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A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Regardless of the nature of your website, you want traffic. You may have an online business and absolutely must have traffic to your site, but you may have an offline business and would like more traffic as well. Naturally, this will generate more offline sales. However, even if you are a non-profit group, you will benefit by attracting more people to your cause. In general, driving traffic to your website or blog falls under the category of Internet marketing, but the foundation of Internet marketing is search engine optimization. As such, you need to engage in the process of SEO before you take steps to market your products through various advertising methods. The following are a few basic things you should know about SEO.

A Beginner's Guide to Search Engine Optimization

What exactly does SEO refer to?
SEO is a set of techniques used in such a way that your website will rank high in search results for keywords. These keywords are words that relate to what your business is about, and the products that you sell. People searching for products, services or just information, will almost always go online, and then go directly to their favorite search engine. If this person is looking for something you have to offer, you want your website optimized in such a way that after a keyword is entered, a link to your website is displayed in the results.

What is search engine results placement?
You may have heard the term search engine results placement or SERP as it is abbreviated. You may have wondered what it is, and how it differs from SEO. SERP refers to the placement of your website in results. After a word or phrase is entered, there will be a number of results that are returned. There may only be a few, but usually there are thousands. How high your website ranks for these keywords is what SERP is all about. People have a tendency to only look at the first few entries on the first page. Worst case, they will click to the second page, but that is usually as far as they will go. This means that an important standard for the effectiveness of SEO is how high your website places for keywords.

Making your website search engine friendly
Optimization of your web page so that is it easy for search engine crawlers to find and index is extremely important. There are many techniques that can be used for this purpose. One example is a site map. This is simply a file that contains all of the information about each page on your site.

Finding your keywords
Before any work can be done with keywords, it first must be determined what they are. This can be tricky, even for someone who knows all of the finer points of the products they sell. What has to be determined is what are the likely words that Internet users will enter into a search box when looking for the product that you sell. This is not always a simple task, and to a certain extent, it may take some trial and error. Once your keywords are known, it then becomes a priority to develop content on your website that uses these keywords. Search engines will then relate these keywords to your website, and it will help to make your website rank high in search engine results.

Creating quality content for your website
In the long run, the most important part of search engine optimization is to have quality content on your website. What you are looking for is the type of content that people will want to obtain in order to get information relating to the type of product or service that you offer. One of the most popular types of quality content are articles. When there are high quality articles on your website, you will be branding yourself as an authority on one or more topics that relate to what you sell. There are other ways to achieve this. One example is with a forum. People can go there to ask questions as well as get information.

Getting lots of backlinks
Backlinks are links to your website that are in a single direction: from another site to your site. Search engines love these links because they are difficult to manipulate. A backlink is often created because the webmaster at another site finds your site to contain important information. As such, backlinks are a measure of quality content. With high quality content, you will have quality backlinks, and this, in turn, leads to high search engine results placement.

The SEO basics listed above may seem complex, and to a certain extent they are. However, there are professional SEO companies that can take care of all of this for you at a reasonable price.

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