Learning About Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is something we hear about often when researching Internet marketing. For someone new to Internet marketing, SEO may seem like just another acronym in a sea of acronyms. So, let us begin with the basics.

1) Let us define SEO

Anytime you enter a search in Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other search engine, the search website must determine which websites will appear in the results page. The way search websites do this is with a complicated mathematical formula that compares all the pages on the Internet against each other.

The comparison of web pages is done to determine which web pages are the most relevant for the search term you entered in. The factors that are considered in the formula include:

and#8226; The words in the URL

and#8226; The words used in the text

and#8226; The tags placed in the coding of the site

and#8226; The links from other sites that go to your sites

Search engine optimization is a series of tools and practices that enhance your site's score in the formula so your website appears in the search results.

2) Why SEO is Important

Search engines divide the search results on a webpage to include sponsored listings (pay-per-click ads) and natural listings. Most consumers know the difference between the sponsored listings and the natural listings.

Consumers generally equate a website's position in search results with the quality of the company. Though there is no real correlation between the two, the perception is an important one to be aware of.

SEO is also unlike pay-per-click because you do not have to pay every time someone clicks on your listing in the search results. Though you may hire someone to do your SEO campaign, their fee is the only cost associated with getting traffic.

3) Pitfalls of SEO

It is important to know that SEO takes time to reap results. Unlike Pay-Per-Click ads that can bring traffic to your site in minutes, SEO generally takes several weeks to many months to bring traffic to your website.

Many website owners view SEO as an essential long-term marketing initiative rather than an immediate, instant traffic initiative like PPC or taking out ads on other websites.

If your goal is long-term success online your Internet marketing plan should include SEO for your most important search terms.

4) Understanding Search Results

You have probably read about search engine marketing, search results, search advertising, etc. Understanding how search results work is the first step towards making the right Internet marketing decisions for your business.

5) Pay-Per-Click Advertising

The three major search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) all include sponsored or paid results along with natural search results when someone does a search. Typically the sponsored results appear at the top and to the side of the natural results (and are designated as "Sponsored" or "Paid" ads).

Most consumers understand at this point that the reason those websites are appearing on the results page is that they paid to appear there. Generally speaking, consumers review those ads but first look in the natural or organic listings to see if any websites fit their needs.

6) Local Listings

The three major search engines have recently began to add local listings in the search results. The search websites are able to determine where someone is searching from (based on their IP address) and will display local results just above the organic listings. Consumers are looking at these results and are clicking on the sites that appear.

You want to try to get your business listed in the local results for your keywords.

7) Search Engine Optimization

The organic listings on the search results pages are those that appear in the very center of the page. These are the web pages that the search determines are the most relevant. This is based on how the website scored against other websites in a complicated mathematical formula.

Appearing in the organic searches is important because consumers equate ranking in the organic listings with quality. Though there is no correlation between the quality of a company and their online ranking the perception is an important one to note for Internet marketing purposes.

SEO is a system of tools and practices that enhance your website's score in these formulas. You should consider engaging in a SEO campaign as part of your overall Internet marketing strategy in order to maximize your position in the organic listings.

A comprehensive online marketing strategy will include trying to get your website in the organic listings, local listings and even the paid listings. The more opportunities you give potential customers to find your site the more traffic you will receive.

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This Article Has Been Published on Fri, 13 May 2011 and Read 4575 Times

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