6 April 2010

What is SEO?

SEO is one of the often heard words in blogging circle. If you are blogging for a while, you would have already known what SEO means. For new bloggers, SEO is something alien. In this post, I make an attempt to introduce SEO for beginners.

What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Are we going to optimize the search engine then? No,
we are actually going to optimize our blog or website to gain some traffic from search engines. You can achieve Search Engine Optimization by improving internally (on-site) and externally (off-site) in order to increase the traffic from search engines.

What is a search engine?
A search engine is basically a tool or program designed to search for information on the internet. Examples of search engines include Google, Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista, Excite and so on. Each search engine has a proprietary algorithm that is used to extract relevant information from web based on several factors. Google is widely recognized as the biggest search engine currently.

How SEO helps in blogging?
A new blogger will know how difficult it is to get visitors to his/ her blog or web site. An experienced blogger knows how difficult it is to sustain visitors/ readers. Search engines provide a regular flow of visitors to your site if you can get on to their search engine result pages. To appear on the search engine results, you have to optimize your blog for search engines. Some of you may already be optimizing your blog without realizing what is Search engine optimization. A well written blog with focussed content will automatically achieve SEO. But, with a little bit further effort, the blog can go a long way in establishing substantial amount of traffic from search engines. The idea is if you can regularly feature in the first page of Google’s search result for a few keywords, then you need not spend time in promoting your blog.

How to achieve SEO?
SEO needs you to change your writing approach. You have to look at each and every aspect of your blog from the viewpoint of search engines. Some bloggers are of the opinion that a blog optimized for search engines are not good for reading. It is not always true. You can write a blog with readers in mind as well as search engines in mind. It is in your hands to understand the needs of the two groups and address them effectively.

When should I start SEO?
You need to have SEO in mind even before you commence blogging. The URL of your blog also plays an important role. But, if you already have an established blog and your URL does not reflect what your blog is about, don’t worry (My blog URL has very little relation to what I write). There are other areas you can improve on. For example, your blog title, blog description, post title and the content of your blog.

Let us start with internal tweaking of the blog and then move on to external tweaking to achieve some sort of Search Engine Optimization. I will address some of the SEO techniques in my future posts. I am not an SEO expert, but I would like to share some of the simple techniques that have proved successful to me. Please
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