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The Basics of SEO for Newbies


The Basics of SEO for Newbies

If you ever owned an on-line business, I am quite certain you have heard the term SEO being thrown around a lot. What does SEO mean? It stands for Search Engine Optimization and I’m sure this confuses you even more. In simple terms, SEO consultants or experts help “optimize” a website, so that it gets picked up by all the major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! It’s like a needle wanting to get noticed in a haystack.

The next question people ask is if SEO experts are more on the marketing side or on the technical side. Well, the answer is both. I would refer to it as technical marketing because it involves understand some basic web technologies. This does not mean you have to be a programmer (certainly not), but it does require you to understand how the web works and this can be become quite technical.

So how does one go about optimizing a website for SEO? Well, the first step begins with your website itself (also referred to as on-page optimization). This involves making some tweaks to your site, so that it becomes more search engine friendly. This could involve minor tweaks in the HTML code to a full-scale re-design. This is a fairly subjective area, so the amount of work depends on a specific website.

Next, an SEO consultant would optimize a site for increasing the number of links pointing to it. This is referred to as off-page optimization and is a very important element of SEO. One of the metrics that Google uses in ranking websites (and there are many) is by analyzing how many links point to a particular website. The more links a website gets, the more “authority” it has in the eyes of search engines and this will increase its rankings. Again, many other metrics come into play such as the quality and relevancy of the links, but that is out of the scope of this article. This post is to serve as an introduction to SEO. For more in-depth material, please visit SEOMOZ, which is has become an authority on the subject.

Why would a website owner or business want to employ SEO? Well, the answer is simple. SEO helps websites increase their on-line visibility and increase traffic. Studies have shown that websites which show up on the first page of Google receive more than 85% of the traffic! So SEO is almost critical if your revenue depends on on-line sales.

Another often overlooked aspect of SEO is content. Google loves content because it provides users (such you and me) with more reason to surf the web. Consider the internet like a large library and Google like the librarian. The more books (content) the library has, the more visitors will come to the library. So the more unique content a website has on a regular basis will also help in search engine rankings. Just look at Wikipedia. It shows up on the first page of Google for almost everything you type into a search! This s all because of the sheer volume of content Wikipedia has developed over the years.

So if you are in the market for an , please keep in mind, it’s as much an art as it is a science.

Brent works at SEO Specialists, a leading SEO agency providing consultation to various website owners and businesses. Brent has been an internet marketer for many years and spends most of his time “plugged” into the web testing new strategies for his clients. Feel free to reach out to him at brmcquary(at) gmail (dot)com

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