Search engine optimization (SEO for short) is a process used to make your website more “appealing” to the search engines so that your website will show up near the top of the search results. Search engines are the websites people go to when they need to find something on the Internet.
The most popular Australian search engines are:
- Google AU (google.com.au)
- Bing (bing.com.au or ninemsn.com.au)
- Yahoo!7 (au.yahoo.com)
When people type the name of your main product or service into the Google search box, you want your website to be listed near the top of the results. This won’t happen unless you make your website “search engine optimized”.
Keywords are Key
Search engines focus on what are called “keywords”. Keywords are the common search phrases that people type into the search engines. A keyword can be single word or a phrase. Search engines like Google have “robots” that travel the web and make a note of the text on each website. This is called “indexing”. When someone types in “golf shoes”, Google searches its index. The websites at the top of the search results are those Google has determined have the strongest association with the keyword “golf shoes”. The difficulty of getting on the first page (top 10 results) of Google is directly related to competition for a particular keyword. It is relatively “easy” to rank in the top 10 for an obscure keyword phrase (like “golf shoes for dolls”), but it is extremely difficult to rank in the top 10 for a highly competitive keyword (like “golf shoes”). So selecting the right keywords will play a large part in your website’s success. With the right research tools and knowledge, you can select keywords for your business website that have relatively high volume and low competition. Remember, search engines are essentially free advertising. If you select your keywords and add them to your website in the correct way, it can generate a constant stream of customers to your site – at no cost! So it makes sense to devote time to search engine optimization. Consider it your single best marketing investment.
Want to know more? The next post in this series covers “What factors influence search engine rankings”.