The phrase “search engine optimization” describes a group of marketing methods which are used in order to improve the volume and quality of web site traffic. Search engine optimization seeks to increase the amount of targeted web site traffic by improving the volume and quality of site visitors. Optimization techniques are designed to make a site more appealing to visitors and to convince them to click on a link or share a particular object when they arrive at the website.
Search engine optimization is also known as SEO or Search Engine Marketing. SEO targets paid traffic and not necessarily organic traffic. This type of traffic is referred to as paid search traffic, paid SEM or paid search results, or paid advertising. Organic search results, or organic search, refers to traffic that comes to a web site as a result of keywords entered by the user. Paid search results are frequently paid for by advertisers. Examples of paid search results include paid listings in search results, sponsored links, search results within online advertising venues such as Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing, and paid placements within search results.
There are two major methods used in search engine optimization, off-page and on-page optimization. Off-page optimization improves the rankings of a web site in search engines for particular key phrases and key combinations of key phrases. Key phrases are those words commonly entered into a search engine program such as “home”, “about”, and “organize”. These phrases are paired with other words to form relevant keyword combinations that increase the possibility of a site being listed in a particular search query. On-page optimization generally focuses on making a site appear higher in search results and to improve rankings in the organic or paid search results.
Most search engine optimization strategies fall under three main categories: on-page, off-page and both. On-page optimization is what visitors see upon arriving at a site. This includes the website content itself and any graphics or pictures that are used in the presentation of the information. Off-page optimization refers to any efforts done to draw targeted traffic from search engines. This can include paid advertisements such as Google AdWords or Yahoo Search Marketing.
Both off-page and on-page optimization are important to the ultimate success of a site. The importance of off-page optimization is often misunderstood by beginners to the field. Though off-page optimization can and does affect rankings in search engines, it is not nearly as critical as it appears to be. This is because off-page optimization tends to be a long process that requires a great deal of research and link building. Though this may seem time consuming, the amount of time and effort spent here will ultimately translate into higher search engine rankings and, ultimately, higher sales.
On the other hand, off-page optimization tends to be much faster and is less cumbersome. There are no links being created or refreshed in search engines as there are with social media sites, blogs, and articles. In order to succeed with this process, you must focus on building relationships with those who can provide targeted traffic. Those individuals can be your contacts on social media, blogs, and in forums and discussion boards.
The final component of this four part process is link building. Link building, when done correctly, can have a significant effect on rankings. However, this component is more challenging than most people believe. The reason for this is that search engines have become increasingly strict about who they consider to be reputable sources of links. A good example of this is the banning of a major paid search engine from the rankings due to false claims that the source was endorsed by a government agency.
There are many different ways to go about search engine marketing. The best practices for SEO vary from person to person and from type of business to type of business. The above methods, although they may not be the only things you do to improve rankings, are some of the best practices out there. You should begin to incorporate some of the best practices into your own daily routine to see improved rankings in all areas of your business.