Search Engine Optimization

Why is search engine optimization (SEO) important?

As you write articles for your website or blog it is important to consider both the needs of your website visitors, and the needs of the search engines that people use to find your content.

Proper optimization of the content within your website will help your website get listed more prominently in search engine rankings, so more people will find and visit your website.

The first step to proper search engine optimization is to understanding what search engines look for when their “robots” review your website's content. Search engines send out robots (sometimes called spiders) to look for specific words and phrases, called “keywords”, that help the search engines identify what your site is all about.

For example, if you are building a site about camping, the robots will be able to realize this if your content includes words and phrases like camping, tents, outdoor sports, camping equipment, and so on. This will allow the search engines to properly categorize your site, so that it will be relevant for your visitors.

You should also include keywords that visitors will be likely to use when looking for the information that your site provides. There are several tools, such as Wordtracker and Keyword Country, that can help you identify keywords related to your niche topic that visitors frequently search for.

These tools can appear expensive, however they will provide you with:

  • Keyword suggestions
  • Statistics about how many searches are conducted using these keywords on a monthly basis
  • Provide you with information about how many other site owners are targeting the same keywords
  • Ideally, you should choose keywords that people search for frequently, and that relatively few other site owners are using in their content.

    When you are running a business, it is very important to get all the information you can to help you make good decisions. Keyword tools will do just that for you.

    Running a keyword tool to generate keywords that you can write about is a useful strategy, but it does not replace common sense. You must make sense of these keywords and create content that will engage your readers.

    Lets step away from the internet marketing mentality for a bit and think like a consumer. If you were looking for information on your niche topic, what would you type into the search engine box? Write down everything you can think of. If you would search for information using these words and phrases, it is likely that other people will search using these same phrases as well.

    Search engine optimization is not just limited to the content you write, though. You should also include links between pages of your own website. The words that make up the links are called “anchor text”, and they should include keywords that you want search engines to associate with a particular page. For example, if one page of your site talks about different types of sleeping bags, you might include a contextual link using the anchor text “sleeping bags”.

    The same is true for links that come from other websites. If you ask another website owner to link to your site, the anchor text the site owner uses should give search engine robots information about your site or page. “Click here” won't help a search engine categorize and rank your site, but a link with the anchor text “sleeping bags” will improve your site's search engine ranking and visibility, allowing you to receive more visitors.

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