Search Engine Optimization For Dummies
If you have a website online, or even just a blog, then you have likely at least once heard about the concept of search engine optimization. This is also acronymed as SEO. You are aware from what you hear that it is essential to doing things online, but you might wonder what exactly search engine optimization is and does for you, as well as why it is so critical? Keep reading for answers to your questions about this concept.
First off, what exactly is search engine optimization? There are a number of individual tactics, strategies and steps that go into it, but basically, it is a discipline that you follow to get your website to have a high ranking within the search engine results listings for anyone searching for keywords related to your content. If your blog is about playing bridge, then ideally, you would want to be the first Google listed website when someone searches for “playing bridge”. This is search engine optimization in a nutshell: doing the things that you need to land a high result, which results in having increased readership, traffic, revenue and possibly sales.
Keywords are another term thrown around a lot, especially in regards to search engine optimization. Keywords are basically the primary pieces of vocabulary that your website or blog is about. You want to usually focus on one to five primary keywords to optimize for, and maybe a dozen or so variations for secondary keywords. The keywords for this article would likely be “search engine optimization”, or “search engine optimization basics” as a long-tail variant. Naturally, you want keywords throughout your website content, but do not go overboard. More is not better, as search engines are smart enough to notice this. Try for a density of one to five percent of your total verbage.
There are right ways and wrong ways to go about this. Right ways include making your website very easy to navigate and having a good sitemap where search engine spiders can find all of your individual pages. No, these are not real spiders, but instead search algorithms that just randomly surf the internet for websites not currently in their database.
Wrong ways to utilize search engine optimization are known as black hat methods. These vary almost quarterly, so do a search if you are curious. The reason these do not last long is because search engines update their algorithms several times a year in an attempt to weed out such sites. You might find some temporary benefit from these practices, but their usefulness is short-lived in most cases.
Search engine optimization does not have to be difficult to do. Now that you have read this article, you are generally familiar with the subject. You should understand the terminology well enough to keep up with other articles that have more detailed tactics that you can try as individual actions.
Of course if you want the results without having to mess with it yourself, you can always just hire someone. Just check their credentials first. An experienced and effective search engine optimization consultant is going to have a portfolio of previous websites and can show you the before and after search positions and traffic patterns for websites they have worked on.
Before you can ever hope to make use of search engine optimization, you have to know exactly what it is. Now that you do, you can see why it is important. Good luck!