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What is meant by SEO?

Updated on March 3, 2013

Daily you must have been wondering how to rank first in the search engine listings.This is what SEO is all about.This hub deals with the basics of SEO.

Definition (from wikipedia)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results as opposed to search engine marketing (SEM) which deals with paid inclusion.If a site appears earlier in search engine results it will get more visitors.the phrase search engine optimization probably came into use in 1997.

First let us see about paid results and natural listings.

For example when you search for the Keyword "car insurance",you can see the paid results as well as the natural organic listings.
Paid results are known as pay per click advertising and natural listings are a result of SEO techniques.Natural listings drive more traffic than PPC advertising.

Why is SEO important?

  • SEO pulls more traffic than pay per click advertising.(80% of internet users click on the first three listing of google)
  • Natural listings are non biased.
  • SEO gives better return of investment than any other marketing medium.
  • No bidding wars or click fraud in SEO
  • Helps in creating an online brand.

SEO Techniqes

If you wish to do SEO in house then the first thing to do is keyword research.

What is a keyword?

The term keyword simply refers to the topic you are going to write about.
Keywords are very important for getting your site listed in the proper category.

To know more about keyword research,please read my hub about keyword research.

After the keyword research is complete you will need to research your competition.

Competition offers a free tool with the help of which you can calculate the competition.

When you type a keyword,a certain percentage for the competition is shown.A high pecentage means high competition and a low percentage means low competition.

Following competition analysis,you have four important tests to perform before starting your work on the website.

The tests are

  • Find all your competitors
  • Find how important these websites are
  • Find how many sites link to them

how many pages of the competitor website are indexed by the search engine

SEO involves mainly


On page optimization

  • On page optimization starts with page structure and metatags .Although meta keywords and meta description add little or no value to your site,meta titles do.Meta titles is one of the first attributes search engines see.

(Tip :(from wikipedia) To avoid undesirable content in the search indexes, webmasters can instruct spiders not to crawl certain files or directories through the standard robots.txt file in the root directory of the domain. Additionally, a page can be explicitly excluded from a search engine's database by using a meta tag specific to robots.)

  • THe next things that the the search engines see are the header text.Having an H1 tag at the top and H2 tag on the bottom of each page will help to tell the search engine what your page is about.

  • Having the correct content also plays a major role in on page optimization.Keyword density and correct placement of keywords is essential.

  • Correct URLs are important.You should keep your URL short and make them related to your page's content.

  • Search engines cant understand what the pictures are about until you tell them.Adding image alt tags to the images will help them index your images properly.
  • Creating an HTML site map is essential for online users.Try to keep each page of your sitemap under 100 lines.

  • Creating an XML sitemap is essential for search engine spiders.Different XML sitemaps are required for multiple search engines.

  • After you have your website built and optimized,look into you site so that you have no errors which is very important.Google offers free webmaster tools that allows you to check crawling stats,link stats and errors on your website.To find webmaster tools just go to and check for webmaster tools.

Off page optimization

The key to link development to get many high valued websites to link back to you.You want important websites and all pages that relate to your website to link back to you.

  1. Submitting your website to online directories
  2. Submitting to local directories
  3. Registering with online yellow pages

(Remember that one way links are more valuable than two way links)

Another great link building technique is article submission.For example,if you sell fish tanks and you write ten articles about how to care for a fish tank,other people may want to reas them.So distribute your article all over the web to sites like,and each article will link back to your site.

You can also get links from online press releases, blogs and feeds.

These are the basics of SEO.Please post your doubts and remarks about the hub in the comments section.


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    • fromheart profile image

      fromheart 6 years ago from India

      Thanks for your comment,hippiequeen...

    • profile image

      ExoticHippieQueen 6 years ago

      I am bookmarking your hub so that I can come back and study! I have very low traffic, so I need help....... thanks for the useful information.

    • Haunty profile image

      Haunty 8 years ago from Hungary

      Great concise hub, fromheart. Thank you. The basics are all in here.

      I think it would also add to the value of your SEO efforts to always describe your links (including menu links) using title and description attributes, as these are basically the highways of your website and Googlebot likes to know what page it is heading for just as we like to know what town we are heading for.