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Definition of SEO Search Engine Optimization

SEO Experts To Go

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the art and science of optimizing the pages of your web site to appeal to both your visitors, and the search engines. Notice I said both. Optimizing primarily for the search spiders (also known as robots, which gives you a good idea that they are not human) can result in content that isn't pleasing to your visitors, which of course defeats the purpose of getting them to your web site in the first place.

Another common mistake is to think of search engines as some sort of magical, mystical panacea. They are not. What they are is another form of good old fashioned marketing. Hence the reason I often use SEO and SEM (search engine marketing, or just search marketing) together.

That's right, in the end search engines are just another marketing tool (albeit a potentially very powerful one), and hopefully just one more marketing tool in your box. It is a way to market, promote, and advertise your business to a vast audience.

SEO involves a lot more than just adding some Meta Tags and keywords. Optimizing your web site for the search engines requires that you first optimize for your audience. But it also means using relevant keywords, header tags, clean code, and making sure the important content shows up at the top of the page. It requires careful balancing of keywords and content, along with tagging that helps emphasize the keywords (bold, italic, headers, etc.).

It also means providing lots of good relevant content, ideally focused on a single topic (which also happens to be the keyword or phrase you are targeting). But successful rankings in the search engines is about a lot more than some tags and code. It is the result of a cumulative effect from doing a lot of seemingly small things, that all add up to the big picture.

It's the total package that spells success on the Web.

What Other Things?

  • Content, Content, Content!
  • RSS Feeds
  • Glossaries
  • Forums
  • Press Releases
  • Newsletters
  • Articles
  • Email Campaigns
  • Ads and Articles in Other Sites Newsletters
  • Affiliate Programs
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • PodCasts
  • VideoCasts
  • Local Search
  • In-bound Links
  • Contests
  • Surveys
  • Guest Book
  • Games
  • Tip of The Day
  • Videos
  • MP3s
  • Froogle
  • Good Page Design
  • Google Site Maps
  • Out-bound Links
  • PPC (ex: AdWords)
  • Free Trials
  • Free White Papers (PDFs)
  • List Site in all Print Material (all offline advertising)
  • Banner Ads
  • AdSense
  • Advertising, Including
    • TV, Radio, Print, Direct Mail, etc.

In the end, it's all about the content. The goal should be to convince your visitors and the search engines that your site is the SME (subject matter expert) for your focus.

The more good, strong, relevant content you post, the better your sites chances are of being discovered (and ranking well).
Good copy writing goes a long way here. Whoever is writing your copy (copywriters, editors, yourself) needs to know how to write for both your audience, and the search engines.

It also helps to have other related sites linking to yours. This shows the search engines (and your visitors) that others think highly enough of your site to link to it.
Word of caution here though, you don't want just any site linking to you, and you don't want everyone just linking to your home page. A well planned strategy for acquiring relevant inbound links is worth the time and effort.

Good relevant links from related web sites not only helps your search engine rankings, it brings it's own qualified traffic to you!

What the Search Engines Look For:
Google: Incoming Links, On-page SEO, Site Design Spiderability, User analytics, Outgoing links, Inclusion in other Google indexes, Document Histories
Yahoo: On-page SEO, Links and Link Patterns, Site Design, User analytics, Inclusion in other Yahoo indexes, Document Footprints
MSN: On-page SEO, Site Design and Structure and Sipderability
Ask: On-page SEO, Site Design, Site Structure and Spiderability
( From an article by Jim Hedger of StepForth )

Ultimately you want people to find your web site, and like what they find.
That's the first step.
Once you get them there, the really important second step comes in to play ...
Converting Them!

You would be amazed at how many web sites do a good job of attracting traffic, only to lose out because they didn't take advantage of their traffic by offering strong appealing reasons to convert to something actionable (leads, sales, subscriptions, email newsletter sign ups, free trials, etc.)

More on converting visitors



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