A Definition of Search Engine Optimization and Some Basic Tips

By Dave C Hoffman

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A simple definition of search engine optimization (SEO) is using techniques to consistently tell the search engines what you site is about. When this is done correctly it increases the relevancy of your site to the keywords that you are focusing on. This in turn helps your site to achieve better search engine rankings, which is where your site shows up in the results of a search for the keywords you are optimizing for.

Why is search engine ranking important?

Having a website is one thing, but being able to be found by people looking for what you are offering is totally different. This is where SEO comes into play. Most people do not go beyond the first page of the search results, and only 4% go as far as the third page. So showing up on the first page is important if you want your website to be seen, and get the resulting traffic.

SEO techniques fall under two broad categories, on-page factors and off-page factors.

On-Page SEO - The on-page factors are changes you can make to your website that effect how well it is optimized for your targeted subject. More specifically each page of your site will focus on one or two keywords, and you use these techniques to tell the search engines what your site and specific pages are about. Some on page factors are using keywords in the title, keyword and description meta tags, the use of the alt tag for images, H1 header tags, keyword throughout the content on your page.

Off-Page SEO - Getting backlinks is what makes up the off-page factors of SEO. These are links other people have on their site that point back to yours. They are also called "inbound links", which is a little more descriptive of what they are. The search engines look at these inbound links like votes from other people on the quality and relevance of your site. For the most part the site with the most "votes" wins, and is rewarded with higher rankings.

Steps You Can Take To Improve Your SEO

  1. Use keywords in Title tags
  2. Include your keywords in the meta keyword and description tags.
  3. Where you have images on your site, always include an alt tag.
  4. Use keywords in header tags where possible.
  5. Make sure you site has quality content that contains your keyword a few times.
  6. Get backlinks with and use relevant keywords as the anchor text.

We've covered just the basic, but very important, aspects of SEO in this article. This is a very good place to start if you want to improve your sites search engine optimization. Keep applying these techniques until it becomes second nature and you should see an improvement in both your search engine rankings and an increase in the traffic to your site.

You can learn more about optimizing your website at SEO St Louis. Website Marketing St. Louis helps local businesses with their internet and Search Engine Optimization needs in St. Louis and the surrounding area.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dave_C_Hoffman

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