Search engine optimization (SEO) is the technique of optimizing online content to make it more visible to search engines. SEO content includes commonly used keywords, hierarchical structure, clear text links to related content, and other improvements to web content and site structure to improve how the web page is ranked by search engines.
Effective content optimization includes being mindful of elements such as title tags, meta tags and URL structures. Titles should be concise so they are not truncated when displayed in result sets. Important keywords should appear at the beginning of the title, and it never hurts to include branding in the title, as well. Titles should be readable, but catchy enough to attract visitors to click on your page over others.
Meta tags help to provide search engines with a bit more background information about your content. Search engines use meta robots to control web content crawling, or spider activity. The meta description includes a brief description of the page content, and though this does not help with page ranking, it does provide the user with a brief insight about the page content which may help to persuade them to visit. Meta keywords are not as important to search engine optimization as they once were. URL structures are important in terms of visibility, as they will appear in the search results, the browser’s address bar and as link anchors. URLs that include keywords will be ranked better than those that do not. Overall, short and clear URL formats, without special characters, are better for usability and readability.
Web content that is optimized for search engines will be crawled and indexed more effectively, and will appear more readily, with higher rankings, in search results.
Search engine optimization is especially useful for increasing the visitor traffic to your personal or professional web site.
Krysten Oates is a freelance writer who practices Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for her personal web content.