The letters SEO generally refer to Search Engine Optimization, although they can stand for a Search Engine Optimizer, who is a specialist in getting your site ranked high on Google and other search engines. Most of the pages that appear on the front page of Google are not there by accident. It takes a lot of grooming and time to that status. Following are the factors that contribute to the effort.
First and foremost, Google will present popular pages that contain the text you typed in the search field. These are known as keywords and long-tail phrases. Search has evolved to become more sophisticated. Instead of typing just one word, seekers are more likely to type in phrases to help refine the results.
To discover what keywords your target audience is likely to input to find sites in your niche, you will need to use a keyword search tool. There are hundreds of free and paid services, but the easiest one to start with is the Keyword Research Tool from the Webmaster Toolkit. In fact, you’ll find a lot of helpful resources on that site. Another helpful resource is Google AdWords and the AdSense Keyword Tool.
Your site will attract more search engine attention if you include keywords in the titles and content of your posts and pages, as well as the category tags of your posts. But, don’t overstuff with so many keywords that it makes the content awkward for your viewers to read.
Backlinks, also known as incoming links, tell Google which sites are popular. If a lot of folks are linking to a particular site, then Google ranks that site high and it will display at or near the top of the front page of Google’s search results.
The process of gaining more backlinks to your site is called link building. There are good ways and bad ways to build links. And, there are some downright illegal ways that Google is actively shutting down. Start by growing your incoming links organically. See Matt Cutts Tips on Link Building. He works for Google as an anti-spam engineer and all of his advice is above board.
If it sounds too good…
Be careful of sites that promise to bring you hundreds or thousands of backlinks, no matter whether the service is paid or free. There is likely to be a catch in there somewhere. Read the fine print and ask a lot of questions. Gaining better SEO is big business. Unfortunately, too many SEO service providers walk on the shady side of the street and use practices that are actually illegal, like providing stellar reviews for a product or service they have never used.
Get started and get results.
If you provide helpful and/or interesting content on your site that is rich in keywords, and you drive traffic to that site by participating in social media or guest posting, you will eventually begin to accumulate organic backlinks. It could take as little as two and as much as six months for your site to start ranking well in search engines like Google. Following sites like BlogAid, that routinely post tips and tools for getting better SEO is a good idea too. SEO is a very big topic and you will learn as your grow. So, get started and stick with it and you’ll begin to see results.