SEO – a Beginner’s Guide (Part 1)

Posted on Sep 23, 2010


SEO. You hear the term all the time. You read about it in the Doteasy Blog. But what does it really mean?

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of improving your website’s ranking with the search engines, ie. Google.

All search engines have their own ranking algorithms (sets of rules that determine how to rank websites for search queries). The aim of a search engine is to provide the user with the most relevant website for their query. For example, if a user searches for “visa” you would expect the website “visa.com” to appear top of the listings. But if the user types in a generic term, such as “credit cards” the search engine will then have to determine which credit card website is most relevant to the user.

Unfortunately, these algorithms are not released to the public.

Thus, the aim of SEO is to improve your website’s ranking within the search engine so that more users can find your website when they type in a specific keyword in the search engines.

So, how do you actually rank higher in the search engines?

The right keywords for your website.

Choosing the right keywords or keyword phrases is very important. You want to describe your website but not too generically. For example, if you run a cafe in Toronto, instead of “cafe”a better keyword would be “cafe in Toronto”.

Just think, would you rather be a small fish in a big pond (trying to rank for “cafe”) or a large fish in a small pond (trying to rank for “cafe in Toronto”).

Yes, more people will be searching for “cafe”. But, “cafe in Toronto” will not only give you a better chance of appearing on the first page of Google, but it will also send you more targeted visitors. SEO is not about traffic. It’s about optimizing for keywords that will bring you visitors who want the same things as you.

There are free tools you can use to help find the right keywords:

* Google’s Search-Based Keyword Tool

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