SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The more your website is optimized for the various search engines, the more likely your site will be listed on the first couple of pages of search engines like Google. Sites that are way down on the list will rarely be found by prospective customers.

Building a very impressive and good looking website is useless unless you can attain traffic to that site. To solve this problem the term Search Engine Optimization was introduced in the mid-90s to outline a process to increase traffic to a website. This also includes search engine marketing (SEM) which deals with paid inclusion.

The search engines like Google sually display results in a ranking order according to the user’s input and the earlier or higher on the search page more are the chances of that the more users will see your website and follow the link. Search engines use specific algorithms to determine if a site has valuable content that might be of particular interest to users. Users might specifically search for such terms as “cheap housing”, “find a plumber in atlanta”, “lowest interest rates for auto financing” or many, many others.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO studies how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.

The term “SEO” can refer to “search engine optimizers,” a term adopted to anyone who who carries out optimization projects on behalf of their clients. Some are very knowledgeable and some are not.

Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a site, SEO tactics may and shoule be incorporated into the web site design. The term “search engine friendly” may be used to describe web site designs, menus, content management systems, images, videos, shopping carts, and other elements that have been optimized for the purpose of search engine exposure. In the old days the webmaster needed to submit the address of a page or URL to various search engines to get their pages indexed.

Search engines send a spider or crawler to crawl a website and various links of the other pages on the site and return the result to the search engine which is later indexed.

Google it ranks sites according to several hundred different signals, but the leading search engines such as Google and Yahoo, do not disclose the algorithms they use to rank pages. Algorithms also change regularly making them more difficult to decipher.

A proper SEO strategy is a critical part of designing and running a website. It is best left to the experts who understand the issues involved.