You may have the best website in the world, but if it’s difficult to find by users who will know about it? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the task of making websites visible to Internet users via search engines.

Basic search engine optimization (SEO) is fundamental and essential for every website owner. You have to keep SEO in the forefront of your mind, and always need to follow best practices. Skipping the basics of SEO will only prevent you from fully maximizing revenue opportunities.

Before you commit yourself to learn the techniques, you must remember that SEO is not a one-time process. Search engine algorithms change regularly, so the techniques that worked today may not work next year. SEO requires a long-term outlook and commitment.

The goal of SEO is not to manipulate the search engines. However, the main purpose of SEO is to create a great, seamless user experience and let your site communicate with the search engines so that they can recommend your website for relevant searches whenever possible.

Buy SEO Domain: If you already own a domain name, leave this step. If you haven’t registered a domain yet look for one that contains at least one of the keywords you want to rank for. As it is easier to rank higher in search engines when your domain name is similar to the keywords you are targeting, and if you know a lot of people are searching for those keywords, you can expect to get traffic when your SEO efforts start to pay off.

Keyword Research: Keyword research should be the first step in website search engine optimization. It is the backbone of the process and perhaps the single most important tool in Internet marketing. This helps you identify what your audience wants to see and guides you on what type of content should you produce, which of course, allows your site to get more visibility in search engines.

When you know which keywords are used by online users to search for products or services that you offer, you will be able to use them appropriately in your website. This can give you a considerable advantage as people will be able to find your site more easily than your competitor. To get started you can use tool like Google Keyword Planner.

Optimize Site Content: Online users need a reason to come to your site, a reason to stay on your site, and a reason to come back. Starting out with well formed and rich content is a key here. Then make sure to update it regularly. You can either replace the old one with new or just rewrite with some fresh tidbits of information, or you can add more pages.

Providing high-quality content makes search engines give your site a priority among others, and give people a reason to come to you for their needs. Think about the words users would use to find your information or products and use it in your content were required.

Optimize Site Images: Image optimization includes compressing images and using ALT tags. The image size needs to be just the right. While image size does not directly impact ranking, choosing the right size helps the entire web page to load faster, and that is one of the key ranking factors in Google. However, do not compromise on the quality. Try to keep the size minimum, while still maintaining its quality and visually appealing.

Alt tags or alternative tags provide a text-based environment so that search engine’s crawlers can register the information provided by images on a web page.

Example: <img src=”smiley.gif” alt=”Smiley face”>

Alt tags are used for a variety of reasons. First, it helps the search engine to understand the image content and second it helps people who have an impaired vision, there is an option where their browser will be able to read out specific areas of text or content. In this instance, the image tag becomes the description which will be read out.

Optimize Meta Tags: Meta tags are pieces of code, which are not visible to users but are looked upon by the search engines, to understand the page content. Title tag, Meta keywords and Meta description are the three important tags on which you should focus.

The code should look something like this: It should be placed directly under the title tag code:

<title> Your site title</title>

<meta name=”description” content=”your site description”>

<meta name=”keywords” content=”keyword1, keyword2, keyword3″>

Your keyword’s meta tag should contain between 5-10 keywords or keyword phrases that are also found in your page content. Meta tag is an important tag since it is a description tag that contains information about the page’s content so you can persuade search engine users to visit your web site. It should have 15-160 characters, avoid keyword stuffing here.

Optimize Site Navigation and Internal Links: Each page of your site should contain links to every other page so that search engine spiders can find every page. This is an important step for the proper indexing and passing a page rank to the internal pages of a site.

Internal links are any links within your website that take the user to another page within your website. Avoid using anchor texts like “click here” or “see more” while linking, instead use the title of the page. This technique will help to build internal backlinks, which in turn helps to boost page ranking in search engine.

URL Canonicalization: URL Canonicalization can occur when URLs like example.com, example.com/, www. example.com, www. example.com/, example.com/index.html, www. example.com/index.html points to the same page. The website could end with duplicate content issue, which is bad for SEO. The simple solution is to use 301 Redirect to the preferred domain URL and by using the Google Webmaster Tools to mention the URL you want the Google to use and index.

Create and Submit Sitemap: A sitemap is a list of links to different pages of a website. It helps to guide for visitors to find their way around the website easily and assist search engine spiders to crawl your website. There are two types of sitemap. The first one is an XML file that you keep in the root directory of your website for search engine and ordinary HTML file that you keep somewhere on your website to be displayed to human visitors and serve a guide to different location of your website.

Creating a sitemap depends on the way your website is constructed. For instance, for content management system, such as Joomla, Drupal etc, there are already components or plugins that do the job. For WordPress too there are many plugins the help to create sitemap. If you have a static site with a small number of pages, you can do it manually, or you can find free generators on the Internet.

You can also collect all the URL of your website and compile them in one HTML file or a text file. The HTML sitemap can be placed at any location of your website while the text sitemap need to be uploaded to the root directory of your website. Once done all you have to do is login into your Google Webmasters Tools account and submit your sitemap.

Use Google SEO Tools: Google Webmaster tools are a set of tools, which enable a webmaster to administer and monitor their site online. While with Google Analytics tool, you can easily track your site traffic and events. You can track your traffic in terms of a wide array of parameters such as total visits, unique visits, time spent on website, page views, average page views, visitor loyalty, bounce rate, etc.

Start Building Quality Backlinks: Backlinks are links that are found on another website leading to yours; they are the clickable text that allows you to move from one website to another. Search engines consider the  backlinks as a ranking factor. Backlinks are like a vote for your website more votes your site has, the more importance the search engine will give to your website.

Blog commenting, article submissions, social bookmarking, social media submission, RSS feeds directory submission, website directory submission and guest posting are some of the well know ways to get quality backlinks. However, each link building technique needs to be learned and practice with care, it is important to avoid targeting the same keywords again and again which is bad for SEO.

Have Patience: SEO results take some time, and patience must be practiced when starting off. Abandoning your search engine optimization before it has the chance to really make an impact is the worst thing you can do. Stick with your plan and you will see lasting results that will help your business website going forward.