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What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Simply put, it is improving the volume and quality of traffic directed to a website from a search engine, in other words, creating web pages that conform to specifications of different search engines. These are not tricks, but optimizing web pages according to a set of rules set by the search engines.

During the optimization process, you are making your site “search engine friendly” so that the search engines are more likely to rank your site higher

in the search results. With millions of websites competing to be indexed by search engines, it’s necessary to make it as easy as possible for them to find your site.

Many people assume that there is a human aspect involved to search engine rankings. They think that people are assigned to review websites, then ranks the pages accordingly. Not true, search engines are entirely automated.

Imagine, Google indexes over 4 billion web pages and therefore it would be impossible to employ enough people to categorize them. Search engines have very sophisticated, fully automated computer programs called “search engine spiders” that examine each website to determine which search terms they should appear in. The optimization process involves the entire website from design to the marketing strategy, the copy, the structure and finally the popularity.

A few steps for effectively optimizing a website:

  • Writing pages for only a single search term;
  • Keyword placement – Strategic placement of keywords that drive traffic to your website;
  • Keyword Density – The total number of keywords in relation to the total amount of words on a page;
  • Meta Tags 1) Meta-Keyword, or informing the search engines about the page content, 2) Meta-Description, or what the search interprets as the description of the page content and how it may be used by the search engine to identify the page in a search hit.

 

In addition to SEO, there is Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which refers to the marketing of the website to generate traffic to the site. This is also referred to as the “off-page factors”.  This would include submitting to directories, linking to and getting links from other websites – preferably websites in the same industry, blogging, and writing articles. Some examples include:

  • Directories are a list reviewed by people and indexed by category.  These create good links to your site;
  • Link Exchanges – Links with other websites preferably in the same industry or content relation;
  • Blogging – Another place where you can get your message out about what you do; and finally,
  • Articles – Writing short articles for publication in forums and e-zines, or electronic online magazines.
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