Search engines are the compasses travelers use to navigate the Information Superhighway. There are approximately a billion websites in the world. Many are useful and others are garbage. Search engines crawl the Internet and index everything they find. Their sole purpose is connecting Internet users with information they are looking for.
Search engines one and only priority is their users. They couldn’t care less about helping your website. That doesn’t mean you can’t harness them to drive more traffic and higher sales to your website.
Search engines tend to offer more traffic with better conversion rates than most other sites. Websites who use SEO effectively are rewarded with high search engine traffic and many paying customers.
The point of SEO is to convince search engines that you are a high quality site offering the highest quality information. There are several pieces to the puzzle.
Identifying strong keywords
When you build your site, you need to know what niche you are targeting. When you are optimizing your website, you need to think about the search terms your target audience is using. This involves a little psychology. Start general, then look into synonyms. Always ask yourself “what are my customers searching for?”
After you have made a list of keywords you want to target, start analyzing them for traffic volume and competition. I usually start with the Google Keyword Tool. This tool tells you how many searches a given search term is receiving each month. You can also use Google Trends to see what is getting more popular.
After identifying your most promising keywords, determine how long it will take to optimize them. I will dedicate entire articles on this topic later. In the meantime, don’t rule out any keyword just because it is competitive. Competitive keywords may be worth the time it takes to optimize if they offer enough traffic.
Create Great Content
Someone in SEO once coined the phrase “Content is king.” I disagree. Content is infinitely more important than royalty in SEO. Content is the breath, bread and life of your SEO and online presence. Search engines want to know you are providing great material for your visitors. More importantly, you want to satisfy your users when they arrive on your website.
Optimizing your on-page content requires careful placement of your keywords. Above all, your keywords should be in the title tag of your document. You should also use your keywords within the body of your page.
Using keywords is an art that takes a while to master correctly. Use them too much and your site will be penalized for keyword stuffing. If you don’t use them enough, your site won’t rank well. However, it is becoming less and less important to maintain high keyword densities.
Google changed it’s algorithm and focused less on keyword density and more on relevant phrases and synonyms. As long as you come up with awesome, relevant content you should rank well.
Find Links Back to your Webpages
There are plenty of great websites on the web. Search bots don’t know whether content is informative or accurate. They need the opinions of other websites.
Pretend you’re pursuing a job with Google. You’ve sold yourself with your resume and done well on the interview. Now you need references to justify the quality of your work. When other websites link back to you, they tell Google they respect your website.
Be on the lookout for relevant, well positioned websites that allow backlinking. Building relevant, anchored links helps you position yourself as an authority in your niche.
Importance of SEO
SEO is a crucial aspect of your Internet marketing strategy. Search engines drive relevant traffic to your website that is five times more likely to convert. SEO takes time but it is definitely worth the investment.
Photo Credit: Matt Searles