If you created a website as a profit center or simply for pleasure, you need to have visitors. You are not going to be able to sell a product or service if no one knows about them. The question is, how do you get your website out there so that web visitors can find you? This is where you need to incorporate some strategies in order to optimize your website for the search engines. This process is called search engine optimization, or more commonly known as SEO.
Internet search engine optimization is a series of techniques, tools and strategies performed on your blog or website to help to draw attention from the search engines. Search engines use software applications called bots and spiders to crawl websites looking for anything that makes them relevant to the search parameters entered by online visitors.
Most web surfers either are not sure what they are looking for or they don’t know how to find it online. Web visitors rely on the search engines to do the job for them. The words or phrases that visitors enter into the search boxes are called “keywords” by online marketers. When you use these same keywords in various places on your website, the search engines will rank your web pages in relation to other websites using these same keywords. The website owners who do their homework and apply optimization techniques effectively, will be at the top of the ranking list. So, what’s all of the fuss about being at the top of list with search engines?
Studies have shown that about 60% of the people searching the internet will choose to click on one of the top 3 sites presented in the search results. Additionally, the majority of these web searchers will click on the result in the number 1 ranked spot. Therefore, if you happen to be in one of the first 3 positions in search results, you can expect to receive an increased amount of website traffic. When you fall to the 4th position or lower, the response from search engine searchers is significantly reduced and these visitors are less likely to become paying customers.
OK, so how to you get your site into the coveted top positions in the search engines? The answer to that question is beyond the scope of this article. However, there are many tools, strategies and resources that can help create increased search engine ranking optimization for your site. Some of these techniques revolve around choosing the correct keywords and keyword phrases for your particular niche. But how do you decide which keywords to use?
First of all you should think like a customer. If you were searching for information about something that is available by your business or on your website, what words would YOU use to enter into the search box? This may be a short list, but it is a start.
Next, you can use an online keyword analysis tool for more ideas. There are programs like the Google Adwords Keywords Tool that can take one keyword or phrase and create a long list of keywords related to your subject or niche. Many internet marketers also use another keyword search tool called Wordtracker’s Free Keyword Tool to help them to find out which keywords are hot.
These keyword tools get their information and results from the search engines themselves insuring that you are getting real world results.
Search engine optimization is also useful for much more than content. You can use keywords to get ranked through other areas of your website. Here are a few:
- Headlines (for articles, webpages and posts)
- Anchor Text (in-content links and ads)
- Picture or Photo Alt Tags
- Pull Down Menus or Tabs
Search engine optimization can help you to design a relevant website for the search engines. Once you create your website, with your niche in mind, and add all of the content and information that you want to deliver to your customers, focus on your keywords. Your keywords will give the search engines what they require to enable your site to get ranked. More importantly, it will allow web visitors to find your products and services, greatly increase your traffic, and ultimately turn your visitors into customers.