Most of us here are involved in this emerging business of building websites and making money online.
This is one of the easiest businesses to get into (at least I think so) and it’s not until webmasters become more experienced that they actually realize the importance of search engine optimization in regards to their website success.
However, it appears that search engine optimization, as we know it, is responsible for a lot more than just getting free traffic from the search engines.
I will explain more. But first..
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Well you will see many interpretations of what search engine optimization really is. But I like to listen to the big G (Google) for my definitions as they are the ones supplying my websites with thousands of visitors per day.
According to Google:
Search engine optimization is about putting your site’s best foot forward when it comes to visibility in search engines, but your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.
I like to break search engine optimization down into two areas: On-page and Off-page.
On-page SEO is the way you present the information on a web page to please your website visitors first and then the search engines.
- Your navigation system which includes internal linking
- Keyword targeted quality content (which essentially equals relevant content)
- Easy to crawl content (Meta tags, descriptions, titles, etc)
- Optimized images (re-sized, correct format, ALT tags)
- Fast page loading times (under 3 seconds)
Off Page SEO
In off-page SEO, the major focus is upon the number of relevant and valuable links pointing to your website.
Links can be counted as a vote for your website.
This might sound like an easy task but it can become more complicated…
The words that make up your anchor text for the link must be relevant and highly related to the content that is on the page that the person lands on. This means that before you back link to a page, you need to have a clear idea of what keywords that page is targeting.
This is a very brief explanation, but hopefully now you know what search engine optimization is.
And if not, just pick up Ana’s free SEO report, where she explains all this and more in detail.
What else is SEO for if not for the search engines?
As you can see from the quote from Google, SEO is also ultimately aimed at your website visitors.
What is the point of all the fancy SEO, if when search engine traffic reaches your website, they simply hate it?
First impressions do count
If you have a WordPress website, it’s definitely to your advantage to buy premium WordPress themes as soon as you can afford to.
Trying to customize free WordPress themes is not only a waste of time, but they also lack many features that most premium themes include by default.
You are probably wondering what a WordPress theme has to do with search engine optimization.
Well the theme that you choose will determine if you have easy to navigate menus, excerpts on the FrontPage, featured boxes, easily added social media buttons, and many more features that make up a great user experience.
After all Google said the visitor comes first.
To see which theme Ana chooses to use for Traffic Generation Cafe, take a look at her Thesis Theme review and learn about all the SEO benefits Thesis has to offer.
Internal linking is not just for SEO
Internal linking is a part of search engine optimization, but does not just benefit the search engines by making your website easy to crawl.
Internal linking is a fantastic way to get your website visitors to travel through your website.
Creating relevant and informational internal links means that your website visitor stays longer, and also reduces your bounce rate.
Backlinks do more than SEO
When you build backlinks to your site, it is usually for search engine optimization purposes.
However, links can be beneficial for other reasons as well, and the best one I can think of is for referral traffic.
Even if you are not optimizing for a certain keyword, you might place a backlink on a high-trafficked website and get loads of visitors from doing so.
On the other hand, if you don’t get any website visitors through the links that you make, you will always rank higher in the search engines for the keywords that you targeted and get visitors that way.
Therefore one way link building is a win-win situation and is not always just for the search engines.
Why would Google tell us to optimize for the visitor first?
This is easy to answer.
The website visitor that lands on your website is also Google’s customer.
If Google does not serve their customers the most relevant results, theiy might turn to other search engines.
Therefore Google tells us to optimize our pages for the website visitors first, which also happens to be to Google’s benefit.
Hmm.. What now?
Search engine optimization is about what people are typing in to the search engines to reach your website and what they do when they get there.
In reality, are we ever really optimizing our websites for the search engines alone?
Search engine optimization is an important part of our Internet businesses, however as you can see from the examples above, SEO is not just for the search engines.