Everywhere you look it’s SEO this and SEO that. If you want your site to show up on the index you have to use WordPress SEO. If you want your articles to rank you have to use SEO. If you want more people to read your articles you have to use SEO! What you really want to know is – What the heck is SEO and what does it have to do with traffic generation?!
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s the most important thing you need to learn if you want to have a successful blog or website. You’re working on the Internet now and it’s filled with billions of pages of information. If you want people to find your blog you have to make your blog visible for the search engines.
Here’s how the search engines work
Think of the Internet like one big book and each blog post or article that you see on the Web is an individual page in that book. In order to better organize the book so you can find what you’re looking for you would create an index. When you want information on apple pie recipes you’d look in the index and you’d see you could find it on this page, this page, and that page.
The Internet has an index, too, only it’s huge. Much larger than any book you could ever imagine because there are billions and billions of pages on the Web. If you go to your Google search box and type in the words
Apple Pie Recipe you’ll see that there are almost 9 million pages that include some type of relevant information on just that one particular keyword.
Now you may have written a blog post about an apple pie recipe but if you want Google, a search engine, to include it in the index so people will see it when they’re searching, then you have to optimize your page so Google can read it.
Here’s where your traffic comes from
When most people search for information on the Internet they go to their search engine, that little box up at the top of the page. Generally it’s Google, but it might also be Yahoo, MSN, or it might even be site specific. The searcher types a keyword into that box, for example ‘apple pie recipe‘, and the search engine looks through all of the pages on the Internet and returns a list, or index, of the most popular pages that contain that keyword.
If you want your apple pie recipe blog post to be included in the results, so the searcher can actually find your page and come to your blog, then you need to include the key words ‘apple pie recipe‘ somewhere on your page. That might sound obvious but you’d be surprised how easy it is to get this wrong.
Why Is SEO Crucial To Your Success?
The reason search engine optimization is so crucial is because it’s the only way the search engines can match up your content with the person who’s looking for that information. So SEO is used to attract searchers to your blog or website. But if you don’t use it properly, you’ll attract the wrong kind of traffic.
Let’s say you’re selling apple pie recipes on your blog. If you write a blog post about ‘blueberry pie recipes‘ it’s going to be included in the index when someone searches for ‘blueberry pie recipes‘. And that’s great. When the searcher clicks on the link and comes to your blog they’re going to read your blueberry pie recipe. However, the only thing you actually sell on your blog is an apple pie recipe. That reader is only interested in blueberry pies. You’ve wasted your time writing about blueberry pies because you’ve attracted traffic that won’t be interested in buying what you have to sell.
Search engine optimization means building off-site links that point back to your blog, creating great titles for your content, using keywords in appropriate places, interlinking your blog posts and so much more. SEO means focusing your content and doing research to identify keywords. SEO means the difference between failure and success and it’s an ongoing process that requires constant attention and upkeep. If you’re still at the point where you’re asking what SEO is and what does it have to do with traffic generation, then you’ll need to start doing some heavy duty research before you go any farther because SEO is crucial to your success.