The techniques and strategies used to increase the likelihood of a website appearing on search engine results, namely as close to the top of that list as possible are referred to as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines prowl the Web, taking notes of everything they encounter. The engine’s algorithms spit out a list of relevant results, when a user types something into the search engine or when makes a search query. In such a situation, the search engine is the deciding factor. What a website can do is ensure that its content is good, and proper and trust that the search engine will recommend it whenever appropriate.
But there is lots of competition in today’s online marketplace. So it’s not even enough to just make the list; it’s necessary for a website to stay near the top. Anything too far down the list of results and that website might as well have never been displayed in the first place. Being buried on page three or later is akin to being completely out of sight, and subsequently out of mind.
So SEO consists of ways a website can make itself as attractive as possible to search engines. So that when they output their search results, the website is as visible as possible. These techniques consist:
• Internal tweaks to ensure the code adheres to Web standards and is easily accessible to search engine indexing efforts
• Internal metadata specifically meant for search spiders to read and catalogue
• Utilizing the right keywords within the website’s content so that search engines will more strongly associate those terms with the website
• Submitting sitemaps, or complete “roadmaps” of a website, directly to search engines so they don’t have to work as hard to ‘discover’ the site
• Accumulating reputable backlinks, or links to the website from others, that search engines recognize as marks of distinction and therefore worthy of higher search result placement
• Fresh and interesting content that brings in traffic and makes our site increasingly prominent in use, thereby aiding in its search result placement.
SEO focuses on attracting natural, or organic, search traffic. These techniques work to persuade search engines to better rank the website and for more web traffic. It happens naturally, through efforts of self-promotion.