An Internet marketing technique that can increase a the number of visitors to a particular web-site from search engines. A fancy way to say 'Driving traffic to your website'.
The overall tactics of Search Engine optimization include:
- Increasing a web-site's transparency to Web Spiders, so that they are more able to read and therefore likely to index a site.
- Increasing the perceived relevance of a site to a particular set of subjects or keywords.
- Increasing the perceived importance of a site relative to other sites in similar categories.
There are many marketing firms offering “Search Engine Optimization” techniques and consulting. It's a crowded marketplace, and many firms appear to be offering 'snake oil'; services that are either useless or can be obtained for free with a little knowledge. Despite the many untruths that surround this business, there are many practical techniques that can be used to boost a site's visitors.
Firms that depend on a high search-engine ranking for business can benefit from the appointment of a Search Engine marketing person, however with any practice the number of rogues outweigh the number of genuine experts. I strongly suggest you get a recommendation or at least a reference for any consultant you consider employing. Also, beware of large firms offering Search engine optimization services; smaller consultants can usually offer exactly the same service, but for considerably less money.
If your website is a hobby, or you have the time, you can DIY and achieve professional results; there is no magic to this art; It is one that can be accomplished by non-technical people given a few hours effort.
Common Search Engine Optimisation techniques include:
Search and Keyword Analysis: What keywords and phrases are customers using to find your web-site? A knowledge of the most profitable keywords could highlight a gap in the marketplace or make further search engine optimization more efficient by targeting search terms most likely to bring good business. Usually these keywords will be discovered by an analysis of existing web-site logs, however in the absence of this data a good consultant can use his or her experience to guess and then test a number of likely candidate keywords.
Meta Tags: The tags in the HTTP header, HTML header and heading tags in the HTML body can influence a search spider's behavior. Many older search spiders are strongly influenced by the 'summary' and 'keywords' meta tags. Most of the newer search spiders, ignore these tags but pay strong attention to the TITLE and H1 tags. A good search engine consultant will suggest changes to your site template and layout that allow a search engine spider to more accurately index your pages.
Submiting: Having built an optimized site, somebody has to submit the site to all the search engines, directories and forums likely to have any relevance to what you want to promote. Most of this job can be automated with the large number of submitting tools that can be used for free, however getting sites onto human-edited directories requires a careful choice of description and sometimes even bribery.
Competitive Analysis: Most consultants will offer their monitoring services; by keeping an eye on your site's rivals they can tell you how well you are doing in comparison to them and what marketing steps you might take to ensure that your site / product / service remains the easiest to find on the Internet.
Link Promotion: (Astroturfing) The best search engines will rank a web-site according to its perceived importance or relevance to other highly regarded sites. As well as getting links on the search engines, a good search engine consultant will get your site linked to from other sites that are likely to increase your site's reputation and therefore its ranking on the chosen keywords.
Search engine optimization can increase the frequency of visits to a web-site if done well. Even when managed by the most skilled consultant it can be a slow process; it's a waiting game because it can take months for a search spider to find a new site. If you decide to have a go, please be patient.