What is SEO, anyway?

Have you ever Googled yourself?  If not, try it.  You’d be surprised at what you find.  Search engines are everything these days.  Google, Yahoo or Bing – we all have our preferences and we all use them…A LOT. Not one day goes by (and hasn’t for almost a decade) when I didn’t search for something on the internet.  From the latest celebrity gossip, to elusive lyrics of a favorite song, to restaurant reviews, movie times, holiday deals, to even in-depth learning of the tricks of the trade of the hottest internet marketers, it has forever replaced the yellow pages, professional directories, and even encyclopedias.  Search engines are the core of how we find anything these days.

You’ve probably heard the term SEO tossed around everywhere, and many of us know it stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” We hear about the importance of keywords, meta tags, and much more.  But before we go into SEO, how it can increase your visibility as a brand and as an expert in your field, I think it’s important that we explore the basics of what SEO really means.

Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, AOL, and others exist to provide the best, most relevant links to your searches.  They are constantly improving their methods in crawling the web more deeply in order to serve people better.  So…

This is how your potential customer base is looking to find you, too.  It’s vital to take a look at how you find services online these days.  Do you even look at search engine results beyond the first page?  Even beyond the top ten links?  Maybe only the top three?

If your site cannot be found by the search engines and listed in their databases, you are losing out in a big way.  Don’t worry about all this crazy meta tag talk. If you have a blog…

Just follow these three simple steps.

  • Good, quality content is king – always will be. Update it often.  This is why I love blogs.  They allow you to do this easily and they are pretty much already optimized for use in search engines.
  • Get the word out there using social media. (I talked about what accounts you need in my last post.)  If you keep sending your contacts high value information and personal updates, people will want to see what else you have to offer out of the social media space.
  • Get backlinks, or links on other people’s sites going back to your site – and get lots of ’em. Focus on getting links on other sites with credibility in your industry.  If you can find sites that share some of your key words (or key topics you write about) ever better. The easiest way to do this is to post comments on blogs and within communities and forums.  The more people that link to you, the more important you become on the “google radar.”

Optimization means being the best and most effective as YOU can be.  There are organic ways of growing your brand.  And there are techniques you can learn to speed this process up.  In these times, it’s time to start learning them.  In following posts, I’ll talk about some easy SEO tools you can start using immediately.  In the meantime, keep up the quality content, and keep spreading the word.  Any link is a good link.

Why don’t you start now by putting a comment below with a link back to your site? 😉

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