We all have heard that search engines are the number one resource for consumers to research and buy products or services online. In fact, marketing studies have shown that over 70% of web surfers use search engines to locate online merchants. The ramification of this statistic is simple: if you want to reach the members of your target market you need to make sure that your business web site appears in popular search engines.
Search engine optimization (SEO) can help you achieve this. SEO is a crucial online marketing technique. It helps you to get your web site to appear in search engine result pages (SERPs) for keywords that that are relevant to your business. For example, if you are a business coach, and someone is searching for "business coach", it would be great for your business if your web site appears in the first 10 results.
So what exactly is search engine optimization? SEO includes selecting the best keywords for the body of the page as well as other page elements (the title tag, keyword and description meta tags, etc.) Carefully chosen keywords provide "hints" that search engines use to classify your site and to determine whether your site should appear for certain search keywords. On-page keyword optimization by itself will help your rankings. However, holistic search engine optimization is required to achieve optimal results. For the best placement, focus on SEO as a whole, rather than concentrate on a particular technique.
Here are a few important elements of holistic search engine optimization:
- Have good content. After all, content is king (or queen, whichever the case may be). Without content there isn't much of a site. The content must walk a fine line between providing useful content and including sufficient and relevant keywords for search engines.
Often it is difficult to optimize your product or service pages for search engines, since the main goal of these items is to showcase the benefits of your offer. On the other hand, it is easier to optimize blog posts and articles. In fact, you can create entire articles and blog posts around keywords that are popular with your target market.
- Have consistent navigation. Both your web site visitors and search engine spiders navigate your web site through links that connect different pages. Consistent navigation ensures that your visitors can reach every page on your web site from every other page. On top of that, you will you get the most out of your search engine optimization efforts.
- Get links to your site. Links to your web site play a very important role in holistic search engine optimization. Many popular search engines evaluate your web site's popularity based on counting the number of links that point to your site. The more popular your web site is, the better rankings it gets on search engines. The best links are links from reputable, quality web site that have complimentary or related content.
You can get links to your web site by using a variety of techniques, such as writing articles, participating in link exchanges, and participating in online networking.
Take a holistic approach to web site optimization. Apply SEO to your web site as a whole, and always evaluate the overall impact of your marketing efforts.