What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization, (SEO), simply put is the optimizing of your website to a set of criteria (algorithms) for any search engine. This entails obtaining suggestions from a particular engine... modifying your website to those suggestions and allowing that search engine to crawl, or review said website for indexing otherwise known as placement.

Keywords are the most important part of creating a result driven website. Unfortunately, most people have no idea how to use keywords, where to place them, how often to place them and how to obtain keywords being used by actual internet perspective customers.

It's important to know, keywords are not entirely the answer to a result driven website. Programming, layout, page names, image names, alt and title tags along with comment tags are extremely important.
The one thing your site must be is easy to navigate.

The faster your perspective customers can find their answers the more popular your website will become. Popularity increases count and duration (time spent on your site). Both increase your ranking with the search engines. The better your ranking, the more visible you are. The more visible the more perspective customers will be seeing your products or services.

Remember this, you MUST build your website for the search engine, not for you. If you keep this in mind when developing your site you stand a better chance of actually obtaining a higher ranking. Websites that use redundant keywords excessively / repeditively will be penalized by the search engines.

This also means using keywords that do not fit your products or services...for example: placing the keyword "carpet cleaning "so you can attract all people looking for carpet cleaners when you sell lighting is spam. Just because they both might own their own home or purchase lighting doesn't allow you to cross reference.

Once a website is flagged by a search engine, it may take months to get it released. Spamming is definitely NOT allowed at anytime.

Another key element to increasing your ranking is the use of domain names. Choosing the right domain name seems to be the number one mistake most companies make. Yes, having a domain name using your company name is smart and easy for emails but domains are addresses to products or services...not names of companies.

Since all search engines rely on domain names as the first step of indexing your website, choosing a domain that best describes your products or services is very important.

The easiest way to choose a domain is by finding out exactly what people are typing in to find your products or services. Once you know the most popular keywords being used, you can then search for related or exact domains. See Step1-Keyword Analyzing.

At this point, you can purchase your domains affordably from registars such as

With the right domain name and keyword phrases now in your possession you are ready to optimize your website.
When developing your website it is important to know what each search engine will expect from you. You must build according to their requirements if you wish to seek top ranking. Granted many sites that rank high do not comply to search engine criteria. This is simply due to the fact that the search engine needed to have something available for their users.

Do not base your designs or programming on your internet competition alone. Find out what the search engine suggestions are before spending money on a site that doesn't meet their criteria. See Step 2 - Website Analyzing.

Colors, verbage, and navigation need to be well thought out before proceeding. Most websites do not perform well. The second mistake made is poor design. Reminder, the number one mistake is choosing the wrong domain name.

Designing your website means finding a professional that knows what works and doesn't work. Many companies choose what they think; their favorate colors, layout, images, etc... this can be disastrous.

Although client input is very important... it usually isn't a service to improving or obtaining top ranking.

Most designers will do what the client asks... thus so many websites that don't produce results.

An example of this might be a clients request to have a flash website. Although flash is fun to play with and allows us to produce extremely dynamic websites...flash is not rankable. In other words, flash cannot be indexed with any search engines.

You can however, insert flash into a XHTML or HTML website and still achieve excellent results. Remember, flash can be very expensive to update.

When building your website it is also important to remember you will have to updated it.

Building / programming java script, php, or pearl sites can be very expensive to update, require a specialist or advanced programmer to update or make changes to your site. This type of programming also can effect the ranking. Use of databases such as MySQL for page content will definitely hurt ranking more than help.

Search engines must be able to read your website on the user side. Databases store information on the server side or backend.

Updating your website from time to time is no different than changing your physical store front or marketing materials you use at trade shows. This does not mean you will be updating all the time, however, it is a good idea to keep your customers coming back for updates and making sure that your internet competition doesn't bump you. See Step 3 - Website Development.

This will also be the case in the beginning when you are trying to achieve top ranking. The first shot usually doesn't work perfectly. The majority of websites need to be tweaked to obtain top optimization and results.

For example... you might achieve top ranking with the first try but not get the calls you expect or desire.

This is where analytics or website tracking become a must. See Step 4 - Website Tracking.

Website Tracking is when we use Analytics to monitor traffic, page counts, bounce rates, navigation and site duration plus a few other items..

Knowing what pages are receiving the most traffic tells us what products or services you should be using as a hook to get customers in. This is especially important when purchasing "Click Through" or "Sponsorship" from a search engine.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can be very expensive if used wrong. Just setting a budget for each week is not the answer. Setting a budget and knowing exactly what keywords are working for you, what days you should be visible and what time of day is the only way to make sure you don't waste money.

This is it... the basics of Search Engine Optimization.