Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SEO – Why You Need It

Search Engine Optimization or SEO as it is popularly known as, is not something new nowadays.

Basically, if you want your online business to be successful, it's a good idea to optimize your site on a regular basis to make sure it's got a good position in the Web's top search engines.

Now, what in the world is this SEO?

Thankfully, most of us here, know what it is, but for those who came in late… SEO stands for search-engine-optimization. Now in technical terminology, search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. (Thanks wiki !)




So in other words SEO means if you trying to optimize your site for the search engines, you are basically optimizing your page for those keywords for which you want a high page ranking. Basically, in order to maintain your page-rank, you have to keep on top of what's happening in the rapidly changing search engine industry. The rules that affected your page rank yesterday may be meaningless tomorrow!

Search engines analyze title tags, image tags, link structure, directory structure, keyword density, prominence, and proximity, total words, total words in specific areas, alt tags, input tags, word repetitions, comment lines, domain name, directory name, filename, etc. The list is endless…..Moreover, to complicate things further, each engine has it's own unique way of ranking pages, so you need to create different pages to exactly match the criteria of each one.

So, do you have to use SEO?

The answer to why you have to use it is an easy one. You need Search Engine Optimization to be number one, or maybe at least make your site income generating.

For the past few years, search engines would be the most widely used internet tool to find the sites that they need to go to, or the product or information they need. Most people that use search engines use only the ten top search results in the first page. So you basically need to get it done right. In other words, you need an expert...

Now once again why do we need to pay for SEO, when we can do it ourselves?
When you get online, you would want people to visit your blog and for this you will need traffic and for that you need Search Engine Optimization. Now, although SEO is the hottest way to drive targeted traffic to your site, it costs aplenty, unless you are skilled in it. Likewise, maximizing the benefits of an optimized website will also yield lots of earnings for the marketer.

It is not that people cannot make money from the net; it is because people can’t get traffic to their site. This is mainly because one of the common mistakes in generating traffic which we all tend to make is the method of how we generate traffic. The biggest mistake here is that you are not focusing on generating traffic, but instead, you’ve tried almost every method out there that can supposedly increase the traffic to your site.

If we adopt a pattern, that is to say, the first day, you try and find more links for better SEO, then the next day, you try and generate traffic with article marketing and the following day you try obtaining with CPC advertising – then the chances of getting traffic are much better.

Basically, if you want your online business to be successful, it's a good idea to optimize your site on a regular basis to make sure it's got a good position in the web's top search engines. However, in order to maintain your page rank, you have to keep on top of what's happening in the rapidly changing search engine industry. The rules that affected your page rank yesterday may be useless tomorrow!

With the rapid growth of the Internet, it is no doubt why Search Engine Optimization has become one of the hottest topics within Internet marketing. The amount of daily search engine traffic is staggering, and for an individual who is thinking of marketing their products or services online, the Internet can be a virtually limitless gold mine of potential customers.

However, to reach these customers you will need to position yourself on those same search engines that so many people are using daily looking for your services or products. When queried, a search engine will reveal all of the sites that it has in its database about a particular subject or product. If your site happens to fall into the requested search category, this is called your site or page ranking [PR].

However, and as mentioned earlier, usually only the first few (top 10) ranked websites get to reap the sweet fruit of victory over their competition.

To make matters worse, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is not something new nowadays. In other words, the search engine industry is continually evolving. You need to know which of the major "players" is powering the smaller search engines if you want to know where you should focus your optimization efforts.

In order to achieve this, you need to create multiple streams of traffic for your site. Settling for one source of traffic is simply not enough for most small to mid-size sites, or home-based business sites. Considering the competition most people experience with search engines, not to mention the ever-increasing trend towards ‘pay for inclusion’ with the major search engines, it can be a real challenge to get decent traffic from search engines.

Google is still extremely powerful with Yahoo! a close runner-up and MSN still a distant but threatening third. It must be also noted that many of the smaller search engines plus some paid listings are still powered by Yahoo and Google

Before you can actually begin to start optimizing a site, you must understand how search engines and their robots work. This information will give you a head start on the process of building an optimized web site.

Almost daily, we meet web designers who do not truly understand the function of search engines. This usually results in poorly developed sites in regards to search engine placement that usually disappear. Sure, anyone can build a site with a little practice. However, knowing how search engines work and building a site that meets its ever changing ranking criteria and also achieves top ranking results for key search terms, is quite different.

There presently exist two types of major search engines, robot-indexed and human-indexed. It is important to understand the differences between the two because the way they index pages will dramatically affect your sites position within them. The main idea of web site optimization is about getting ranked on search engines. So, it has nothing to do with how fancy your web site looks or getting ranked in the last few pages. This is where the page rank plays an important part for which SEO is an important criterion.

Obviously it is important to have a practical and easy navigation system and favorable looks, so that you can maintain the visitors you receive form the search engines, but those all come to play after the page rank.

About 95% of the search engines on the Internet are self-indexing or spider / robot indexed. The other 5% are human indexed and are usually referred to as directories. At this point, the important point to learn is that human indexed search engines cannot be manipulated and optimized for, as freely as a spider index search engine can. The good news is that with the advancements in the robot indexed search engines and their algorithms, they are getting closer and closer to human indexed search engines.

Search engines will simply keep on producing traffic forever once your site has been indexed. The problem is getting a good placement (first page) on good keywords and gets lots of searches. This is not always easy, especially if you are in a competitive field. Even if you have a poor search engine placement, you will still get some traffic. Search engines frequently change the algorithms they use for page ranks and for ranking sites. They don't want unscrupulous site owners manipulating their indexing methods in order to get high rankings. By doing so, they damage the integrity of free search!

Regardless of how poorly the site has been optimized, the domain name (URL) will be indexed in most search engines and in almost every case; search engines will be able to return a web site address when asked. This means that if you were to go to a major search engine and type in your site name, you will probably see it right on top of that search engines results. Don’t be deceived by this type of search engine response as search engines categorize sites based on keywords, and visitors search for sites using keywords not the site URL.

Bottom line, most search engines will be able to return the correct URL address for any site if asked to, provided the site was indexed by them. This does not mean that the site is ranking well.

Once again, if someone searches for your domain name, it should pop right up on most search engines.

In fact, if this does not happen, that means your Internet presence has some fundamental deficiencies. To be successfully ranked on a search engine means your web site must achieve a favorable position over others based on a scale such as the keyword used for the search.

As mentioned earlier, the search engine industry is continually evolving and it is difficult to put the entire process into one article. It would take a couple of pages to go about each phase and for those interested in hard-core SEO, it is better to get hold of a book or a much more detailed article source.

Basically, just use the above to get a brief idea on how and where you should focus your efforts on Search Engine Optimization.

2 comments :

Mahjong said...

Thank you for the information.

Webby Pride said...

Great article, thanks for sharing.