I swear when I first started developing a digital presence online, it took me a good year to finally get a mental grip on exactly what SEO really is. I really do remember the day my brain opened up and I FINALLY understood – I mean REALLY understood what a keyword was, and how it played a part in SEO.
Maybe you aren’t as dim as I am, but if you are, take heart, you will get it – eventually!
SEO is the acronym of Search Engine Optimization.
The words “Search Engine” refers to a platform that retrieves data based on a particular input or query string. The more well known search engines are Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, Duck Duck Go and so on.
The word optimization is directed to the activity of making your website or virtual property appealing to the Search Engine in such a way that when someone enters a query string relevant to the information on your website, the search engine will show your site in its search results.
The practice and purpose of optimizing your site is to try and get it to show up on at least the first three pages. Optimally the first page and best if it is in the top three.
By getting your site “ranked” high in the Search Engines you will increase your organic traffic on your selected keywords. Without it you will not get any natural search traffic.
Types of SEO include on page and off page SEO tactics.
What is SEO good for?
SEO is good for you and your customer. Let’s say you have the best price on the best product in the world. If you can’t get the word out, or people can’t find you using the proper search term (A.K.A keyword) – then neither of you will benefit.
Since most of your traffic will come from the big Search Engines you need to pay attention to SEO when setting up your website. Some traffic will come from social media yes, but even then you need to understand and plan your SEO strategies.
On Page SEO is
On page SEO is what you do to your website that allows the Search Engine “bots” or automated robots to learn about what your page is about. They will be “indexed” and when a person punches in a search term into a Search Engine, your indexed site will be compared (with millions of others) for its “relevance”.
Even if you intend to pay for traffic all the time, if you are using the Search Engines PPC service, the relevancy of your page is directly related to the price you will pay to have your ad show up in the prime spots.
Off Page SEO is
Off page SEO plays a really big part in whether or not your site will show up high in the listings. If you have a lot of back links and “social signals”, the SE’s will consider your site important enough to put at the head of the line.
How to do SEO Right
The first thing is to have content. The more pages you have, the more of your site that gets crawled and indexed and the more search terms you will rank for. This is one thing you can keep doing all the time. Add your pages on a regular basis. Once a week or once a day – be sure to be regular. Everytime you publish a new page the SE’s will come back to reindex.
Make sure this content is useful and relevant. Most importantly is ensure your content is ORIGINAL. If you use PLR content or copy someone else’s, you won’t get a good placement at all.
Make sure your meta tags, title, and heading are all congruent and relevant to the topic on the page.
Encourage people to “like” and share your content on social networking sites.
Use correct images, good descriptions, name them appropriately, and be sure to use the alt and title tags.
If a press release would be relevant to what you are doing then that may help your site too. At the very least a reputable news site carrying your story will be ranked high.
Article marketing is another way to provide back links and strengthening your SEO. Although not as effective as it once was, it still counts if the link is on a good site.
There are many, many things you can do to improve your rankings in the Search Engines and help yourself to get indexed and better rankings. BUT don’t think you can outwit the search engines by short cutting the system. Link farms and purchased links can cause more damage.
If you care about the health and longevity of your site then keep it white-hat all the way. If someone offers you a sweet deal to rank you number one in the search engines for a low-ball price, I can pretty much guarantee you its a sham.