Search Engine Optimization Basics
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. Typically, the earlier a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.
Search-Engine-Optimization (SEO) is an extremely important component of a successful Internet marketing strategy and is essential for the success of your website. No matter how great your website design is, it is of no value to you if people can't find you. You've got a great service to offer prospective customers. How are they going to find you and not your competitors? E-Com Web Marketing, your San Diego website design and Internet marketing agency knows SEO and can make it work for you.
Optimizing your website means inserting and using effective titles, descriptions and keywords correctly so Google, Yahoo and the other search engines will understand what your website, pages and content are about. This then allows them to recommend your website to people that are searching for information on your site's topic.
Yes, there are literally billions of pages of information on the Internet, coming from millions of websites. Will your website ever be found by anyone googling your product? The answer is a resounding "yes", if...you play by Google's rules.
Question: How many people actually sit down and read the directions before assembling something they just bought?
Answer: Very few.
If you'll take the time to learn about Search-Engine-Optimization (SEO) and what Google rewards, you can pass all of those other websites you're trying to outrank, and go right to the front of the line. (See SEO Quick Facts) Is it easy to do? No, it takes some time on your part to learn the basics. Is it worth the time? Absolutely.
You have two audiences to please with your website: Google and the human reading your content. You know it's good content if your reader is spending minutes looking at your website, not seconds. And if they're spending minutes with you, there's a good possibility they'll also spend money with you. People pay for good content, because like everything else in the marketplace...it's hard to find good help. Help them quickly and easily find what they're looking for and you'll be handsomely rewarded.
Google is a quality company that takes a lot of pride in fulfilling their mission to their customers. And what is that mission? To help people find the best websites and content available on the Internet. How does Google, and let's not forget Yahoo, MSN, AOL etc, know who's got the best information? Three ways:
Spiders and Robots
"Spiders", and "robots", are actually nicknames for various computer programs, also known as algorithms, that Google uses to read and rank your website. These programs actually are reading two things on your website: text and code. Text is just what it implies, written words which comprise the content of your website. Code is the language that is sometimes used by website designers when they build a website. You and I can't see it because it's on pages only the search engines can see.
Search Engine Spiders are continuously scanning the Internet for new website addresses and new pages. They look for keywords that will tell them, and their customers, what your website is about. They determine this by the domain name you've chosen, page titles, keywords you've told them about and, most important, your written content.
These search-engine-optimization spiders are continuously "making the rounds", so new content you add to your site between spider visits will eventually be indexed. (Read Six Steps to a Good Keyword List).
Who reads the Index?
If you were holding a big book titled "Stars and Constellations", and you wanted to find every reference in that book to "The Big Dipper", where would you immediatelyturn to ? The index.
Well, when you enter the words "The Big Dipper" into the search box on your computer, and Google has to look through billions of pages to find it for you, where do you thing they find it? That's right, the Google index.
When the spiders were looking around your website, they noted all of the words on your website, giving special emphasis to what you told them were "keywords". They then took this information and put it in their index, just waiting for someone to come along looking for that specific information. The more pages you have in the index, the greater the chance that your site will come up and be recommended.
This Better Be Good
Ok, so far so good. The search-engine-optimization spiders found your website and put you into their index. Now comes the most important ingredient of good optimization...excellent content.
How would a spider, or computer program, know if my content was better than my competition's? There are several ways:
- Your content matches the keywords you told Google to index your site under.
- You have a lot of content. The more the merrier, just don't make it duplicate content.
- Besides just text, you have some images and/or video to help your reader understand better.
These are the fundamentals of Search-Engine-Optimization. Yes, there is a lot to learn, but it is imperative that it's done right if you're going to be found. Otherwise you'll just have a pretty website that nobody knows about.