Although the idea has been around for a little while now, SEO is still a major buzzword among internet marketers and people who are looking to improve their businesses’ online presence. That being said, there’s still a lot of confusion about what SEO is and what it can do for a business. Here are some of the basics.
Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is the process by which web designers – or even professionals who specialise in SEO – guide the development of a website in such a way as to make the website appear more prominently in the search results of the major search engines, as well as to perform more effectively in terms of getting people who see the site in search engine results to actually visit the site.
There are a number of specific ways in which a website can be better optimised for search engines. Having the right content is one of the most important things. In most cases, the “right content” is content that contains information that both pertains to the business and relates to topics or keyword phrases that users are commonly searching for.
Of course, there are also a number of more technical SEO methods. There are steps that web designers can take to ensure, for example, that every desired page of a website can be indexed with Google, which may be necessary if there are pages on the site that don’t have direct links. Proper use of the various tags included in a webpage’s HTML information can also help improve its search performance.
The basic benefit of competent SEO is that it will help your website appear further up the list of search results when people search for keywords that are related to your business. People tend to be much more likely to visit a website that appears high in the search results, so in this way SEO can drive traffic to your website.
While legitimate web designers and SEO specialists can provide real benefits to your business, for as long as there have been search engines, there have been people trying to take advantage of them in underhanded ways as well. Some of these “black hat” SEO techniques were arguably effective for short periods of time, but search engines have really been addressing the loopholes in their programming and it has become almost impossible to cheat the system.
Don’t be fooled by providers that claim that they can give your page the #1 ranking on Google or otherwise make promises that seem too good to be true. Real SEO can make a big difference in your website’s search performance, but the process does take some time and effort, and meaningful results can’t be delivered overnight.