For a lot of people, the concept of search engine optimization, or “SEO,” can be a complex area.  Sure, most of us understand what search engines are.  Google, Yahoo, MSN and other search engines have been around for a long time.  We also know that having our websites on search engines is important.  What’s important is how to get our websites listed on search engines and to get them to appear on the top of the lists we want.

Let’s cover some simple points of emphasis about search engine optimization.

The history of search engine optimization.

Search engines were dependent years ago on people submitting their own websites.  The search engines would then check to see if the submissions were correct.  It was a pretty rough system, but it worked.  Eventually, the search engines figured out that submissions wasn’t the most efficient system.

If someone continually submitted a website, they might be able to be listed on the top of the list.  Search engines changed their algorithms, or their detection programs, to look for websites on their own.  Today, search engines require websites to include keywords, metatags and API keys to make the process work.

Google is the biggest and most influential resource for search engine optimization.

Google has streamlined the process of search engine optimization.  The reason why their system is the biggest and most impactful for search engine optimization is because Google collects and disseminates the most data within the Internet.  Google made a decision years ago to be the biggest and most powerful data collection company.

How they did it was simple: ask everyone to use their tags, and in return, Google would share the data on each website.  What resulted is that Google has data on virtually every website on the Internet, along with the visitors and their visits.

Keywords matter in search engine optimization.

You may not understand metatags, API keys, and other terms.  However, you should know what words should describe what it is that you want your website to promote.  It’s all about picking words that will allow the search engines to “see” your site for those words and terms you think are important.

Not only do you want to describe what it is that you sell, but where you sell it and what industry you are in.  You may be tempted to list every possible word or term you can think of.  Be careful about doing that kind of strategy.  Search engines know that strategy, especially when there isn’t any proof you’re in that industry.  Instead, they look at what the website is about to prove that you’re talking about the same things.

Content matters in search engine optimization.

Write content that people love and share with others.

Not only do the search engines verify keywords, but they also verify the content on the website.  Content on a website includes whatever text is on the website, plus tags on images, links to other sites, as well as other items.  It is really important to make sure that the content on the website is related to the keywords, and vice versa.

It’s also important to write great content that gets lots of interest from visitors to your website.  Don’t just write content to have content.  Write content that people love and share with others.

Google has a lot of powerful tools to manage your search engine optimization tasks.

Google Analytics is the industry standard for search engine optimization.  Not only does it manage all of your basic information, it also gives you a lot of tools to increase your results.  It shows you keywords for your site.  It also shows what your competition is doing in regards to keywords, boosting your results and then how to optimize your site to rise on the search results.

Seeing that Google makes many improvements on its Google Analytics services, whatever we wrote here about “current services” would be obsolete in a few days.  Nevertheless, it’s important for you and your organization to connect your site to Google Analytics and to spend time learning the services and analyzing the data.

In simple terms, you should make search engine optimization a high priority for your organization.  Search engines are, arguably, the most powerful marketing resource for promoting your website.  Making sure that you’re getting the best results and the most visibility is critically important.  We at Digital Environment can help you in this process.