Search Engine Optimization in Ten Easy Steps

A step by step guide to optimizing your site for search engines and searchers!

Search engine optimization - what is it? Ask yourself this question:

Are you satisfied with your website?

Do you believe that your site is drawing in enough traffic, people are getting what they came for, and there's really no room for improvement?

If your answer is yes, then you're probably going to want to stop reading. For the rest of you, you know that there's always something that could be tweaked for increased web site traffic, better customer satisfaction, and a higher search engine ranking. How exactly do you go about doing that? Follow these steps to a well-organized website and you'll see that these goals are not as lofty as you might think.

In a very basic nutshell, search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is making your site and the site's individual pages visible and relevant to both search engines and search engine users.

Understanding your audience is a huge part of a successful search engine optimization strategy. You need to pinpoint who it is you will be marketing your site to, and write your content accordingly. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's worth a serious look.

What are keywords, and why should you learn about them? Keywords are simply targeted words that determine which category your site will be listed under in search engines and directories,as well as words that searchers input to search engines in order to find relevant sites. If you don't do your homework and select targeted key phrases, you are missing a significant portion of potential traffic.

You've got your hard-earned list of keywords, now you're going to have to actually put them somewhere. The more places you can reasonably put your keywords, the easier you will be found. That being said, don't go nuts and paste them in every nook and cranny. This is called "keyword stuffing" and search engines don't look kindly on this practice (see What is Black Hat SEO? for more information).

Compelling content on your website is the essential key to good search engine results. Obviously, there are many more factors that search engine spiders look at when indexing a website, but content is the vital foundation on which good rankings are built.

Would you like to read the first five steps? Head on over to the first page of Search Engine Optimization in Ten Easy Steps.

Step 6: Using Title Tags in Search Engine Optimization

Although the title tag is kind of the redheaded stepchild of search engine optimization, its lack of notoriety does not make it any less important. Most search engines index the contents of the title tag, and actually make it one of the most important factors in the ranking process. So if you don't have an optimized title tag, you might be missing the boat as far as rankings are concerned.

Step 7: Keywords and Description Meta Tags

These two tags are not very important in the grand scheme of things, but every little bit counts. Make your Meta tags optimized and help search engines to index your site better.

Step 8: Ten Tips for Search-Engine Friendly Site Design

Learn how to optimize your site design for search engines and search engine users with my free search engine optimization site design step by step tutorial. And no, you may NOT use dancing singing kittens on your website (unless that's what your site is about).

Step 9: Site Submission-The Basics of Submitting Your Site

Search engines have gotten so good at indexing websites that it's not really necessary to go through the saga of site submission-unless you have a brand new site, in which it's highly suggested that you submit to a search directory.

Step 10: Wait For Results

You've done the work; now how long are you going to have to wait to see improvement in your ranking results? The answer is different for every site, however, if you keep plugging away using the suggestions in these Ten Steps and are patient, eventually you will see the results you're looking for.

Now What? Search Engine Optimization for the Long Haul

A well-optimized site doesn't get that way overnight; behind every successful website is a ton of hard work, patience, and more hard work. Use these Search Engine Optimization in Ten Easy Steps to make your site the absolute best site that it can be, and eventually all your hard work will pay off.