What is SEO, Search Engine Optimization?
“Search engine optimization” is a fancy way to describe methods that help search engines find your site. This site, SharonVillines.com, is the place where I put things I don’t want to forget—and probably will unless I write them down. I’m not concerned about the world’s ability to find this site, but more concerned about my ability to find the stuff I store on it. And for whatever reason, your ability to find it.
Thus the assortment here appears to a search engine to have a lack of focus. That means it is highly unlikely to find its way to the top of any search except my name. Thus this site is probably the worst example of best practices SEO you could find.
I do care about SEO on my other sites, however, and on the sites I design. I try to keep up with best practices. Solid SEO with no tricks. Tricks like keyword stuffing will get you Banned in Boston. Deep-sixed in search engine land. Think page three where no one goes.
SEO Simplified for Short Attention Spans
All that to say I found an excellent article today on SEO on the TNW site, “SEO Simplified for Short Attention Spans.” It is a short (by website design standards) explanation of SEO. It’s written by Barry Feldman (on Twitter) of FeldmanCreative, a content marketing consultant, copywriter, social media advisor.
It includes very clear explanations and good illustrative examples. Check out the article for understanding SEO. What I wanted to remember here are the tools Feldman lists for checking the SEO of my sites and yours.
Three Must-Have SEO Tools
To practice, study, and check search engine optimization, Feldman recommends three free must-have SEO tools for beginners and experts alike:
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner—Supplies keyword search data and ideas.
- Open Site Explorer by Moz—Tracks your website’s link profile against competitors, identifies top pages, shows social activity data, and more.
- MozBar—On Chrome and Firefox browsers, helps determine how difficult it is to rank for specific keywords. (I haven’t used this so I can’t explain how you use it. But it sounds like a good thing.)
So that’s the daily don’t-forget-this update. Not quite as exciting as popcorn but you can’t have everything.