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What is SEO and why is it important?

Posted 18 February 2011 by Alan Dawe

So you now have your website built and hosted, but is it worthwhile? Is your website working for you? Is your website linking you with lots of portential customers? I won’t go into a whole lot of detail about the technicalities of Search Engine Optimisation and what are the best methods of increasing traffic or what you can do to improve your visitors and Search Engine rankings. I will just give a brief overview of what it is and why it is important.

SEO, stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Wikipedia describes Search Engine Optimisation as: “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 for targeted keywords. Usually, the earlier a site is presented in the search results or the higher it “ranks”, the more searchers will visit that site. SEO can also target different kinds of searches, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.”

Basically this means that your website is optimised to rank better in search engines and drive a higher amount of targetted traffic to your website, potentially increasing sales and interest in your products and or services. Does this mean if i get my site optimised for search engines i will rank in the top positions in search engines? Not necessarilly. Each search engine uses a bunch of different rules and algorithms to determine who gets the top spot, things that they take into consideration include geography, content relativity, competitiveness, popularity and a whole lot of other things. Search Engine Optimisation is not a simple one of process that you do once and expect to get thousands of visitors over night, no its a ongoing commitment, a long process where results can take months, but you do get results. You can optimise your existing content and improve your current rankings, but is this enough? It might be, but overall if you continually add more content and optimise that content to revolve around your keywords then you will get a much much better result in the long term.

It is also important to select your keywords around niche areas of your business or website, as it will be alot easier to get higher rankings in less competitive markets. For example if you ran a plumbing website and you chose keywords such as “plumbing” or “pipe” those areas might be hard to reach high ranking positions because of the sheer number of Plumbers in the marketplace. However if you chose a more niche set of keywords such as “plumbers tape” or “plumbing glue” it will be easier to move up the rankings in search engines. Most importanly though make sure your keywords, content, descriptions, headers and titles all revolve around keywords relating to your business.

The whole point of Search Engine Optimisation is to improve the amount of visitors who are interested in your products and or services. This is why it is important, after all thats the whole point of having a website to let the world know about you.

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