Marketing Your Website: What is Search Engine Optimization?

You probably hear the term “SEO” mentioned a lot when it comes to marketing websites. But if you’re new to the Internet marketing world, you may not know exactly what this is, why it’s important and whether you even need it.

SEO stands for: Search Engine Optimization. SEO encompasses all the tactics used to make your website as visible as possible in the search results of search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

The primary goal of SEO is to have your website be on the first page of search results for your websites most relevant keywords or keyphrases. This is the “holy grail” of SEO.

Key Concepts in SEO

  • Keywords and keyphrases – these are the relevant words and phrases that people you are targeting for your website may enter into search engines to search for what they are looking for
  • Keyword and keyphrase research is where you use tools such as Google’s Keyword Tool (free) or MarketSamurai (paid)to find these relevant keywords and keyphrases that result in the most RELEVANT searches
  • White Hat SEO – is the practice of using tactics that are recognised as acceptable to the search engines to optimise your website
  • Black Hat SEO – is the practice of using “dodgy” tactics that are recognised as unacceptable to the search engines to optimise your website
  • On-page SEO – are tactics relating to what you can directly control on your website used to optimise your website such as the content on your website
  • Off-page SEO – are tactics that are not directly related to what you control on your website such as getting links from other websites to your website

Is SEO for You?

You can imagine that with millions of websites on the Internet, competition for the first page of search results for ANY keyword or keyphrase nowadays is highly competitive. Despite this, SEO is definitely a worthy way of marketing a website…in the LONG RUN and as a LONG-TERM strategy.

The disadvantages of SEO are that it is:

  • Highly competitive
  • Slow to ramp up and see results

This why we always recommend new websites to NOT rely solely on SEO for marketing your website. You may see results from SEO in just days if you’re lucky but in most cases it could takes weeks if not months to see favourable results.

If you are marketing a new website, we recommend you test out Pay-per-click advertising, which we talk about in the next tutorial.

If you want to learn more about SEO, there are tons of sites out there that talk about it, but if you want to learn from the best, we can recommend the following two sites to start:

  • SEOMoz – they offer a lot of free information and tools as well as paid information and tools (you can check out their Free Trial of their awesome tools and info) and an active community of professionals in the SEO sphere
  • SEOBook – similar to SEOMoz, SEOBook was originally an ebook but now is a combination of tools and training led by Aaron Wall, one of the most respected SEO experts on the market. He also offers a lot of free information and tools as well as paid training and tools.

You can’t go wrong with either of these two websites if you want to learn more about SEO.

Tools Mentioned in This Tutorial:

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