If you’ve got a website and you want to get noticed, you need search engine optimization. What is it?

Search engine optimization is the means by which you attain that visibility; it works like this:

  • You use keywords on your webpages that pertain to the content on your website.

Keywords are targeted phrases that search engines pick up so that customers can find you when they do a search on the Internet for a product or service. So for example, if you sell fishing gear, your targeted phrases might be “fishing pole,” fishing gear,” or anything else that will help people find your page when they do a search on the Internet.

Search engines like Google index and make your pages visible in their rankings based upon these keywords. When you upload your site to the Internet for the first time, Google and other search engines ultimately find you by indexing your pages with “bots,” so that they will show up in search engine listings.

  • Not all search engine optimization is created equal

However, you have to be careful to use targeted keywords that really do pertain to your site. Practices like “keyword stuffing,” whereby site owners simply loaded their pages up with keywords in an effort to get top search engine listings, have been unequivocally banned by search engines, and could get you blacklisted so that your site doesn’t show up on search engine listings at all.

  • Pay attention to “keyword weight,” too

Even if you use legitimate keywords on your site, you have to be careful not to overly populate your content with them. Current practices have keyword weight at about 1.5%, meaning that keywords should only comprise about 1.5% of your content, or 1.5 words per 100 words.

  • Make sure you provide interesting and relevant content on your site

In addition to paying attention to keywords’ legitimacy and a proper keyword weight, the content you provide must be interesting, relevant, and truly provide information to visitors and prospective customers. Content is king, in other words, and must be your first priority with your site.

  • As your site is up on the Internet for longer periods of time, you will become more visible through the use of back links

Search engine optimization provides a means by which you become more visible – but it doesn’t happen overnight. As people visit your site and share your content, they provide organic back links that make your website’s search engine rankings rise in listings. In general, you want your site to appear the first 10 listings of a search engine site like Google, and search engine optimization best practices will help make sure that happens.

  • Change your content often

For search engine optimization to be effective, you must change your content often. Doing something as simple as putting a blog on your site that provides news about your products and services that you update regularly will help keep your content fresh and relevant.

“Best practices” change relatively frequently, so keep on top of them

Search engine optimization best practices are not set in stone, and it’s important to keep on top of them to make sure your site stays visible.