SEO stands for search engine optimization. It covers the way that a search engine finds your website by using certain keywords and phrases that search engines pick up on. Using SEO properly means making your website more easily found, and makes it appear higher on the list of choices. SEO is an incredibly important part of internet marketing.
Many people assume that if you put your website on all your advertising, SEO is not important. But your advertising only reaches certain people, and most of them won’t remember your website’s address by the time they go to look you up. This is where SEO comes in. If your website is not SEO optimized, then a search engine won’t easily find it, and the customer won’t be able to find their way to your business.
Aside from people who have been reached by your advertising but don’t remember your website, there are people who have never heard of you. If your website comes up when they search a generic term for their needs, you might get some new business. If a search engine can’t find your business, you miss out on this whole potential avenue of marketing.
How a search engine finds websites is generally a very closely guarded secret, and it constantly changes. Because of this, people have to rely on some general methods for getting their website found, and they may be more or less effective depending on the characteristics a particular search engine is using to find you.
There are different forms of SEO, some of which are appropriate and some of which are not, and it can depend on your situation. Some methods are never appropriate, and can even backfire against you when a search engine company designs ways to combat them. Because there are so many different and constantly changing methods of SEO, many people choose to employ SEO services.
SEO services are companies that assist in developing the most SEO optimized websites. Some charge a flat fee for their services, and others charge a fee based on your ranking in a given search engine. These services may be free to set up, but they usually come with a contracted length of time during which you pay increasing amounts as your site moves up the ranks.
Companies that provide SEO services may provide only the tools to SEO optimize your site, or they may provide the labor that actually goes into optimizing your site. Ones that provide tools may also offer ways to automate the process so that you don’t have to manually change the parameters during a given period of time.
Choosing an SEO service provider carefully is important — a few such providers have employed harmful tactics in attempting to raise websites to the highest rankings, and have gotten these websites banned by search engines. A ban by a search engine puts an end to any of the benefits of SEO, so this is to be avoided at all cost. Most companies are reputable and employ only beneficial tactics, however, so choosing one comes down to the benefits they provide and the price they charge.