If you are in business you likely understand the need for effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO). People rarely use phone books any longer and by far, the most common way of finding a business is to use a search engine like Google or Bing.
Keywords are one of the toughest concepts for beginners to understand. Being on the first page of Google suggests that someone has typed in a search term and your web page has come up in the top 10 for that search phrase.
In other words, if your web page is about plumbers in New York, with effective SEO, you can reasonably expect to be found on Google when someone types in “plumbers in New York” but you may not be found for “clogged sink Buffalo”.
Proper keyword selection is key to a successful SEO campaign. You won’t be found for everything but increasing traffic with the best use of keywords is the goal.
The search engines don’t particularly care what your website looks like, they are concerned with the content of your website. With that said your aim will be to make it as easy as possible for the search engines to read your website.
To do that, you’ll want to be sure that errors are minimized or eliminated — websites can be quite forgiving and errors may not be obvious — so that the search engines can easily read your content.
Search engines lives are made much easier when they can find their way around your website easily and so will your visitors! Search engines follow links and effectively, that’s how they find new web pages.
Good navigation will help search engines find new content on your website, lead them to your most important information, and give them hints as to what your content is about.
As we alluded to when we were talking about keywords, the content on your web page must be relevant to the search terms you want to be found for. Not only do you need to use these keywords in your content but you need to use them effectively — in headings, titles, descriptions, etc in order to give the search engines as many hints as possible that your web page is about your keywords.
Another one of those things that people find confusing is that the search engines are constantly noting what web pages have links to your web page. The search engines see these links from other websites as “votes” for your web page.
For example, a home owner in New York has just had a good experience with a plumber and posts her experience to her blog with a link to the plumbers’ web site. While this is a very simple example, links from other websites give your site more credibility. It has been estimated that links from other websites contribute to as much as 70% of your odds of ranking well on search engines.