hat SEO refers to the process of giving search engines what they want. It involves an ongoing process of adding fresh and relevant content, not duplicated information and definitely not information copied from another website. Search engines like Google fight black hat SEO and they are a company valued at +- 370 Billion dollars. They have the resources to perfect their programs and formulas and the popularity of black hat SEO is dwindling.
White hat SEO seeks rewards on the longer term which is lasting. It is the way to go.
SEO experts studies all of the aforementioned constantly. Considering that Google is only 15 years old in 2014 and that things change quickly, it is a daunting task, but it is a lucrative profession. Having your business website on page 1 of Google means big business for both small, medium and large corporate businesses. Whilst there are great informative websites on the subject of SEO owned and ran by the best in the industry they usually target and service big corporate businesses or the upper section of medium business. Your average small and medium business will not be able to afford the services offered by these companies, let alone a small medium South African business having to pay in Rand for these services.
The big corporate Web Design and SEO companies employs or contracts a considerable number of skilled individuals as they target big corporate clients.
Typically a small South African web designer does it all himself. Not only the web designing part (production) but also his own little business' admin, sales and marketing. Considering the web designing part comprises of graphic design, coding and programming then you understand why traditionally web design has been very expensive, out of reach for the average small business owner in South Africa.
We now have affordable turnkey CMS web design and development solutions which has changed the web design landscape in South Africa forever.
Before a search engine can index you in their index they first need to be able to read the text on your website. They cannot read text on Images and battle with flash. Website text is better read than text on word documents uploaded to websites. Word documents are better read than PDF documents. It is better therefore to write your newsletter/blog as website text and not PDF.
Time = money
For most small medium business owners time = money. To engage on an extensive self-help SEO learning course by sifting through all the information available on the internet will be a very costly exercise. We do recommend further reading and on the website www.kwikwaponline.co.za we will link to other useful resources. You will encounter many irrelevant information on the subject of SEO and you will probably want to give up. Still today, even getting a website off the ground is halted by the lack of time and or money.
A lot of time is wasted on free resources like Facebook and free website builders like Wozaonline and Wix. These will be discussed in more detail in this book but the short version is that I hardly ever encounter these websites on page 1 of Google plus there is little human support.
I hope that this information and rest of this book will make understanding the internet, SEO and developing a sound Website development plan for your business a lot easier and more affordable.
I recommend that you watch the following video on YouTube to have a great understanding on how search works:
Social Media Marketing
Social Media includes platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pininterest and Instagram among others.
Using these platforms to market your products and services is called Social Media Marketing.
These platforms need to offer a return on investment ROI to their shareholders so they want you to pay to advertise on their platforms.
They allow a certain amount of free advertising or benefits but they are moving to limit those free benefits so that in the end you are gently forced to consider advertising with them.
LinkedIn is a professional online network and can be a valuable tool for professional business networking.
Activity on Social Media has become important indicators for search engines as to the importance or ran of your website, similar to Backlinks.
To get started today you can reply via email or phone Francois on 0745470221 or Melanie on 0768470492.
Have a good April 2014.