What is SEO?

Computers & TechnologyInternet

  • Author Michael Hanna
  • Published June 30, 2009
  • Word count 474

SEO is a term that seems to fly around the internet a lot these days, despite this a lot of website owners remain unaware of what SEO is and how they could utilise it to maximise the visibility of their site (and therefore the volume of traffic that they receive). SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is the process of taking a website and, via both onsite and offsite techniques, helping it to achieve the highest possible result in search engines results pages as possible.

Nowadays websites report a huge amount of traffic being derived from search engines, the biggest of which are Google (which itself holds a dominant 60% of the marketplace), Yahoo and Live (Microsoft’s search engine). With 85% of searches being performed on these search engines it is absolutely vital that they are aware of the existence of your webpage. It is widely reported that then number of clicks that each page within a search engines organic results receive exponentially decreases the further down the list of results the page appears. It is therefore desirable to try and provide a website that will appear as high in these results for targeted keyphrases as possible; this is where search engine optimisation comes into the equation.

Onsite SEO

The first stage in an SEO campaign is to ensure that the website itself is built in a manner that search engines robots will appreciate. It is extremely important to remember that as important as ranking highly in the search engines is, the website is first and foremost for human visitors and changes should never be made that could feasibly confuse visitors. Onsite search engine optimisation can include things like providing appropriate and unique titles and descriptions to each webpage; using URLs that are appropriate to the content (and rewriting any php or sql queries to make sense); providing regularly updated and appropriate content and carefully linking within the site to strengthen pages.

Offsite SEO

Once the onsite search engine optimisation has been completed the constant offsite process begins. Search engines view links from one website to the other like a vote for the legitimacy of that site; therefore the more links pointing towards a site the higher they are likely to rate it. It is not as simple as just achieving a huge amount of links however as search engines provide more weight to links coming from sites which the search engines perceive to be stronger. So the aim of offsite SEO is to gain as many high quality links back to your website as possible, through submitting to appropriate directories, writing articles, distributing press releases and engaging with social media sites.

Many website owners underestimate the importance of investing in search engine optimisation for their site. Search engine optimisation can help to provide websites with a huge boost in traffic, and hopefully sales.

I had specialist web designers create my website for me and it looked and functioned perfectly. However it was SEO that really helped increase my traffic. As I have little time I looked into SEO companies to perform the work for me and was extremely happy with the results.

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