Search Engine Optimization as a Means to Targeted Traffic

Let’s face it, you need to get targeted traffic to your website and free, natural, organic search is the best way to do this for your money. Search engine optimization (SEO), is the means to your success in this arena. It can be a hard row to hoe when trying to accomplish your goals but it’s not impossible.

SEO consists of two primary means to optimize your website, make it more search engine friendly, and gain rankings and position on the search engine results pages (SERP’s).              These are on- and off-page optimization. The majority of the websites online have never been optimized. What does this mean to you? This means that if you do on-page optimization at minimal, you’ll be able to compete in the race to getting your website high on the search engines.

Search engine optimization takes into account those on-page factors such as having the right Title, meta description tag, header tags, and keyword density in your web page content. Be sure that you understand what a proper title is and how to write good descriptions for your pages. Use your keywords in your header tags and, when using them in your content, don’t make it appear that you’re keyword spamming the search engines at the expense of your visitors experience.

It also takes into consideration off-page factors like link building. Incoming links are the most elusive to come by and represent the the greatest benefits to your website and business. Google and other search engines place great weight on incoming links and link popularity.

Link popularity is the number and “quality” of the links. The quality factor of the links can be the hardest to control. What are the search engines looking for as far as quality goes? The quality they are looking for is the fact that you have web pages that contain such excellent content that other webmasters feel compelled to link to your site or pages. In this way, these webmasters are voting for your site and pages.

If you have quality content that others want to link to, you will rank higher with the search engines. This is the true key to optimizing your website. A quality website is and always has been the means to gaining high positioning on the SERP’s. Quality content leads to quality links. But this takes time. Fortunately, if you maintain your quality content, eventually you will be seen as an authority on your topic or within your market or industry.

Search engine optimization takes this time factor into consideration with link building strategies. These strategies have changed over time as the search engines detect webmasters that are abusing certain types of links and use “black hat” link building techniques, thus forcing the search engines to modify their algorithms to de-grade certain types of links and see them as search engine “spam”.

What is a quality link? Links coming from an authoritative site in your market or field imparts quality. But it isn’t just the link. The “anchor text” of the hyperlink is also important. Optimally, the anchor text will contain your keyword or keyword phrase. This can be hard to control as it’s another webmaster that determines this. Often they will link to you with an anchor text that is your domain URL. Not that this is bad, but it would be nice for your search engine optimization purposes to have them use your keywords in the anchor text.

There are a couple of ways that you can get other webmasters to use your keywords. The most common of these is to do a reciprocal link exchange. This is where you contact the webmaster of an authoritative site in your market and ask them to place a link on their website to yours using a specific anchor text while at the same time, you place a link to them on your website.

Often, you never hear back from those webmasters. But, they usually go check out your site. Here’s where your quality content comes in. If they see that you have good quality and credibility, they may give you “natural links” over time or tell others about your website and they may link to you.

Another way to gain the proper anchor text that you want is to use software to find out what pages are linking to you and then go check them out. If you would like a different anchor text, you then contact the webmaster, thank them for linking to you, and ask them if they would mind changing the anchor text to benefit your needs. I’ve found that since they have already placed a link to your pages; and most webmasters know the importance of anchor text; they will often change the phrasing of the text to that which you suggest.

Search engine optimization is the leveraging of those on-page and off-page elements that will work to your benefit and make the search engines view your site favorably, thus gaining you a higher placement on the SERP’s. Since most websites and pages have not been optimized properly, any step in this direction is the right step. The end result of SEO is quality, targeted traffic to your website.


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