What is SEO? An introduction to Search Engine Optimization and search result rank

Everyone wants their site to come up on the first page of google, yahoo and other leading search services. There is no simple or guaranteed solution to do this. But there are some things you can understand to get started on your website all on your own that will make a significant impact. This practice is known as Search Engine Optimization or SEO.

SEO is a major industry on it’s own. Many people hear about the meta tag description and keywords are all but extinct today since all the major search engines pretty much ignore them and use much more sophisticated methods of “reading” and indexing your website.

These methods are closely guarded secrets in order to prevent abuse to insure that the search results are genuine and as useful as possible. That being said, there are 3 major areas of website development and maintenance that will help your ranking.

  1. Well written content – Having descriptive, well written content throughout your site using the keywords that people are searching for will not only help your search rank but also provide more (and better) information to visitors to better entice them to your product or service.
  2. Links – The more links to your website from other websites, the more likely it is to be found. Not only that, but the search engines notice how many people are linked to your website and will consider your site more important if it has more links to it. A few ways of getting links to your site is to get on facebook, myspace, twitter and other social websites and share links to your website there. Also, periodically posting a craigslist ad that includes a link to your website will help. If you have a friend with a website, you could exchange links with them.
  3. Keep it current – Updating the site on a regular basis helps a lot. A great and easy way to do this is to incorporate a blog on the website. You can update the blog with news about your site, changes to your products and discussing relevant current events. I have added blogs to my own website and have noticed a significant increase in traffic with regular blogging (ok, semi-regular).

Finally, note that there is no overnight solution to SEO. Maintaining good content, regular updates and keeping it linked throughout the web whenever possible will produce great results over time. The longer you do these things the greater and greater the traffic should become and the more you will learn what works.