First of all, I want to insist that this article is aimed at site owners since occasionally site owners and webmasters are not the same.
Suppose a realtor owns a real estate website. But, she is just a newbie on the Internet and she depends on the webmaster (e.g.from hosting provider) in her website's SEO campaign. In fact, that webmaster couldn't understand real estate industry deeply like her and he has many other sites to manage. So the SEO campaign wouldn't get the expected result. In most cases, the site owners will play an important part in the achievement of SEO campaign. However, HTML language, search engines, link popularity, PageRank seem so unfamiliar with them at first. Therefore, the goal of this article is providing the novice site owners with some basic but efficient tools and knowledge in Search Engine Optimisation. This will assist site owners in cooperating better with webmasters or SEO agencies to increase their web sites' ranking in Search Engines.
1. Search Engines -You are a site owner and you yourself should get familiar with search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN Search to search for your competitors' sites to see how they are positioning themselves in the marketplace, analyze the keywords, check your sites' link popularity (the number of links to your website from other sites) and link saturation (number of pages on your sites have been indexed by search engine). These search engine syntaxes aren't theoretical as you've thought and you don't need to pay attention to the complex algorithms behind them. For instance, to check whether your sites are indexed, just type site:your_site_domain in search engines. Remember that your_site_url and your_site_domain are not identical. Site domain does not contain http:// while site URL must have (ex:http://your_site_domain/your_page.htm is a URL of your website).
Assume the SEO firm, in their optimisation report, would ask the site owners to exchange links with other relevant websites to improve the link popularity. The problem is: where can I find the other sites? Don't be concerned, search engines can help you. Site owners can learn from their competitors about which websites they've exchanged links with by checking their link popularity.
In short, if you want search engines to help bring in business, you should become friendly with them first. Search engines are always beneficial friends (despite the fact that they are not easy to control!).
2. HTML basic syntax and HTML editor – Site owners are not obligated to master HTML language to re-design their pages. That is not their task. But basic syntaxes are always needed.
For example, they should know to locate where the <head> block in an html page is to add new auto-generated Meta-tags. I've mentioned auto-generated Meta-tags because site owners don't need to code the Meta-tags either. With "Meta-tags Generator" keyword, they can find that on search engines thousands of websites are welcoming them to use their tool. Besides, the html link syntax is also worthwhile to remember: Look at this simple code <a href="your_site_url_1">your descriptive text</a> which you send to other site owners for link exchange. Your website has many pages for exchanging links so it is important to know this link code to change your_site_url_1 to other pages and your descriptive text respectively. In addition, with the knowledge of html syntax, you can open your web pages and insert the links at your own and stop calling webmasters regularly for editing pages with links. Nowadays, html editors such as FrontPage, DreamWeaver can highly simplify this task in the similar way as you are working with MS Word. Just choose the position in Design view (in FrontPage) and paste the link code in the Code view at the cursor.
3. Google toolbar – Google Toolbar is a valuable tool for web surfers and even more useful to site owners to check PageRank. PageRank is a Google's grade (from 0 to 10) to analyze the quality and quantity of links that point to a page. With high pageranks, they don't ensure a high position in Google's search results but they can tell us many things. PageRank inspires site owners in the long routine of SEO. The little green color on this bar resembles fruits in the tree of our efforts and we are motivated to dig more in SEO. On top of that, PageRank helps site owners to find appropriate sites to exchange links with. Seek for the sites with the same level (pagerank) to foresee the success of your link exchange requests. To install Google toolbar to your browsers (Internet Explorer or Firefox), just start by typing Google toolbar in search engines and follow the first result.
In this article, I have provided the site owners with some basic but efficient tools to come along their SEO campaigns. They include, but not limit to, search engines, HTML editor and Google toolbar. In addition, there exists others such as FTP tool, Google sitemap, Link Directory software, etc… The important thing to novice site owners is leaving behind your main profession and get your hands wet with these tools. Webmaster and SEO firm can't do everything for you. Learning SEO tools today will never be too late and squandered.