Spend more than five minutes on the Internet, and you’ll no doubt come across the phrase “Search Engine Optimization”. It’s the hot buzz term that everyone is using, whether or not they actually understand what it is and what it entails. In a nutshell, Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of maximizing the visibility and brand awareness of your business and its website online.
Major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing comb through billions of web pages every day to index, catalog and categorize the enormous volume of interconnected information that is the modern World Wide Web.
The way they decide on which order to list these results in depends on a variety of factors, such as the number and quality of links to and from any given website, as well as the manner in which all these different websites are formatted.
On the technical end of the spectrum, SEO involves configuring meta data of your web pages which tell search engines like Google which keywords to file your site under. That way, when a user searches for information under a combination of search phrases, the appropriate sites will come up at the top of the list. More importantly, keyword density and placement within the actual text of your site help put your pages on the map and help potential customers find you online.
If done correctly, keyword choice and arrangement as well as meta data tagging will go a long way in boosting your ranking in the Search Engine Results Pages, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Search Engines determine the relative worth and importance of your site largely on links to other sites, and how many sites link back to your own. These backlinks strengthen the perceived popularity and relevance of your web property and signal to the major search companies like Google that your site is worth visiting.
Linking your site to other pages is the most time consuming but ultimately the most important part of Search Engine Optimization. One of the best ways to achieve this outcome is through good old fashioned article writing and blog posts. Submitting blog posts and informative articles to sites like Digg and Reddit is a great way to increase your exposure in an organic manner. Alongside keyword optimization and meta data tweaking, the do-it-yourself promotional grunt work of writing quality content can be the most effective component of your SEO efforts.