Basics Of Search Engine Optimization And Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Optimization is a process by which a website is improved so that it can be more easily found by search engines, rank higher on search engine results and be found by its target audience.

There have always been do-it-yourselfers succeeding at web promotíon and search engine optimization. In fact, many of the established businesses offering web services today came from humble beginnings, perhaps nothing more than a college student with a laptop, an internet connection, and too much free time. The Web evolves as the result of the innovation and experimentation of individuals. The sharing of knowledge. The do-it-yourself attitude.

As text link brokers and mass link networking decrease in value and use of social media increases, it becomes more important for companies to have an internal approach and awareness of search engine marketing. Don’t get me wrong; outsourcing to SEO firms is still a smart option. That said, making the most wikipedia out of Web 2.0 usually requires some level of cooperation between SEO firm and site owner. You don’t need to be an expert to know the basics of good SEO practices, and that added knowledge will be agreat advantage whether you’re working along side an SEO team, or promoting your site in your spare time.

Unique web content is your most valuable asset, and ensuring search engines can read it is crucial. Text embedded in images or Flash cannot be read, so make sure you use important keywords, headings, and hyperlinks in plain text form. Instead of using images as navigation links, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) makes it easy to format those links to look more like ‘buttons’, thus creating powerful anchor text as well as making it visually appealing. Use heading tags properly and don’t try to hide keywords or text by making it the same color as the page background or shrinking it so it can’t be seen. Make sure the keywords you wish to rank high for are used frequently in the page copy but within reason.

Now that you’ve created good content, is it actually being crawled? Copy and paste a page’s URL into a search engine to see if it has been indexed. If you’ve just created the page, it may take a few days to show up. Aside from age, many factors can lead to web pages not being indexed by search engines, such as duplicate content (ie. a printer-friendly version of a page might be indexed and the normal version not, or vice versa); links generated by JavaScript instead of HTML; poor site architecture (ie. using too many sub-directories); lengthy, dynamically generated URLs using special characters; and orphaned pages.

The key to using social media and bookmarking sites to your advantage is to not be shy. Getting your entries and content to the popular pages on these sites requires some hard work. Network with other users, bookmark and share useful content, create eye-catching titles for your entries, and tell your friends and co-workers about the content you have on these sites. However, don’t force your employees to vote your entries up – this is social media fraud. If you have great content and simply share it with as many people as you can, it will see success naturally.

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