Having a website does not automatically mean you get traffic to your site!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the act of promoting your website to the search engines so your website ranks highly for a defined set of keywords. I know, that sounds a little complicated… Let me break it down for you.
Everything with SEO starts with keywords. Keywords are the words or phrases that people type into a search box when they are looking for something in cyber space. For example: you are looking for a video game called Mortal Kombat, you go to Google.com and type Mortal Kombat in the search box and press enter. The keywords you used were “Mortal Kombat”. Keywords can be a single word or a string of words like “how do i fix my lawn mower”. These keywords are the starting point for any SEO campaign. They are critical! Without knowing what keywords you want to target, you will be lost in a maze that has no way to get back out. Keyword research is the most important aspect of determining which keywords to target. Some keywords are easier to rank for than others due to the amount of competition for these keywords and how well entrenched the competing sites are in the rankings. Any one worth your time, will ask you what keywords are you attempting to rank for. Keyword research is where Elite Web Services always starts when approaching a SEO project.
SEO is broken down into 2 distinct aspects, on-page and off-page SEO. The search engines look at various aspects of your website to determine how high you will rank for a particular keyword. The first component of your ranking comes from your on-page SEO which includes things like your domain name, domain age, page rank, your title tags, your header tags, your meta tags and the content on your website pages. The search engines are looking to determine if your website is relevant to the keyword in question. If someone types in the keyword “race car” and your website is filled with content and references to cooking the chances of your site ranking very high for “race car” is very slim. So it’s important that your website has a direct correlation to the keywords you are targeting.
After your site is optimized for your target keywords, it’s time to begin pursuing off-page SEO. This part sounds really simple and on the surface, in theory, it is. Off-page SEO is nothing more than creating relevant back-links across the Internet with pointers back to your site. The more of these pointers, the better your site will rank. Simple right? Well it does get complicated as not all back-links are equal in the eyes of the search engines. Back-links should come from sites that are related to your keywords to have the most impact. For an example, getting a back-link from a site that is focused on “cooking” will not help as much as getting a link from a “race team” site if we are trying to get links for a “race car” site. These precious back-links can be links from social media sites, video sites, blogs, directories and many other types of sites on the Internet. Just remember… they should be relevant to be effective.
Anchor text is a very important topic when creating back-links. When creating back-links you want a back-link with anchor text as they have much more power than just a plain link to your site. A link to your site like this www.example.com does not have the same weight as a link like race car. The second link includes the anchor text “race car” telling the search engines this keyword is related to the web site being linked to. This is where your target keywords come into play. Using your target keywords in the anchor text of your back-links helps the search engines to rank your site higher in the search results.
I hope this brief overview of SEO helps to demystify this topic. There have been many books and websites dedicated to the topic of SEO so the paragraphs above are by no means a comprehensive discussion but rather a quick overview.