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What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

The term used to describe the marketing technique of preparing a website to enhance its chances of being ranked in the top results of a search engine once a relevant search is undertaken. A number of factors are important when optimising a website, including the content and structure of the website's copy and page layout, the HTML meta-tags and the submission process.

Search engine optimisation or SEO aims to index and improve rankings for the web pages which are most relevant to the keywords searched for in each of the search engines. The relevant pages are returned in the search engine results pages (SERPS). It is important to remember that genuine search engine optimisers are basically marketers who keep their target market in mind as much as the search engine algorithms. Therefore, while we call this process search engine optimisation, good marketers will note that their focus is to optimise their web pages for the search engine user, who is their target audience. So starting any form of optimising it is important that the appropriate copy is written with the 'search engine end user experience' in mind before any work can proceed.

To further fine tune the pages and keep them user and search engine friendly, the architecture of the website, including its internal link structure, the navigation, semantic mark up etc, are also suitably modified for human beings and search spiders to navigate through whole website pages. Search spiders or alternatively known as web crawlers can then scan all necessary data about the whole site and store it in the search engines' data base. A good navigation system has other benefits also, such as helping to improve the user experience, this is key to any good performing website.

This process is known as Organic or Algorithmic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of websites. As you can imagine this takes a considerable amount of time, as there are so many things to look at on a page, let alone a whole website, but it is very important as part of your search marketing strategy.

Both the number of inbound links to the site as well as the 'quality' of the links heavily influence the rankings of a site in the search engines. The definition of a 'quality' link is evolving in response to people's attempt to artificially influence the search engine results by obtaining large numbers of 'irrelevant' links to their sites.

Search engine algorithms change almost daily now to deter any companies implementing any under hand techniques, this strikes out any websites that try and trick them to attain higher positions for a limited amount of time.

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