Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What is Search Engine Optimization?

I'm not Search Engine Optimization expert yet. I work with people who are, however. When I ask questions they send me to So, here's what they tell business people wanting to know what it's all about.

SEO is the active practice of optimizing a web site by improving internal and external aspects in order to increase the traffic the site receives from search engines. Firms that practice SEO can vary; some have a highly specialized focus, while others take a more broad and general approach. Optimizing a web site for search engines can require looking at so many unique elements that many practitioners of SEO (SEOs) consider themselves to be in the broad field of website optimization (since so many of those elements intertwine).

This guide is designed to describe all areas of SEO - from discovery of the terms and phrases that will generate traffic, to making a site search engine friendly, to building the links and marketing the unique value of the site/organization's offerings.

Why does my company/organization/website need SEO?

Search Market ShareThe majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines - Yahoo!, MSN, Google & AskJeeves(although AOL gets nearly 10% of searches, their engine is powered by Google's results). If your site cannot be found by search engines or your content cannot be put into their databases, you miss out on the incredible opportunities available to websites provided via search - people who want what you have visiting your site. Whether your site provides content, services, products, or information, search engines are a primary method of navigation for almost all Internet users.

Search queries, the words that users type into the search box which contain terms and phrases best suited to your site, carry extraordinary value. Experience has shown that search engine traffic can make (or break) an organization's success. Targeted visitors to a website can provide publicity, revenue, and exposure like no other. Investing in SEO, whether through time or finances, can have an exceptional rate of return.

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