Search engine optimization (SEO) can be the most effective way of increasing website traffic. Most internet users, when searching for information about a product or service, use search engines to find that information. Very few of those people, however, go beyond the third page of results. Therefore, if a website does not appear on one of those pages, the chance of being found through the search engines is lost. So what do you do to make it onto that critical first couple of pages of search results? First, let’s understand SEO.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

SEO is the art of improving a website’s ranking in the search engines. This is usually for a predefined set of keywords. The SEO industry is changing daily and more search engines rely on link popularity to determine page ranking. 

In addition, keyword usage in page text, titles, and quality link management are all essential factors in your quest for successful SEO. This is also true of meta tags and strategic page layout design to a lesser extent.

How is Keyword Research Important to a Website’s SEO?

Every site approaches SEO in a different way. Some target highly competitive keywords, returning millions of results in the search engine listings. Others are less competitive, offering few results if any. 

The first step in any SEO project will be to analyze the chosen keywords. Don’t choose words that have too broad a meaning as you will encounter too much competition for those keywords. Instead, try to be as detailed and targeted as possible.

How Do You Maximize Profit and Ranking on a Search Engine?

To maximize your site’s chances of being found in search engines, you need to understand how they rank web pages. Each of the major search engines has its own method, or algorithm, for deciding where every page should rank in response to a particular search term.

Most rely on some variation of keyword relevancy ranking. When you enter a search term, the search engine first looks for pages that contain the exact term in its titles, page text, and, to a lesser extent, keyword and description meta tags. Pages on which these particular search terms appear most often rank higher than others. That’s because the search engine considers these pages more relevant to the search query.

Pages that carry the search terms in their page titles also rank higher than those which do not. Conversely, page enhancements such as frames and JavaScript can have an adverse effect on rankings. JavaScript which appears high in the underlying HTML code of a page can push keyword laden text toward the bottom. As a result, it will be all but inaccessible to search engines.

Finally, make sure your website has up to date SSL certificates.

Final Tips for Those Looking to Improve SEO

Avoid the so-called “Black Hat” methods of search engine optimization, for example, hiding repetitive keywords at the bottom of WebPages. These methods result in downgraded or banned pages, the exact opposite result from what you want for your website.

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