Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What the heck is SEO anyway?

The Internet has come a long way since the days when we thought it was absolutely astounding that we didn’t have to walk through deep snow in the winter to send out letters to our grandmothers, friends and parents. Now everything in our ever-growing society has some online connection and the Internet has become a saturated and complicated place for a newbie website owner. Yes, I am getting to the point, which is SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, but before we get into the nitty gritty of what that means for you and your website, let’s first start with the simple (perhaps stupid) question of what is a search engine and what does it do?

Search engines allow you, as the user, to find what it is you are looking for online. One of the most popular search engines out there right now is Google; however there are some other larger options such as: Yahoo, Altavista and MSN. Search engines operate by using a program which sends out “robots” to find all of the websites that have the search words you typed in. These search words are called “keywords.” So what do keywords do for you as a website owner? Well to start, keywords help your customers find your website. In order to get your website above others in the same category as you, you’ll need to know a thing or two about SEO.

1) SEO requires a little bit of common sense. It is not merely enough to tack on a bunch of keywords onto your website; you will also need to know which keywords will be the most successful for your site. This is where the “common sense” comes in. There are millions of websites out there, probably thousands that have the same basic content as yours, so you’ll need to find another way to rank above the crowd. Find very specific words that describe your product. For example: John is selling funky-flavored ice cream. The keywords for his website would be: funky-flavored ice cream, specialized ice cream, new flavors, creative flavors, fun ice cream, etc. This would get him a higher ranking than using the basic keywords like: ice cream, good ice cream, ice cream cones, etc.

2) Know your competitors. This is a must in business and it works no differently online. If you know your competitors and their keywords, it’ll make it easier to come up with different ones that stand out. You can see your competitors’ keywords by right clicking on their website and then selecting the option “view source”, the keywords will be located on the top of that file.

3) Ask your friends. Tell your friends you have a website about say, funky-flavored ice cream. Ask them what they would search for if they wanted to find it. This will help you to realize what kinds of keywords your customers would type into a search engine to try to find your site. These keywords should be listed on your website so that it will come up when someone types them in.

4) Write articles. If you write lots of articles that are keyword-enriched (filled with your keywords) you will rank higher on the search engines. Every time the search-bots are looking for the keywords a user types in, your page will come up. If you have ten pages with the words “funky-flavored ice cream” on them, it will come up ten times. Know when “do-it-yourself” ends. While it is great to be independent and get things done yourself, it is also a good idea to understand that you might need some help. Proper SEO requires a lot of work and a lot of time. If you’re already bogged down running your company, it is often a good idea to get some help. A good SEO company can dramatically increase your ranking and keep your site at the top of the search engine lists. To find out how to increase your ranking through effective SEO, drop us an email at:

No comments: