Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Is the process of tweaking your site, including keywords, metatags, page titles, and so forth, so that it attracts the greatest amount of search engine traffic possible.
An important part of the process is choosing appropriate keyword phrases, and ones that relate to your site. This helps your site to rank highly when someone types that specific phrase into a search engine when conducting a search.
Another important part of the process is fine-tuning the content of your site and its HTML and meta tags, as well as engaging in the link building process. The most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL and Ask Jeeves.
Search engine optimization has been likened to voodoo or one of the “black arts.” The reason for this is that search engines deliberately keep their ranking algorithms a secret. This is done both for competitive purposes and to keep spammers from manipulating the results.
In addition, they often tweak their algorythms in order to keep one step ahead of the competition. The upshot is that there are many conflicting opinions when it comes to the matter of search engine optimization.
A search engine may use hundreds of factors in ranking the sites it indexes. In addition, the various factors and the weight each carries is changed continually. Algorithms can vary so widely among different search engines that a site that ranks #1 on one engine might rank #200 on another.
A new site does not have to be submitted to a search engine in order to be indexed, but some webmasters do so in an attempt to speed up the process. A link from a well-established site to a new site will generally induce the mre responsive search engines to visit the new site and begin spidering its contents. However, it can still take from a few days to a few weeks for a new site to get listed in all the major engines.
You do not have to be an expert or guru in order to perform search engine optimization. Although you can get into it as deeply as you like, and indeed, you can devote your whole life to trying to keep one step ahead of the search engines, it is not necessary that you delve completely into the arcane art of search engine optimization.
Any search engine optimization you perform on your own site is a good thing. In fact, a little search engine optimization is infinitely better than none at all.
A useful tool for Mac and PC for search engine optimization is Competition Strategy Studio. This software helps you find web pages that have missing titles and descriptions, find missing links, anchor text and links in the page, check and find all the headings (h1, h2, h3 …), study the web page HTML and so on.
If you want to get into the process more deeply than time permits, you can always hire the services of a professional who can work with you on these issues.
There are many search engine marketing and promotional companies that specialize in the optimization of websites in order to obtain the greatest results in the search engines. Such specialists will look at your plans for your site and make recommendations to increase your ranking and to draw increased traffic.
They can also provide ongoing consultation, if you desire, to monitor your site and make continual recommendations for editing and improvements to keep your search engine ranking high. In addition, they can work with your web designer, if you have one, to build an integrated plan right into the site.