Though it sounds like SEO experts should optimize search engines, what they really do is optimize websites so they perform well in the search engines.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves making very specific changes to a website’s content and HTML coding, to help improve the website’s ranking on the search engines.
SEO experts will undertake keyword research – looking at your website server logs as well as keyword data from the search engines. They will use this information to prepare a set of primary and secondary keywords that your site can be optimized for.
They may recommend that new pages are added to your site to help with keyword relevancy and they will probably suggest that the copy on your current pages be re-written with the search engines in mind.
SEO and search engine marketing has become an industry in its own right with professional search engine marketing organisations (SEMPO) and highly skilled practitioners.
Many web design and development companies now offer SEO services and there are dedicated SEO companies who specialize just in this area.
Most websites stand to benefit from being found more easily on the search engines. However, there may be some exceptions. I am fairly confident that Amazon and Microsoft do not worry about optimising their websites, as they can rely on their worldwide branding and reputation to attract website visitors.
But, if you are not an Amazon, or a Nike, or even a McDonalds, then you are going to need search engine optimization to make the most out of your website, because that is how people find websites like yours.
You need search engine optimisation if:
- You want to be found by people doing local searches for your type of product or service.
- You want people to find you by your company name or your personal name.
- You market your services internationally.
- You are in a highly competitive area.
- You sell products online.
- You are just getting started with your business and need to get exposure online.