Optimizing your website for search engines can benefit you in a way that is as simple as garnering more visitors and pageviews or as significant as the ability to stay competitive in the marketplace.

But what exactly is SEO? And what do you need to know in order to incorporate it on your site?

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization, as defined by Wikipedia, “is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.” People use search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo to find products, services and information to better their lives. Websites that have been optimized for search will show up at the top of the list once a search has been run. This also means that those on Page 1 of search results have the highest likelihood of getting the business, which is why savvy businesses and website owners put a great deal of time (and money) into quality SEO.

SEO Terminology to Know

There are 4 terms to know when it comes to search engine optimization of your website: Title tags, Meta descriptions, Meta keywords and Permalinks.

Running a search engine search returns pages full of entries that look like this:


In this example, the title tag is the top line that is underlined and reads, “Hot tub & spa installation, repair & maintenance | Peninsula Spas.” The meta description is the section underneath the title tag that reads, “Peninsula Spas offers hot tub and spa installation, calibration, repair and maintenance services, and monthly maintenance contracts.” The permalink is also visible, and it is the web address for the specific website pagewww.peninsula-spas.com/hot-tub-service/.

{Please note: Meta keywords are not visible in search engine results, and it is widely understood that meta keywords add no value.}

WordPress is a highly desirable website and blogging platform because of its SEO capabilities. For your home page, as well as each post and page, WordPress provides you fields to add your title tags, meta descriptions, meta keywords and custom permalinks. Premium themes like Divi and Genesis have SEO fields integrated into their design.

If you don’t have an SEO-integrated theme, don’t despair; adding a plugin like All In One SEO Pack will provide you with the same capabilities. In fact, I often recommend using an SEO plugin even with built-in SEO capabilities because it’s far easier to transfer your SEO if you switch WordPress themes.

Google logs billions of searches each day. With those kinds of numbers, small businesses can and will benefit from improving their website’s search engine visibility.

Are you interested in optimizing your website for search engines? Are you a WordPress user who chose that platform in part because of its SEO capabilities?

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