Search engine optimization or SEO is the practice of implementing keywords into a website to obtain a higher rank on search engine queries when certain key words are typed into a search engine.
Search engines use code based algorithms to spot often-searched terms and will rank each website higher or lower on search queries based on a variety of complex factors that are constantly changing. In order to effectively implement SEO it is important to understand what search engines are trying to provide to their users. Most search engines try to intuitively guess what people are trying to search for based on personal and global trends instead of forcing people to type in a specific set of key words. They also link usage on websites for ranking purposes and utilize localized and history based algorithms to provide more personalized search engine query lists. Ultimately it is a combination of key words, titles on web pages and content that will improve a website's visibility.
The first step in finding good "key words" is to define a goal. Ask, what sort of problem or issue is the website providing a solution for? How would a user pose a search engine query in order to find a solution to that problem? Terms used within a circle or industry to describe a website may not be the same terms others would use. Creating a list of key words and phrases based on the questions the site provides answers to is a good strategy.
The next step in SEO is to research and analyze competition on those same keywords. Processing each key word and phrase will take time. Choosing the right keywords to pursue is highly dependent on competition and the amount of marketing and advertising that will be used to launch the site. High traffic key words will be very competitive and will require marketing efforts in order to rank well. However, choosing low traffic key words will run the risk of not providing enough traffic for your website to survive.
Finding a perfect balance and implementing those key words as seamlessly as possible is the key to mastering search engine optimization. Good SEO implementation clearly describes the subject material of the page and does not attempt to deceive the user. Unfortunately several website designers attempt to take advantage of this system and find out the hard way that search engine crawlers will not even rank deceptive websites.
SEO should NOT replace marketing efforts but should be used to complement existing online marketing strategies. Depending on the type of industry and goal of a website, SEO keywords should be reevaluated on a seasonal or biannual basis to take advantage of search engine trends. SEO maintenance and updating contributes to the continued health and growth of emerging websites around the net and can be a pivotal factor in the success or failure of a website.