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What is Search Engine Optimization and Why Do I Care?

Search Engine Optimization July 31st, 2008

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Search Engine Optimisation

Well, it’s only been nearly 8 months since joining the TechWyse team, and just in case you were under the SEO proverbial rock, TechWyse is quickly becoming one of the top Internet Marketing Companies in Canada and the US.

Don’t believe me?  Sign up!

Alright, enough self-promotion… So, I guess it’s about time I post in our blog and talk a little something we like to call SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Ready? OK, here we go…

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

In its very simplest terms, SEO is about crafting, fine-tuning and optimizing a website to maximize its presence on the Internet by increasing it’s listing on the major search engines,

such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Almost every Internet user finds the information they are looking for via web sites using a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Once you have searched for your chosen phrase, you click one of the listing links, go to that site, and make your decision about whether the site you clicked on was worthy of the query you used in the search engine.

How Does SEO Work?

Behind the scenes of every Internet search involves complex software and mathematical algorithms, which are intelligent enough to figure out which pages are the most relevant to your search query.

If you are trying to buy a product online for instance, you will search for the product name and usually buy it from a company’s web site that comes up near the top of the results list. Search Engine Optimization is the process of doing whatever is necessary to move to the top of the search results so that these searchers visit your site. It is preferable for a site to be on the first page, as most searchers rarely go beyond that. This involves figuring out which search phrases, or “key words / phrases”, searchers might use to find what you are offering.

How to Optimize a Site using SEO?

I mentioned above, about “what is necessary” to achieve SEO results.

Let’s break through this cryptic phrase shall we?  I don’t want anyone doing a strip tease or robbing a bank, to help their SEO efforts.

There are dozens of things that are done, to assist in the process of performing SEO strategies on a web site.  (for greater description make sure to read our search engine optimization checklist) Figuring out what key words to target is one of the very first steps involved in SEO and it can be a tricky process. If you run a company that sells candy, your first thought might be to target the key word “candy”. There are a number of problems with targeting such a general word or phrase. If somebody is logging on to the internet to buy candy, they are just as likely to use a search phrase like “chocolate”. The other problem is that if someone searches for “candy”, they might simply be looking for recipes or information. Or perhaps a lady friend one met at a gentlemen’s club.

Spending money on search engine optimization which results in visits from recipe seekers will not be beneficial to your company or to the searcher. Lucky for you, there are SEO experts, to do proper key word research and determine exactly which phrases are the best to target.

Why do I need Search Engine Optimization?

Do some careful research about SEO can help you access a form of advertising that is very cost effective, especially compared to traditional mediums, such as TV, radio, etc and reaches millions of people interested in exactly the service and or product you have to offer. If you have the budget to pay a professional for this service, make sure to investigate very carefully and get examples of their work. If a company offers you a guaranteed top spot on Google, be wary.

True SEO professionals will tell you the truth: that getting a high search ranking for a competitive key word phrase will take months of diligent work and planning, and involves many factors that you cannot control due to competition for the elusive top spot.

So, why do you need SEO?

FACT: 60 Billion searches are conducted monthly on search engines – Yes, that’s a B

FACT: Facebook is the 33rd most visited web site in the world

FACT: Google net worth is over $180 Billion – Yes, that’s a "B"

Still think the Internet is a Fad?

I love My Yellow Pages Ad

Yes, me too! I step over it every time I enter my home.

I am not going to bash this type of advertising, it serves its purpose, I suppose.  So, if you’re using it as a supplemental advertising medium, then good for you.  But, if you are choosing it over the Internet, then you either need to give your head a shake or continue to lose out to your competitors who have decided, rightly so, that that the Internet is the here and now.

Internet vs Everything Else

Well, almost everything. So, still not convinced?

Here is one way to describe how the Internet and SEO works versus most other types of advertising. Most types of advertising and marketing are of the intrusive type.

Think about this.

You are on your way home from a long day at the office, listening to your favourite drive-home host, when BAM! – You are again rudely interrupted by a Work at Home Get-Rich-Quick pitch.

You’re relaxing on the couch, flipping through a magazine, and suddenly realizing you’re doing more flippin’ than actual reading.

You’re watching your favourite sporting event with your buddies; it’s getting really exciting, then Whamo! – You are rudely interrupted by a William Shatner commercial, pitching Kellogg’s All-Bran cereal.

Get the picture?

The SEO Difference

In contrast, when a searcher performs a search on the Internet, they have made several important decisions.

Firstly, they have decided to use the Internet, through their favourite search engine to find what they are looking for.

Secondly, they have chosen specific words to filter the results pages.

Thirdly, if you’ve done your SEO, the searcher clicks on your link and arrives at your site.

So what is the summary of all this?

People are already searching for YOUR product or service, and they are half way to purchasing what you have to offer. What a novel idea; someone searching for you and not the other way around.

Til next time….

Post By Colin (20 Posts)

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Also known as NEO, Colin can be found walking around the neighborhood giving everyone SEO tips and tricks. When he can find the time to peel himself away from the team at TechWyse he often can feel compelled to bless us with his thoughts through the Rise To The Top blog.

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