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Monday, May 15, 2006

Introduction to Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing

One of the most important aspects of running a website is to optimize your website for the search engines. Most people use search engines to find websites that are relevant to what they are looking for. Aside from the major online auto directories like AutoTrader.com and Cars.com, most new traffic to your website will come through search engines.

In regards to vehicles, people will usually search for cars or dealerships in a local area. This is important because as a business owner running a website, you want your website to show up on the first page of the major search engines when a user is searching for vehicles in a certain region. It is important to understand what the most popular searches are going to be, so that you can optimize your website for those search keywords. This will help your placement in the search engines results, which in turn creates a lot more visitors, which will generate more leads and hopefully more sales.

So what is Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimizaton (SEO)? SEO is the tasks that are necessary to optimize your website for the target keywords. Search Engines have things called spiders or crawlers which are little programs that visit the whole internet and read what current websites are available online. These spiders follow all of the hyperlinks on a page. That information is stored in the Search Engine database, and is used for all of the searches that are performed. As you can see, the links are very important to search engines. Some of the major search engines, such as Google, count all of the links that are pointing to you (in-bound links) and give you a score based upon those links along with some other algorithm calculations and give you a score. The most popular score is the Google Pagerank which scores a each site from 0-10. 10 being the highest, and 0 the lowest. most websites are in the 1-4 range.

I found this article about Small Business Local online marketing which is a good overview about the power of SEO and local search Market Local Search Online

Over the next couple of posts, I will go over the specific techniques that will help websites increase their page ranking. These techniques will include what needs to be added to your web pages, what you need to do to build your incoming links, and which online directories you should register with. All of these tasks will take a fair amount of time but will pay off in the end as the traffic to your website increases!

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