Do not worry. As the concepts become familiar, the process becomes manageable. You also realize that there is no "magic bullet" that gets your site to the top. Much of SEO is attention to detail, time, and effort.
Climbing to the top of search engine result pages is a slow steady process. It takes effort and time, when you are there the view is worth it.
Here are ten useful elements to Seach Engine Optimzitation, they apply to every website big or small, new or old.
- Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords Every page should have these. The meta title should be no more than 66 characters including spaces, the meta description should be no more than 160 characters including spaces, and the keywords should be as many as appropriate to the page. Maybe it is 1 maybe it is 5. It is best to keep the keywords to only the important ones, try for no more than 7.
- Quality Content at least 200 words per page. Should be relevent, easy to read, and provide value to your visitor. If you create great content people are more likely to link to you, convert to customers, and return to your site.
- URL Structure These should be easy to read, minimal "&" and "?", and contain important keywords.
- Internal Link Anchor text Intstead of using "click here" to link to pages use your key words as the link anchor text. By incorporating keyword anchor text for your internal links, you provide aditional clues about the subject of the linked page to the search engines.
- H1, H2, H3 tags These are helpful for SEO but also good web design. Proper use of Heading tags will help develop a consistent feel to your site and improve usability. Ideally your page title is displayed in <h1> tags.
- Strong Tags or Keyword groupings The search engines can not tell which words are the keywords. You can help the search engines out by adding <strong> tags around your desired keywords. If bolding the words is not visually acceptable to your design feel free to use span tags or any other sort of html to group your keywords.
- Image Alt TagsAs the world of search grows so does the search for good images. Adding alt tags helps the Search engines better understand what your site images are, includes your images in images search results, and assist people with screen readers.
- Fast Web Server, Good Up-timeNobody wants to visit a website that runs slow or is down and neither do search engines.If your current hosting provider is not up to your standards consider finding a better one.JoomlaHosting.com is a great resource for hosting information and reviews
- Incoming LinksThe more the better! (They should be from good reputable websites)It is best when they occur naturally, a little help on your part helps also.This is the only "off page" factor on the list. Incoming links are not in your direct control but they are important enough to be added to this list.
Hope this list of SEO elements helps. Address these items and you are 90% of the way to a successful website.
What is missing? What else would you add to this list?