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SEO is a process used to positively affect a website's visibility with search engines. It is recognized that the earlier a site appears on a search engine search, the more visitors it will receive, which is of course the goal of any website.

SEO takes into account what people search for, how the search engines operate, and which search terms and keywords will benefit the search optimization. Depending on the goal, SEO may target image searches, local searches, video searches, or academic searches.


Keeping in mind that the earlier a site appears on the search engine, the more views that site will receive, most often paid listings will appear at the top of the search page. Obviously, this is an advantage, but it is also an expensive means of advertising your site. Often these paid listings are on a "highest bidder" basis, meaning only the top two or three bids will appear at the top of the first page of listings. For small to medium companies, this expense can be prohibitive.

Organic listings are those that are not paid for; they appear in an order determined by the search engine criteria, which is based on a number of algorithms. The more criteria that your website meets, the higher your search engine rankings will be.

This, of course, leads to a debate of which is best, organic, or paid? The major detriment of paid listings is the prohibitive cost. It can often reach several hundred dollars per day, and few companies can afford that sort of marketing expense. Secondly, studies are now showing that much more weight is being given to relevant content and quality results, and that sites will not experience full benefits unless their site pays attention to the search engine algorithms.


When applied to SEO techniques, the debate over black hat vs white hat refers to acceptable vs questionable.

White hat techniques adhere to the search engine guidelines, which are fairly strict to avoid increasing spamming in the industry. Black hat techniques often involved hidden text or a practice called cloaking, which is the substitution of another page depending on who is doing the search.

Black hat techniques are most often used by companies that believe their website will be banned shortly because they do not follow guidelines, so they attempt to steer as many viewings as possible to their site in a short amount of time.


To be effective, a SEO campaign must be individually designed with a specific client in mind. All businesses are not the same, and that truth is behind the implementation of different campaign strategies depending on the business being served.

Different SEO strategies may include:
• Keywords and key terms
• Crosslinking
• Updating content to keep pace with search engine guidelines
• Using properly designed meta tags
• Using proper and search engine friendly titles
Press releases
SEO copywriting
• The proper use of photos and videos


The importance of the internet in today's business world cannot be understated. Learning to work with the search engines will improve your company's chances in this new business arena, and SEO is the tool that will enhance your chances for success.


Technology is changing so quickly.  What was once considered good management techniques are quickly outdated, and nowhere is that more true than in Search Engine Optimization.  Once it was enough to insert some keywords into your text and feel fairly safe that those keywords would drive traffic to your site.

Now, however, with so many algorithms affecting the search engines, it is necessary to do research to determine which keywords will have the most beneficial effect.  Keyword Research is the practice of SEO professionals to find search terms used by people when they are doing searches on Google and other search engine sites.



Thinking logically for a moment, it does no good if you are using keywords that do not drive traffic to your site.  The goal of keyword research is to determine which keywords are actually being looked for by the people you want visiting your site.  It is the difference, in many cases, between success and failure of your site, and for a business, that truly is the bottom line.



Now we begin to delve into the nuts and bolts of keyword research.  Researchers not only need to know which keywords are being sought, but they also need to know the semantics, or meaning, behind the keywords.  In other words, researchers need to know what users mean when they do a search for a particular keyword.

For instance, if someone types in the keyword “kitchen” do they mean:

  • They want to remodel their kitchen?
  • They want to paint their kitchen and are looking for the perfect color scheme?
  • They want new kitchen appliances?

True, in most searches, people use a combination of keywords, but even then Google has to make an “educated guess” regarding what the user is looking for.

Keyword Research takes a close look at these keywords and phrases and tries to find clues that will unlock the perfect keyword or keywords for a particular business.



The following are some of the common mistakes made in keyword research:

  • Being unrealistic:  generic keywords may not drive traffic to your site.  Some keywords are so popular that they are used for almost every business related to a particular field. Sometimes using less-popular keywords in a tight niche will drive more traffic to your site.
  • Looking at broad match rather than specific match:  Google’s Keyword Tool is a bit misleading. There are times a broad match for a keyword will show huge numbers, when in fact the specific match shows considerably smaller numbers.
  • Targeting plural rather than singular:  the simple use of the letter “s” in a search, designating plural rather than singular, can affect the actual number of searches for your keyword.
  • Not understanding conversion:  do you want traffic to your site or do you want customers willing to buy?  That is why an understanding of conversion is so important.  What does the keyword mean in terms of buying customers?
  • Out of context keywords:  it should come as no surprise that many words have different meanings.  Understanding this can greatly affect the number of views you receive based on keyword choice.
  • Failure to conduct keyword reviews:  search engines are constantly changing, and if you are not reviewing results and changing as well, you could be fishing a dry pond.
  • The final result should be to drive serious customers to your site.  That is the goal of keyword research, and that is why you should take it seriously in this ever-changing world of technology.

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