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Understand SEO

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 16, 2010

Search engine optimization is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the Internet. How does a company get ranked on the first page of Google? Contrary to what many people think, ranking high on major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing is not a paid endeavor but rather a combination of factors, including:

• How long your Web site has existed.

• How much traffic your site has.

• How relevant your content is to the term being searched.

• How many relevant links you have, inbound or outbound.

If you’re ready to optimize your Web site, here are a few simple things you can do to get started:

Get metrics. There are many great analytics tools such as Google Analytics that can tell companies everything they want to know about Web site traffic. Get analytics installed and establish a benchmark for how much and what type of Web traffic you are getting.

Determine keywords. Determining what keywords and phrases your customers use for searching is the foundation of good SEO. Find out what the hot-button phrases are in your industry. There are also tools such as JungleTorch that can help customers determine what keywords and phrases are best for your business.

Define Objectives. SEO requires a sustained effort that will not yield success overnight. Determine what keywords and phrases you would like to rank highest for and develop a plan to incorporate these words or phrases into your SEO strategy.

Nate Tennant
Kirk Communications
Portsmouth, N.H.

Reader Comments

Bill Hartzer

April 16, 2010 3:41 PM

Nate, great tip for today about Search Engine Optimization. People do need to realize that it's not just those factors that go into a SEO ranking and being "found" in the search engines. It's certainly a lot more than that.

Keywords can help, and they're a good foundation. However, you need to combine your analytics with your keyword emphasis to make sure that you're targeting the right keyword that bring in sales and revenue, not just keywords that bring in traffic.

William Leake - Apogee Results

April 16, 2010 6:01 PM

In a nutshell, Google likes new content + old links, and if you're competing against a bunch of other websites for a given set of keywords, the inbound links to your website plus a number of other "off page" factors will be about 80% of the ranking algorithm.

Definitely agree that a) figuring out the business objectives (how do we define "victory" and then b) figuring out how to track success (metrics & analytics) need to preceded the efforts.

Then the keyword selection, then the content and other "on-page" factors, and then the never ending slog through the marshes of cajoling the rest of the internet to link to your great content!

Of course, now with SEO we have Google Map SEO, Video SEO, News SEO (which is where this article currently appears well in Google), image SEO, and others. It's gone far beyond classic "text" SEO.

Web Design Singapore

April 23, 2010 4:13 AM

Some really useful and relevant pointers on SEO. Thanks for the informative and engaging read.


April 23, 2010 5:08 AM

Nice post . I read that the SEO can manipulate internet networking, by using websites keywords. It can be visible in a lot of sites content.

Raleigh Web Design

April 23, 2010 7:07 AM

These are certainly good tips for practicing quality SEO. You can find more free tips here:


November 10, 2010 4:42 AM

For anyone who hasn’t yet come to grips with even the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a slightly scary thought: A recent report estimates that 49% of internet users use a search engine on a typical day, up from a third in 2002.
Despite this massive growth in search engine useage, many freelancers, and even design agencies that are building websites have limited awareness of how search engines actually work. When browsing websites of Indian companies, I am constantly amazed at websites that are actually negatively-engineered for SEO. A new company in a competitive industry with an all-flash website? Pages with headings and keywords imbedded into images? There is nothing to search for. How useful is a beautiful website that no one can find unless they remember the exact company name? more at

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