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Aug 21, 2009

Using Website SEO to Boost Traffic

More and more people these days are using websites as a way to help pay their bills. Some people are even using them as their sole source of income! Creating a thriving, successful website isn’t easy and it takes a lot of hard work. One of the keys in making a website successful is to know how to execute SEO, or Search Engine Optimizationproperly.

What is search engine optimization? Simply put, it’s basically the process of increasing and improving the quality and volume of traffic to a specific web page. When someone types a specific search term into a search engine, that search engine begins scanning its internal database, looking for that specific phrase, or “keyword.” Then the search engine returns reference to the web pages that best match the search terms. The higher up in the search results a web page is, the more likely it is to improve its traffic flow.

Search engine optimization is a strategy web designers and SEO specialist use to ensure a web page is one of the first web pages returned on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). SEO really becomes important when the competition for a given product or service is high. You may have the best thing going for consumers but if your search engine placement is low your traffic will suffer. So to give a web page an edge, people employ SEO tactics to place keywords within the content of their pages to improve their chances of getting traffic.

Here are some great guidelines to follow when decideing to implement SEO.



First choose your keywords or key phrases carefully, keeping in mind that you should select only one, two or three at most for each page you decide to optimize. The keywords/phrase must be relevant to the page and must be terms that people will use to search for your product or service.

SEO is done on a page by page basis. Each and every page of a website can be optimized but you should concentrate on 1 – 3 pages of your site (more if the site is large). No need to do SEO for an About Us or Contact Us type page.

If possible select a URL for your site that contains the main keyword/phrase for the Home page of the site. It is difficult to find the perfect URL these days so consider being creative by using dashes (-) in the URL. I.E. ( my-site-is-the-best.com)

Make full use of Meta Tags. There are three important Meta Tags (Keywords, Description and Title). Search engines use the information defined in these tags to help determine what the page is about. Place the most important keyword/phrase as close to the front of the Meta Tag definition as possible. Keep keywords/phrase to a minimum, using too many keywords will dilute the value.

- Use the keywords/phrases within the content of the page. When you place text on the page, be sure to use the main keyword/phrase often but without excess. Overuse of the keyword/phrase can be deemed spammy by the search engines and make the page hard to read by the visitor.

- Use the keyword/phrase in main headers, Alt Tags of images or graphics on the page and if possible as anchor text links from other pages within the site.

- Something called semantically related words and or synonyms to the keywords can be extremely effective to SERP. For instance, if your main key phrase is “wooden chairs”, words like stool or bench or seat will give additional value to the main keyword/phrase and will aid in boosting your SERP. A very good tool to assist you with the selection of semantically related words can be found at http://labs.google.com/sets. Once you find additional related words use those in the content often but again without excess. Strive to keep the written content on the page natural sounding.

SEO is an extremely powerful technique used for the sole purpose of getting available traffic for a given keyword/phrase to a web page. By careful selection of keywords/phrase and using those words appropriately on a web page, additional free traffic can be obtained. SEO does not guarantee sales success, once a visitor makes it to the website it becomes the responsibility of the site content (text, graphics, layout, etc) to make a sale or conversion.

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