Search engine optimization is the process of improving visibility and access to websites and web content through the use of strategies that bring visitors to your website. This can be accomplished through the use of key words, meta descriptions and links. A common strategy in search engine optimization is to use key words and phrases that may be associated with the subject of the website or specific content. Consider this scenario of a bakery website that specializes in custom cakes. The bakery owner builds a website and hopes that customers will find it. When persons looking for cakes for parties or special occasions type certain terms into a search engine, they are taken to websites about cakes. For example, if individual types in the term “chocolate cake” he or she will be taken to sites with recipes or other information about cakes. A website that has the term “chocolate cake” in its title or text has a good chance of being found by the person conduction the search. This is how keywords work. If the bakery owner has put good search engine optimization strategies in place, his or her bakery may rise to the top of searches for cakes. When a website is set up, related keywords in various forms might be used throughout the text on the site. In our example here keywords such as chocolate wedding cake, birthday cake, chocolate iced cake and layer cake might all be used. However, it is not enough to stuff a webpage with keywords. Keywords must be strategically placed, and they must fit into the article naturally. The following passage is an example of how several “cake” keywords might be used on a webpage on the bakery’s site. “When you need a cake for a party or a special occasion, call us. We can create a custom birthday cake, layer cake or other cake that you will be proud to serve your guests. If you are getting married, why not try a chocolate wedding cake? Our chocolate iced cake is a popular choice for rehearsal dinners.” This short passage of text includes four keywords. Using keywords in this way increases the opportunities for potential customers to be taken to this site when they type in these or similar words. Another SEO strategy is to use meta keywords and meta descriptions. Meta keywords and meta descriptions help search engines find and rank your website. A meta description is a brief explanation of the contents of your site. It is best to keep a meta description tag under 200 characters. Meta descriptions and meta keywords are placed in the head of a website. Keywords and descriptions are placed between HTML elements or tags that tell a web browser how to display text. Linking to social media and other popular sites is another way to increase traffic your website. If you have a social media page or blog, a link to your site can be placed on the page. As visitors to your social media page or blogs click on the link your site and tell others about it, the number of visitors increases. The key to using SEO successfully is to work with a professional who has a track record of delivering effective SEO services. Taking steps to get your website noticed is an important investment. A well-designed website is not worth much if it simply sits idly in cyberspace, and no one knows its there. There are numerous organizations that sell and conduct business on the web. A good search optimization strategy is paramount if you want to get your products or services noticed by clients and consumers who need them. Take a proactive approach and get your website picked up by the major search engines by optimizing the ability to find your site.

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About the Author: Jennifer Mathews