What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

white hat vs black hat seo

There are 2 ways in which your website can feature on top of search engine results – 1. Pay per click and 2. SEO. SEO and marketing are both different things, but they are also similar in some manner. SEO is the key to increasing the traffic to your website. SEO concepts are known to many, including web developers, software developers and web designers. SEO techniques are meant for website optimization, making them search engine friendly and increasing your chances of coming on top in search results. The leads generated from SEO are free leads which make it one of the most profitable methods.

There are many companies which offer shortcut to SEO and claim to deliver overnight success. They employ unethical techniques, known as Black Hat SEO which are against search engine policies. Many website owners knowingly or unknowingly fall into this trap and end up getting their websites banned by the search engines.

There are many books available on doing the right SEO, also known as White Hat SEO. A beginner should always refer them, as the principles of SEO are not very easy. SEO tools and software should be well researched before buying as search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing keep changing their algorithms for improving search techniques which can make these tools outdated and redundant very quickly.

Blogs are one of the most important SEO tools which are available for free. Google sitemap is another powerful tool for SEO. MSN also has a pay per click tool in Adcenter. While there are many other SEO tools available online, not all of them are good.

When it comes to SEO, some of the elements which one needs to pay close attention to include tagging headers, optimum density of keyword, text format through fonts, pointer links to the page, domain name of webpage, phrase construct, etc.

Content plays a critical role in SEO, as it keeps the visitors glued to your website. The quality of your content must be relative and determined by the content of the competitors’ websites. Your content should pass duplicate content filter. Hence, you need to index your content before publishing it for the search engines. The SEO content on your website should also be keyword-rich. The objective should be to create absolutely fresh, new and informative yet simple content for the visitors. With unique content, your traffic is likely to grow much faster. Once your SEO content has visitors, your next aim should be to convert them into customers.

Often, SEO and graphic or visual designs are seen as conflicting activities. However, it is not always true. You need to optimize the balance between the two depending on the nature of the visitors your website is likely to have. You need to understand your website user first, his likings and his dislikes. Based on this info, a good mix of graphics, designs and text can be blended to present a content which might bring your visitors for the long term. There are on page SEO elements which include Title, Headline, Body text and Meta tags. Use as many headers as possible.

Many of the modern day SEO techniques have been banned by the search engines. Hence, it is imperative to stay updated with the new SEO tactics. Irrespective of the tools used, there are 5 main mantras for successful SEO:

  • Usage of relevant keywords
  • Content should be unique and attractive for the visitors
  • Coding should be clean with no unethical practices
  • Relevant links with pointers to webpages
  • Good use of technology

If SEO is done in an optimum and fair manner, the results might be very impressive. It will not only improve your ranking on search engines, but will also increase the traffic to your website for long term with an increasing customer base for free. You simply have to follow the rules well!