So you finally have your great website, all ready to go with the latest coding and graphic technology. Do Yahoo and Google just pick up your site automatically? Believe it or not, no! Search engines use many tools and formulas to determine how your site appears on them. One such tool is called a "meta tag", which is embedded within your HTML documents that "rank" your site against other sites out there in the big Internet world. Search engine optimization (SEO) sounds intimidating but it's not so bad.
Here are the search engine optimization basics: SEO simply involves choosing the correct amount, type and order of words in your content and meta-tags to give you higher rankings in search engines. Yes. it is that simple! Quality content on a quality website provide the best opportunity to rank high on a search engine. SEO can be achieved by either a beginner or skilled search engine optimization expert. Knowing the resources available and practicing, make SEO achievable by anybody.
What happens if you don't SEO your site? Usually, you'll find that your site will rank very low in the millions of similar sites out there! You won't be able to find your website on the first 80 pages of the search engine. You built your site so that you could share with the world how wonderful your product or service is, so it behooves you to make sure that your SEO strategy is sound and sustainable. There is search engine optimization software available that will analyze the text of your HTML document and choose meta-tags for you.
These are OK for small personal sites, but for your business, there's nothing like a real human analyzing content. There are also many services, companies and consultants out there as well. Prior to utilizing one of these, you will want to confirm that they utilize only ethical search engine practices. Some companies out there will flood their meta-tags with very common words and phrases in order to catch as much traffic as possible. Search engines can penalize your site for this and put you in a worse position than you started. Likewise, you will want to stay clear of many of the "quick fixes" like link farms and too much paid advertising.
A solid SEO strategy might include a healthy mix of paid advertising, blogging, article writing, press releases, social bookmarking, and directory submission. Utilization of these practices and quality content is your key to success. Overall, search engine optimization is a very important step in defining your company or campaign as a serious Internet presence and force to be reckoned with. Done properly, search engine optimization can help you to compete against major companies by bringing qualified traffic and leads straight to your website.
Without a SEO strategy, you are throwing the money that it cost you to develop your great site, out the window. Copyright (c) 2008 Global Web Expressions.
David Marlow is the chief writer for Global Web Expressions. He has been a technical writer for many years, producing content for various websites, print ads, manuals, and in several other publication types.