SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process by which any web site is organized, structured and promoted to the internet. Simply having a web site and creating content is not enough. If you have a site, and receive little to no traffic for it, then it is highly likely it hasn’t been optimized at all. Simply having a web site is not enough, it should be marketed and promoted appropriately for it to receive visitors.
There are two sides to effective SEO, called on page optimization and off page optimization. The concepts and process by which SEO is undertaken are pretty simple, but the tricks, strategies and techniques are a lot more involved, and these can take many years to perfect.
To begin with, it is necessary to think of every page on your web site as a potential doorway into your site. When we look to optimize a web site, it is really every page we are optimizing. The home page, of course, normally takes priority compared to the other pages, but if every page is optimized too, then you have a very powerful site.
So, the first thing to do is to research relevant keywords that closely relate to the site and its pages. Ideally, these keywords should be highly searched for, with little competition. Once found, then each page will have a keyword applied to it in strategic locations.
These locations include the page title, the meta description in the header of the document. Next, it should occur in page headers, (especially h1 tags), around 2-3% of the content on the page, and in alt tags and filenames of any media that appears on the page. This should happen for each page on the web site, or at a minimum of the most important pages.
This is the on page optimization, and is very important as it forms the foundation of the entire marketing campaign.
The next part of the SEO process is the off page optimization, and the bulk of the web site marketing is done here.
Off page optimization takes place away from the web site. The aim is to try to get as many quality links to the site from other web sites. Each link effectively is like a vote, and the search engines use this as part of their ranking calculations. The more quality links a site has to it, the more the search engines will perceive its importance to the web, and the higher it will rank for the keyword it has been optimized for.
There’s a multitude of ways to achieve this. Some of the more popular ways include article marketing, social marketing (using twitter, facebook, digg etc), links from directories, from other relevant web sites and so on. The methods are exhausting. Of course, don’t rule out other methods such as printed media, traditional advertising and so on to promote the site.
Having a web site is only half the battle, effective SEO must be applied to it for people to visit. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time having the site. SEO is very dynamic, and constantly changes, but the eternal truths of optimizing the page and getting links to it still remain.