SEO, or Search engine optimization, is the process of improving a website’s rankings in the search engines for relevant keywords. SEO is set of techniques intended to improve the ranking of a website in order to produce more traffic and therefore generate more business.
The techniques used to promote a website’s ranking are continually changing. Techniques that are effective today may not be effective next month. Among these techniques there are what is considered ethical techniques and unethical techniques. These techniques are typically named “white hat” and “black hat” respectively. What consititues a white or black hat techinique is largely debatalbe. Usually techniques that are forbiden by a search engine’s terms of service are considered black hat. Most of the SEO techniques used today are often gained through experience and are often from speculation and educated guesses. No Internet marketer has the “secret to google.”
SEO strategies can increase the amount of traffic to a website while increasing the value of each visitors. The increased traffic is often more focused because the website has taken a proactive approach to gaining traffic from the search engines – resulting in more business generated ffrom a website.
For competitive, and common search terms like “new car” or “travel” the cost of pay per click advertising can be very high. Ranking well in the free/organic search results can provide the same targeted traffic at a lower cost than pay per click advertising.
In the results page of a search engine (SERP) there are normally two types of results listed. There are sponsored listings that are really just targeted advertisements, and there are the free/organic listings. SEO is primarily concerned with the free listings of the search engine results page.