Thursday, May 5, 2011

Basic Search Engine Optimization Tips

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to gaining more traffic to your website. When people search for information today, they don’t open up the phonebook, the dictionary or the newspaper. Whatever they are trying to find out, they head straight to the search engines. Therefore, if you want to improve your business’s presence it’s all about getting found in the results of the search engines.

That’s what SEO is designed to do. Basically, search engine optimization incorporates everything related to getting your site’s positioning improved within the search engines. If you can make it to the first page of Google, and eventually the number 1 spot on the page, you will see a whirlwind of traffic to your site. You’ll have more prospects and new customers than you know what to do with.

So how do you go about using SEO for your site in order to see better results? While the concept itself seems simple, there are actually many individual components that you have to consider. In addition, the world of search engine optimization is fluid, dynamic and constantly evolving. That means you have to stay on top of all of the latest changes and trends if you want to experience and maintain success.

The first step to the SEO process is researching your market. You need to find the keywords and key phrases that people use to search for information related to the products you sell, the industry that you’re in or the general market that you serve. These keywords are the foundation of what you will be doing with SEO, and you have to find the ones that are popular and widely used without being overly competitive.

Another step of research pertains to looking into your competition. You have to see how much competition there is in your market and for specific terms and phrases, and you have to see how strong that competition is. In addition, you should browse your competitors’ websites to see what you like about them and don’t like about them. Don’t be afraid to borrow from their strengths and learn from their mistakes when creating or optimizing your own site.

Now that you have performed the research itself, you actually have to go about the search engine optimization process. There are many different tactics and strategies here. The most basic of which is incorporating those keywords you found into the content of your page. Be careful not to stuff them in there excessively because you’ll end up looking like spam both to the search engines and to your visitors. Instead work your keywords in naturally so that you can become associated with those specific phrases.

There are also many offsite optimization steps you need to take to really maximize your results. These include establishing your presence in online communities related to your business and also link building. The more links you have, and the better they are in terms of where they come from, the more credibility your website will gain. This will raise your site’s ranking dramatically in the search engines.

This is just a basic overview of some of what’s involved in SEO. The foundation of good SEO work is really research, researching both your market and your competition. From there you’ll have many different factors to consider, including keyword inclusion and link building. Ultimately, proper SEO holds the key to your business succeeding in the online environment.