Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the act of adjusting or optimizing your website and it’s content so that search engines view it to be relevant and useful, for certain topics. As a site owner, you are able to select the most appropriate topics through the use of certain keywords in your website.
When potential customers conduct searches on search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing, they are presented with a list of results for that search term. These results are called Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and generally speaking, the web sites that appear at the top of the SERPs will receive more traffic than the sites that appear lower. This is referred to your ranking — you want to rank higher! (everyone does!)
To determine your position on the SERPs, search engines like Google use their own, secret algorithms. While nobody knows for absolute certain what these algorithms are, it is widely accepted that your website needs some core elements to rank high: be easy to navigate, be popular and be relevant.
Easy navigation means that your site should have text links to each of its pages, and have no broken links, and no confusing, circular navigation.
In order to make your website appear popular to search engines, you will need quality links pointing to your site. While search engines would rather these links were generated because visitors to your site genuinely found your content useful, it is very common to start a reciprocal link campaign. Reciprocal links mean a website links to you in exchange for a link to their own site. There’s a lot of ways to do this – make sure you don’t do it in a way that appears phony, or Google will punish your site. Not good!
Relevance is judged by your content – the text on your site. By including the keywords — the search terms you expect your ideal customer to use when searching — throughout the body of your site, you are indicating to the search engines that your website contains relevant information, for those particular customers.
By combining these key local SEO factors you can effectively encourage search engines to increase your ranking. Don’t give up! It takes a while.