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SEO is Easier Than You Might Think

by Patrick Griffin Author

They are just three simple letters but many people become scared when they see "SEO" written down. Search Engine Optimization is dismissed by many as just too difficult but SEO, at least at a basic level, is really easy to understand and implement. At its most basic SEO is simply those things which you can do to make your website more attractive to search engines. Your ultimate goal is to get the search engines to like your site so much that it is elevated to the top of the first page of results for the search term people used to find it.

The primary aim of SEO is to help humans find the information they want most easily from the internet.?All the search engine is trying to do is to anticipate exactly what information a web surfer wants to find when they enter any given phrase into a search box. Therefore all you should be doing with your SEO is making it easier to get high rankings by providing the content that web searchers are looking for when a search and allowing the search engines to recognize that content when they visit your site.

The 'above board' method of SEO is generally referred to as "white hat" optimization and is universally accepted as being good, totally honest and legitimate. The second optimization strategy is really all about getting you a ranking you don't deserve at the expense of another website which is ranked lower as a result of your actions; this is known as "black hat" optimization. Black hat techniques are cheating and if you are found out the ultimate sanction is being banned from the search engine listings altogether.

Whether you do your own SEO, use software to push your site up the rankings or get others to do it for you, it is very wise to ensure that you only ever contemplate employing 'white hat' strategies.

Getting SEO right is so important because it also means that you drive targeted traffic to your site whilst excluding people who are searching for information outside of your niche. This means that a visitor to a highly optimized site is more likely to find exactly what they were looking for on the first attempt. One of the best SEO tips is to decide what the main search term most of your visitors would use and use this as your domain name. So if your site was all about dog grooming tips then DogGroomingTips.com would be an ideal choice. It makes sense because it leaves both search engines and human visitors in no doubt what the site is all about right from the outset.?Now consider a second person whose site contained exactly the same dog grooming tips but that was called "BrianTheDog Owner.com" In this example all you learn from the site title is that it is about a guy called Brian who owns a dog. You have no idea it actually contains dog grooming tips until you actually open it up.

Another good SEO strategy is to have key search terms for your niche contained throughout your site and especially on your home page. Individual page titles could, for example, each be a key search term and articles within your site should also contain the search terms appropriate to their content.?This helps the search engines to accurately determine what your site is about but the overuse of keywords may make your site difficult to read. Also be advised that the intentional overloading of key phrases within your site just to boost your search engine ranking may be regarded as cheating and you can be ranked down as a penalty for such overuse.

Finally utilizing an ongoing process of building back-links to your site is a critical element of SEO. There are numerous ways of doing this and many thousands of pages on the internet devoted to this one strategy alone. Some people are put off building back-links because it takes time and patience and also because the results are not obtained overnight. However persistence pays off and those who do make the effort to employ an effective backlink strategy find that their search engine rankings will remain high over the long term.

Don't be afraid of SEO and don't ignore it because you think it is too difficult to understand.

© Patrick Griffin, All rights reserved.

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Submitted on January 17, 2011