Are you a blogger with your own website? If so, do you know the answer to the following Question:
“What is search engine optimization and how does it work?”.
Search Engine Optimization – Definition
Search Engine Optimization, simply put, is the art of creating content for your website that is search engine friendly. If your content is search engine friendly, search engines will rank your website higher in the results of queries made by people.
I’m sure you are still wondering why SEO is so important. To answer that question, you need to understand how search engines work.
Web Crawler – The Search Engine Robot
Search engines need to know which websites to include in the results of any given search engine query.
To do this, the search engines use web crawlers to browse the web and store the information they find. Think of a web crawler as a search engine robot that is continually browsing the web and storing the information they find to create an index.
When you search for something on any given search engine, the search engine will scan the index created by the search engine robot to find content related to your search.
The search engine robot makes a copy of the URL of every website it visits and adds these URLs to an index. It doesn’t stop there. The search engine robot then follows all the links they find on the pages they visit, repeating the process of copying, indexing and then following the links. The search engine robot repeats this process endlessly, building a never-ending index of web pages as it goes.
It is possible for a website to stop web crawlers from visiting them, but if you want your website to get ranked, I strongly advise you against this. Your pages will NOT be indexed if you do this and no-one will ever find your site on any search engine.
Prime Web Real Estate
Now you know how search engines find the information they use to rank your website. After producing quality content your next most important task will be to get your website ranked highly and appropriately.
The best way I can explain why you need higher rankings is by comparing your website to real estate.
Let’s say you want to open a coffee shop. One of the main elements to have a successful coffee shop is the number of customers you have access to. If you open a coffee shop in the center of a busy mall with lots of people walking around every day, you will have an excellent amount of traffic. The more traffic you have the more people will decide to buy a cup of coffee…
People walking around doing shopping will get thirsty, and you will provide a solution to their thirst. If you decide to open your coffee shop in the middle of a very quiet neighborhood, you will only have a limited amount of traffic, thus limiting your exposure and in turn your sales. In this case, chances are your coffee shop will not be successful.
Look at your website as the coffee shop and your ranking as the area where you open the coffee shop. Higher rankings mean more traffic, so you are in a better “area” and vice-versa.
It is also important that you get relevant traffic. You are no better off if you open a coffee shop in an industrial area with lots of traffic than in a very quiet area. You might get exposure to a lot of traffic in the industrial area, but it won’t be the right kind of traffic. This is true for your website too.
There is no use in ranking high in searches for coffee machines if you are a coffee shop selling coffee beverages. You might get a lot of traffic, but you will not make the sales you want.
You need to be ranked appropriately and for this, you make use of keywords.
Keywords – The Free Web Crawler Bait
Now that you understand how search engines work and why you need higher rankings, you need to know how to optimize your website to rank highly in the search engines for the right kind of traffic.
Using keywords is the best free way to get your website ranked relevantly. You basically use keywords as bait for web crawlers which in turn use the keywords to decide where to rank your content.
Keywords are the words people type into search engines to search the web for information.
Once you have mastered the art of using keywords in your content you will find that your website rankings will improve significantly.
The better you get at search optimization the higher your rankings will be. The higher your rankings the more traffic you will get to your site. More traffic means more sales and more money for you.
Keywords are not only important to increase the traffic your website receives, but it assures that your website receives the right kind of traffic. Take, for example, if you are selling coffee beans, you need to attract visitors interested in buying coffee beans, not just those that are interested in coffee in general. Having search engine optimization that attracts those interested in buying coffee beans will increase your sales.
Attracting targeted traffic to your site is even more important than attracting large amounts of general traffic. Not only will targeted visitors be more likely to turn into customers, but they will very likely turn into repeat visitors. Repeat visitors, on the other hand, are more likely to pass along your website address to others with the same interest.
Last But Not Least – Keyword Helpers
Even though keywords are the main thing search engines use to calculate relevance, they also look at the following:
- Relevant content
- Links within your site to your different posts (this shows the search engines that you value your own content)
- Links to your site from other relevant sites
- Text rather than pictures, search engines read the text (informative text content will rank higher than fancy images and complex designs)
By using a combination of all of these factors, search engines look for well-designed sites that offer the most relevant information to the visitor.
To be successful at search engine optimization, you need to implement all of these factors, in a way that is in line with what the search engines “look” for in a website.
Keep your site clean, full of relevant content and use search engine optimization and you can be sure that your website will receive targeted traffic that will keep coming back.