By Robin Rohrs

SEO, or search engine optimization, is used in improving your website's position in search results. Many elements are involved in SEO and you need to take certain steps to ensure that your site optimized. This is because the search engines alter their algorithms regularly, partly to ensure that sites that use 'black hat' SEO methods are not rewarded for their efforts, and partly to ensure that they provide their users with relevant search results.

Search engines carefully hide their algorithms and methods of ranking and while SEO is not an exact science, there are ways in which you can improve your search engine ranking.

The importance of SEO in your site It is important that your site follows guidelines to improve SEO, including keywords, meta tags and site maps. Professional assistance may be needed in order to do this properly.

Content and why it's important Your content should be optimized for your keywords and it should be relevant and informative. Your site won't be favorable with the search engines if it's filled with keyword stuffed sentences that doesn't make sense.

Back links Helping to push your site up in the search engine results are back links but use them wisely. Links from credible websites with high page ranks are worth more than those from link farms but any site that contains a link to your website is considered a back link.

Facts about Keyword Research Your keywords should strike a balance between competition and number of searches. It does not help to rank for a keyword that no-one ever searches for, and it is very difficult to rank for a keyword that has a lot of competition. Over time, keywords change so you should use regular keyword research to ensure your site is optimized for the right keywords.

Why you should measure again and again Useful in optimizing your website is tracking your web traffic, the pages they land on, where that traffic came from, and the keywords they searched to find your site. Regular monitoring and adjustment will help keep your site optimized.

If you consider what most people click on the first three search results, then SEO is vital since less than 40% of people will go to the second page of search results. Although not all websites can rank on the first page, your site can rank for specific keywords as long as you have effective SEO.

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