Search Engine Optimization, also referred to as SEO, is the active work performed, typically on a website, with the goal of improving your websites ranking, over time, with the search engines. If done properly, SEO will earn your website a higher page rank so your customers can easily find your business.
Would you rather have a storefront on Main Street or a back alley? Where your company shows up on a search result is no different. Is it easier for your customers to find you on page 1 of Google or page 47? The higher you rank the better chance you have getting customers to your website. There may be hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of companies just like yours, who offer the same products. So how does a customer know you exist and what influences them to choose your company over another?
SEO is the 'behind the scenes' work that gets your website found and ranked by the search engines. The higher you rank the more easily your customers can find your business. SEO is an on-going and complex series of actions that requires a multi-faceted approach for successful results. If done correctly, this work, on your website, could pay huge dividends for years to come.
How do the search engines know you exist? What determinates if they rank your website # 1 or # 983? Ask yourself this question ... when you perform a Google search do you click on the first few sites that appear or do you wade through thousands of results to choose a site that is on page 200? What about page 2? It is proven that most customers choose one of the top three results on the first page 99% of the time and rarely go past the first page. The truth is that there is simply no need. If you can rank well with the search engine you will get more traffic.
SEO work on your website will involve writing appropriate and relative content. Focusing on inserting keywords into your content that you feel your customers will use when they search for your goods and services. Try to write at least one paragraph for each product, more if possible. Be careful not to copy your content from other sources. Most search engine will see this as duplicate content and you will not be rewarded. SEO also requires you to have meta tags, meta titles, and meta descriptions for each of your webpage - unique to each page, if possible. You will also need alt image text when possible as well as excellent links through your site that link to other pages within your site. Search Engines also seems to like rich sources of videos and blogs can also be a huge help. Remember to always keep your content directed to your specific niche. Use text links or anchor links within your blog articles to direct readers to specific pages within your website. Although these are just a few of the techniques required for SEO work there are many more.
For purpose of example, let's say you own a great website that offers gourmet fish food. You want to sell your fish food to customers all over the world and become a millionaire. In order for customers to purchase your fish food they must first be able to find your website. This is where SEO comes into play. With proper search engine optimization your potential customers will be able to find your website more easily because the search engines are able to recognize and store information about your site. If done properly, the search engines can find and index your site and display the results to potential customers as they search for similar items. You have now given yourself the chance to earn their business. Let's hope your site is to their liking and you have plenty of fish food in-stock!
Be sure to check out my other layman's articles on SEM, Web Presence, Video Optimization, and SEO vs. SEM. You are also welcome to visit my website. Thanks for reading!