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A Brief Overview of Search Engine Optimization

Sonal Panse,

SEO and Keyword Research

Search engine optimization is concerned with making your website content more readily findable for users and search engines. For this purpose, relevant keywords and phrases that a user is likely to type into a search box must be considered and included in the article. To come up with the right keywords and phrases, you have to have a clear idea about the audience for whom the content is intended. For instance, if the content is directed towards a professional audience, you might use terms that a professional in that particular industry is familiar with and is likely to use. On the other hand, you might use less industry-specific jargon if you are writing for a more general audience. Or you can use a mix of both to give your site a wide reach. There are different ways of researching keywords. You can use free and paid keyword research tools – do a quick search and you will find the most-frequently used ones. You can also input a word or a phrase into a search engine and study the sites that are ranked on the first ten pages. What are these sites doing right? What kinds of words and phrases are they using? What are people looking for or talking about? Following social media conversations can also give you some good keyword tips. Bolster your primary keywords with related secondary and tertiary keywords and phrases, and you will have your bases covered.

Importance of Good Content

Keyword-research is just one important aspect of search engine optimization. It used to be the main thing formerly, but now, with evolving search engine algorithms, it is no longer sufficient by itself. You must additionally have well-written, engaging content, which might seem kind of obvious, but this can sometimes get overlooked in the mad scramble to get on top of the SEO keyword pile. It might even actually be better to concentrate on the content first – to consider what it is for and how it is supposed to help you achieve your business goals - and then make sure that you have the right keywords to further strengthen your SEO strategy.

Sharing Content on Social Media

Along with excellent content, you also need to have a good social media presence. What are the top social media sites? Are you on them? More importantly, are you sharing your content on them? Social media is a great way of marketing your content to a wider audience. Links are the most prized currency on the Internet nowadays and the more shares and referrals your content gets the better for your online profile. It shows the search engines that your content is being considered relevant enough to be read and shared, and this gives your site a higher ranking in the search engine results, making it easier for more people to find you. This can go a long way in helping you become an authority in your field and as such makes it possible for you to build up a better business.

Linking and Thinking

But how do you go about getting links? Linking building deserves another article on its own, but, in brief, you can get links by social media promotion, by listing your site in business directories, by doing guest posts, by reciprocal linking, by getting cited as a resource, and so on. Asking people to link to your website might help, but this is not always advisable. Ask and you shall receive is not how it always works in this game; if you ask too often and have nothing of value to offer to the other party in return for the link, you might just find yourself dubbed an irredeemable pest. It is far, far better to put your time instead into building up mutual relationships and establishing a good level of trust, and then, if your content is worth their while, people will share it. Note the 'worth their while'. I've said it before, I'll say it again. It's not enough to toot your own horn. When the audience comes, it won't be solely for your glorification, there has to be something in it for them too. Are you providing information or services that they can use? How do you want them to interact with your content? What do you want them to derive from it? What steps will you need to take to keep them returning to your site? These considerations must be part of your overall SEO strategy. But will these work? No one can say for sure. The only thing you can control is how you present yourself. If you want to be successful, give yourself all the available opportunities to be a success, and don't expect it to happen overnight. Creating an authoritative site is a lot of hard work and it might take you a few years to get well-entrenched. Expect to have a lot of hits and misses, keep yourself informed of new trends, and be prepared to keep learning.