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SEO: What is It & Do I Need It

As a business owner or manager, you need to be skilled at your trade, but a certain amount of internet savvy is essential even when you are not personally designing a website. You may have heard the term “SEO” thrown around a lot lately and wondered exactly what it meant and if it was important to you. If you are looking to expand your business's presence online, SEO is something you definitely need to understand and request from your web designer. Here are a few of the high points of this process.

Definitions

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of attempting to make a website appear as early as possible in a search engine's returned results. For example, if you represent “XYZ Nail Company” and your specialty is solar manicures in Dublin, then when an internet user searches “solar manicure Dublin” in Google, you want “XYZ Nail Company” to appear first, or close to first, in the returned results. There are a number of ways to help you accomplish this goal.

Methods

There are several aspects to SEO, including keywords, back links, and original content. First, keywords create a way for the search engines to discover what your page is all about. For instance, in our example above, you want to make sure that the words “solar manicure Dublin” appear in your webpage several times, because these help the search engines associate your site with those terms. Professional designers can help you determine what keywords are most important to your site and incorporate those words therein.

Another part of SEO is back links from quality sites other than your own. You want other reputable sites to link to your page, and this increases your SEO. There are some subpar sites that will back link in trade or for a fee, and these types of links will NOT help your success. Another job of website professional designers is to help you build a page that is so good that it encourages other companies to link to it naturally.

A third important SEO aspect is that of original content. A page that is largely cut and pasted from other sources will not garner a high Google ranking. Even if you are dealing with a product that is not completely unique, your site needs to have content that does not appear elsewhere on the internet, making Google and other search engines see it as unique and more likely to appear higher in the rankings.