If you are unfamiliar with the term SEO – or if you have heard about it but not exactly sure what it is, then here’s an overview and definition so that you can understand what it is used for and even explain it to someone else, like an expert.
A search engine is a web site like Google or Bing or Yahoo. Its where you can find resources on the Internet by entering search terms. Simple terms like “organic dog food” or more complex phrases like “where in Tampa can I find organic dog food”.
The search engine will provide a list or web sites that answer that question and ranks them in order of relevancy. So the top site on the results page should be the best resource to answer your query. This is achieved by analyzing all kinds of criteria about each web site. The search engine scans web sites across the Internet and then indexes them based on the key words that they are about.
So what is search engine optimization or SEO for short? It is the process by which a web site owner customizes their web content pages – including the home page – to make them appealing to search engines looking for a match for specific keywords. And by creating appealing content that get’s shared and linked.
How is this done? There are three basic steps, although there is much more to SEO than just these, but they are the start of a strategy.
STEP 1: Research keywords
The first step in any SEO strategy is to identify what keyword or set of keywords (often called a “keyword phrase”) to optimize a web site and its web pages for. Choosing the right keywords will result in large volumes of traffic arriving on the web site if they are keywords that are typed into a search engine frequently. LEARN MORE about keyword research
STEP 2: Optimize keywords on a page
This process involved editing text and programming code on a web page to help search engines recognize it as a good page to rank for a particular set of keywords and to list it in their search results. LEARN MORE about on-page optimization
STEP 3: Get linked
This process – also called in-linking – is the work done to get other websites to link to your web site. It can be done by listing a site on free directories, getting mentions in other peoples blogs, getting media mentions and in some cases buying links (although this can sometimes be ill advised) on prominent web sites. LEARN MORE about backlinking
STEP 4: Track and analyze
This process is about evaluating what keywords you have been ranked for on Google and Bing and then looking for ways to improve these rankings through optimization and in-linking.
STEP 5: Create valuable content and continue to optimize
After an initial execution of steps 1 to 4, your ongoing job will be to create great content on your web site that positions you as an expert on the web in the areas that you specialize in an what to be known for. If you want high rankings on search engines you must become a content creator and update the content regularly – or hire someone to do that.