If you are already running an Internet marketing campaign or are looking into expanding your marketing online, one traffic source you cannot afford to overlook or ignore on is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is one of the most popular buzz words in Internet marketing but is not simple and is often too confusing for most business owners who are not SEO experts, to grasp and implement profitably. Even those who are knowledgeable about SEO may have difficulty executing their SEO strategies to produce the desired affect in many cases

So here is a little background on SEO

Well known search engines such as Google rank websites according to complex algorithms which are designed to determine which websites are most relevant for particular search terms. Google truly wants  and tries to give their customers (searchers) what they want.  In order to take advantage and get ranked, you need to structure your site and content with as much optimization as possible. This is important because most Internet users rely heavily on these rankings. It is not uncommon for Internet users to only review the first few results when they search for a particular term. So if your website ranks high enough to appear on the first page of the search results you will likely enjoy increased website traffic. However, if your website doesn’t make it to the first page or even the second page, it is unlikely you will receive a great deal of website traffic from visitors who use search engines.

Now that you understand why search engine rankings are so important you might wonder how to achieve these rankings.  Because of the complexity of SEO, and it being an expertise of its own, the easiest way to optimize your website is to hire a SEO specialist to do the work for you.

The algorithms used by search engines can be rather complex and include a number of different factors. Some of the common factors in the equation include:

  • Keyword density
  • META tags
  • Titles
  • Inbound links
  • Website traffic and content
  • Video, and more

Keyword density refers to the number of times a particular keyword is used in the content of your website. The theory behind this concept is that website which use a keyword often are likely extremely relevant to that keyword, however, overuse of that keyword may result in penalties to the website if the search engine deemed the keywords are not being used appropriately.

 META tags are pieces of HTML code which some search engines use in evaluating the content of a website. Placing keywords in these tags can be beneficial in some search engines. However, care should be taken to avoid placing irrelevant keywords in these tags as this may result in your website being penalized.

Inbound links are also used by some search engines to rank websites. Inbound links refer to links on other websites which point to your website. In evaluating the worth of these inbound links, some search engines consider the rank of the website providing the link to your website. This means you should ensure the website providing inbound links to your website are high ranking websites to receive the most benefit from these links.

Finally, the content on your website can do a great deal to increase your search engine rankings. Most SEO firms retain a staff of writers who are skilled at providing quality content which is also optimized for relevant keywords. If you hire a SEO firm who does not providing copy-writing services you should invest in hiring a professional writer yourself. This will help to ensure the copy on your website is not only valuable to your visitors but also considered valuable to search engines.

VERY IMPORTANT

With all of this said, SEO is not for everyone, especially if you are just starting out.  It is important for you to understand the basics and to optimize your site the best that you can as you add content.  However,  in many cases, paid search or PPC is much more effective starting out and for figuring out what keywords are important to rank for.

NEVER EVER attempt SEO paid or on your own, until you have first ran PPC campaigns to know what keywords will make you money!  You might spend hundreds or thousands of dollars and months of time trying to get to #1 for a keyword you think is important, only to find out that no one clicks on it, or if they do, they are not in the buying mindset.  Or maybe your site does not convert.  It is much wiser to risk a couple hours of ad words setup and a few hundred dollars to find this out, then months and thousands of dollars.  So  ALWAYS, run PPC and know what keywords make you money before trying to rank for them!


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