Bonnie Messick asked:

SEO.  If you’ve read any articles on internet marketing, you’ve probably seen this acronym before.  It’s been bandied about the web in recent years, touted as a must have for every business web site.  SEO stands for “search engine optimization.”


But what does that mean?


Search engine optimization is when you create copy on a web site that purposely attracts the attention of search engines such as Google or Yahoo.  Having your business web site rank high in search engine result pages is the Holy Grail of internet-based marketing.  Studies have shown that web searchers usually do not go past the first three pages of Google web search results.


So what does this mean for you and your business web site?  Well, realize that with internet marketing, the more visible your web page, the more likely a visitor will click on it and view it.  The more your web site is viewed, the more likely that a visitor will become a customer.  See how it all works?


For example, if you were writing web copy for a sign company, you would need to put yourself in a potential customer’s position and think about what terms they might type when conducting a web search.  A potential customer may type in such search terms as “banners,” “yard signs,” or “boat lettering.”  A customer may also want to use only a local sign company, so they may type in their zip or postal code.  Therefore, when optimizing a sign business web site, you would include keywords such as “banners,” “boat lettering” and other sign-related terms within the copy.  You would also include the business’ address somewhere within the web site, especially if your target market is local customers.  When search engines index this site, they will place it in a higher rank for being optimized with keywords relating to “signs.”


Of course, the above explanation of SEO is very simplified.  The topic is much more diverse and complicated such that some universities now offer degree programs in SEO and internet marketing.

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