What Does Search Engine Optimization Actually Mean?

You may have heard the term, but you’re not quite sure what Search Engine Optimization or SEO means. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. You’re about to be taken on a little crash course in search engine optimization and the ways Internet marketers use SEO to gain more exposure, more sales and more revenue year after year. First, we need to discuss what search engines are and why we would want to optimize our marketing materials for them.


What Is A Search Engine?

Man, what did we do before search engines? When you wanted to learn a fact or when you need directions for a certain destination, you used to have to ask actual people. You used to have to pick up a book or a phone book. Today, we have search engines that tell us facts, give us directions and they even helps us with our problems.

When people want to know something, they type in ‘keywords’ in the search box. This tells the search engine what search results to display for the user. The search engines always want to deliver the very best content for search engine users. They want well-written articles, well-produced and compelling videos, eye-catching photos and graphics and, above all, they want the quality content to be ‘relevant’ to the keywords the search engine user typed in.

The search engines, after pouring through millions upon millions of search results, finally deliver the results with the first ten results landing on the first page. If you are a business owner, Internet marketer or webmaster, that first page of search results is where you want to be.

Enter Search Engine Optimization. The practice of SEO is engaging in certain tricks and techniques that will blast your websites, web pages and all other marketing materials to the very top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). Hopefully, if you play your cards right and you use the proper SEO techniques, you will land in the first three search results for your chosen keyword terms. That’s what you’re going to learn how to do right now and you can find out more here.


On-Page Search Engine Optimization

When you publish a web page to the Internet, the search engines will use automated ‘bots’ to crawl those pages. Google calls these bots spiders. As these spiders crawl your page, they’re looking for certain things.

  • Keywords: As an ambitious Internet marketer, you should be doing plenty of keyword research so that you know exactly which keywords your prospects are using to find your business, products and/or services. Use your keywords prominently on your web page, but don’t keyword stuff. Search engines will know when you’re trying to game the system.
  • Meta Tags: These are the bits of code behind the scenes of your website that tell the search engine spiders what your website is called (Title),and they also give a description of your website, (Description). These titles and descriptions will also show up as the snippets search engines see when they’re trying to make a decision in the search results. Make them good.
  • On-Site Linking: Link your pages together using relevant keywords as hypertext. This gives your internal pages more link juice and it provides a more convenient browsing experience for your website visitors. Make the internal linking look natural and always make sure the keyword is relevant to the destination page.


Off-Site SEO

In the effort to find the highest-quality and most relevant content for search engine users, the search engines will make sure that others on the Internet vouch for your web presence. If a prominent website links to your website, well then your website must offer some quality. That link back to your website is called a ‘backlink’.

The key is to get backlinks from prominent sites using your keywords as hypertext that lead back to your relevant web pages. In the past, search engine optimization was easy. You could simply buy thousands of backlinks and you’d shoot to the top of the SERPs for your keyword phrases. These days, it’s not as simple as that. The search engines, especially Google, have been cracking down on black hat SEO techniques. No keyword stuffing, no keyword buying and no scamming at all. That’s a good thing as the Internet as a whole.

So how do you get backlinks organically so as to appease the search engines as rise to the pinnacle in the SERPs? You use all the tools available to you. Spread your web pages on social media, write articles and press releases with hypertext backlinks and submit them to article directories and PR directories. Make videos and submit them to video sharing sites like YouTube.

Now that you know how SEO works, let me leave you with this: If you want to succeed as a business owner or Internet marketer with search engine optimization, you will strive to provide a great web experience for your website visitors, you will keep an eye on competitors to make sure you’re always one step ahead and you’ll be honest and moral when it comes to your SEO techniques. Follow that advice and you’ll always succeed at the game of SEO.

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