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I Like To Call It An Art
By David Mclauchlan
Search engine optimization, (also known in the industry as SEO) is the art of using search engines to bring or draw traffic to your or somebody else’s web site. Here’s the dictionary definition of SEO: “The term used to describe the marketing technique of preparing a website to enhance its chances of being ranked in the top results of a search engine once a relevant search is undertaken. A number of factors are important when optimising a website, including the content and structure of the website's copy and page layout, the HTML meta-tags and the submission process.”

Many professionals, who like to use fancy words, refer to as search engine marketing. The goal of is to attain a higher ranking in search engines and directories then your competition. One does this via changes to site coding to make it more relevant and therefore more search engine compatible.

Here’s an amazing statistic. Did you know that 81% of Internet users rely on search engines and directories to find the information they need? Wow! Do you think that ranking highly in search engines and directories should be critical to your Internet marketing strategy…I do

This great study shows how Internet Consumers Find Web Sites*:
Search engines:

Link from another site: 59%
Viral marketing (word of mouth): 56%
TV: 48%
Guessed URL: 41%
Online advertising: 20%
Radio: 19%
Direct mail: 10%
* Source: Forrester Research Inc.

Unfortunately or fortunately (if it’s your competition not doing this) many online businesses fail to address the importance of search engines, building their site without any regard to search engine compatibility at all. That’s quite unbelievable actually given all the great programs out there today.

One of the big problems is that too many people assume that submitting their web site to lots of search engines will automatically increase traffic to their site. This isn’t the case. Actually it’s quite the contrary. If someone conducts a search on a search engine for a keyword related to your site's products or services, does your page appear in the top 20 matches – or does your competitor’s? If it’s the later then this means your site is not ranked high enough…. Time to do some work. You may be listed in the engine, but big deal you are probably in the “back pages” of results. This is equivalent to being that needle in the haystack. To fix this problem, your site may need assistance from an SEO.

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