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What is Search Engine Optimization and how does it affect my business?

Posted on 04/18/2011 by Brian Petti

Every year the internet becomes more of a presence in the business world. These days, if your company doesn’t have a website for customers to check out, get information, or buy products, you are really at a huge disadvantage.

Creating a website isn’t the only task to complete, though. In order for customers to find YOUR website when they are searching for products or services you sell, you need to optimize for search engines, or in other words take on the task of search engine optimization.

Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is a collection of tasks and techniques that basically can make your website more favorable compared to other websites when people search using certain keywords.

Keywords are the backbone of SEO. Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines like Google (and for this article I will only refer to Google seeing that it takes up most of the market) to find what they are looking for. The websites that are highly optimized for that keyword term will show up at the top of the search results, while websites that are not properly optimized will show up pages further back or not even at all.

Finding the right keywords can be an art itself, but still is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO. Link building is also a huge part and contribution to getting higher in search rankings. When another website on the internet “links” back to your website, Google views it as that website “voting” for yours. The more links, or “votes”, that your website has, the better Google portrays your website, and the higher you will rank. These links can be simply your web address, or they can be set in anchor text using keywords. For example, if your website sells pink dog collars, and another website links to yours using the phrase “pink dog collars”, Google will view your website as a relevant option for the search term “pink dog collars”.

Link building can be done through various ways; too many to list right now. Link building won’t be worth your time, though, if you don’t do some on-site optimization, too. This is basically setting up your website so that it is easy for Google to read. You want your primary keywords to be in the correct places on the page, along with clean coding and design. This topic gets very complicated and should only be taken on by professionals who have experience doing so. Trying to do it yourself may end up actually hurting your rankings!

Search engine optimization is an in depth process and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you are not familiar with it, you can seek out professionals who know what they are doing. SEO is a very necessary step for any website owner who wants to be found in searches, and it goes much beyond this article. Be sure and Orchard Designs, a Cleveland SEO firm, today and get the most out of your online presence.