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Why Search Engine Optimization Is Important for Websites
Nowadays, most people look online.
Need photography services? Looking for a local plumber? Check online.
Need to know how much to feed your six month old mastiff per day? "Google it.
" The Internet has become a global hub of information such as the world has never before known, and everyone wants a piece.
Businesses of all types and sizes are setting up a presence along the Information Superhighway.
They hope to attract new customers and reinforce the old, and above all, they hope to avoid being left behind.
Sadly, many businesses enter the online space without truly understanding it.
They have a website built and pay someone to fill it with content (or try to fill it themselves), and perhaps they even set up a Facebook fan page or Twitter account.
Then they sit back and wait for business to come rolling in.
For the vast majority, it never does.
Far from being a portal into the company's vast understanding of modern technology, most websites are confused forays into unknown territory which eventually stagnate and never reach their full potential.
One of the biggest problems with many websites is not that they lack in useful information, or even user-friendly design.
Rather, many of the websites put on the Web are simply never found.
With millions of websites online and more being added literally every day, simply setting up a site and forgetting about it isn't likely to bring many results.
Unless someone has the exact website address, most people turn to search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to find a website that meets their needs.
These search engines are giant repositories of data, constantly updating and storing data about millions of websites so they can deliver relevant site lists for specific queries.
When a search engine visits a site, it reads the underlying code and stores what it finds for future use.
For every query input by users, search engines scan their databases and determine the relevance of millions of sites, ranking them accordingly.
The Process Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website so it looks appealing to the engines for certain keywords.
The process begins with keyword research to determine the most valuable choices.
This stage is all about discerning what will give the best ROI (return on investment).
Frequently searched terms will potentially generate a lot of traffic, but the competition may be fierce enough as not to warrant focusing on them due to diminishing returns.
In addition, generic and highly searched terms tend to bring a lot of visitors who never convert into customers.
Longer, less frequently searched phrases actually have better conversion rates, as well as being less difficult to rank for, giving a better ROI all around.
On-site optimization then begins, wherein various pages are made to target the specific chosen keywords.
Folder structure and URLs are adjusted, images are tagged, content is added or reworded, and the site as a whole is made to be easily understood by the search engines.
After the on-site work, the long-term process of off-site optimization begins.
This entails building links back to the site from other sites, as each link back (or "backlink") acts as a kind of vote for that site in the eyes of the search engines.
More influential sites get weightier votes, so getting a backlink from a highly influential website is prized.
Relevance of linking sites is also taken into account, so a link from a laundromat website to a tech blog wouldn't be particularly valuable.
Social media often plays a part in this stage, as social marketing is likely to result in backlinks.
Press releases help to spread the word further, as does commenting around relevant blogs and forums.
This step in the process is a long-term commitment, but the benefits are well worth it.
In Conclusion Websites built without any concept of SEO are unlikely to ever be found in such a vast digital landscape as the Web.
As such, SEO is helpful for businesses if they wish their sites to go to work for them and be worth the time and money required to build them in the first place.