Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important aspect of online marketing. Contrary to what many people believe, it is not something that only big businesses do. In fact, that’s one of the great things about the internet, small companies can compete with larger ones. However, you still need to understand how SEO works and how to use it if you want to be able to compete with bigger names in your chosen topic.
The foundation of any serious SEO campaign is research, but before you start your research, you need to know what your goals are. Your research will be much easier and more effective if you have an idea of what your expectations for your website are. Knowing this will help you zero in on the best keywords for you to use.
The keywords you choose are one of the most important parts of SEO. In fact, so much else in SEO revolves around your keywords, so take your time to select the best ones. You can start out by writing down as many key words and phrases you can think of. Think about what words you would use to search for your site, and what words other people are likely to use. You now have a starting point for using paid or free keyword tools. Enter each of your keywords and take note of how many people are searching for those words, and write down any other keywords the tool suggests. Your list will grow very quickly, giving you more ammo for your SEO campaigns.
Your own keywords are important, no question about it. But there are whole sets of keywords you also need to know about. What are they? They are the keywords your competitors are using. The way you find those is by entering each of your keyword phrases into a search engine and then visiting each of the top ten or twenty pages that come up. When you visit those pages, take note of the keywords they are using (there are also paid and free tools for this purpose). Also, take a look at how they are doing their SEO. Where are they using their keywords? What other keywords are they using? What anchor text do they use? How are the pages linked together, and so on.
Once you have done your research and chosen your keywords, you can move on to implementing various SEO techniques. Remember you have selected your keywords for a reason; to use them! Be sure to include your keyword in the title of the page, use hyperlinked text, heading tags, and other ways to highlight the keywords to show the search engines they should be placing importance on them. At the same time, be careful that you don’t go overboard. If you do, the search engines may think you’re trying to stuff too many keywords onto your pages, and will penalize you accordingly.
SEO is important to any size business that wants to be found when people are searching for information online. As mentioned earlier, even the smallest business can compete with larger ones if they take the time to learn and implement SEO.