Because this is fundamental stuff, you do not need to be a geek to understand ’em. Any blog owner and business owner should know these.
For your blog/website to be of any use, it needs traffic and a mechanism of converting that traffic into clients.
Go back and read the above line again.
Your website needs people coming to it. Search Engine Optimization deals with the field of bringing traffic to your blog/website. Because pretty much everyone uses search engines to find stuff online, your online presence should show up on search results for anyone to click through and come visit your website.
But people search for a gazillion things online. If I am searching for cars, why would your blog on baking cakes show up? It is the job of the search engines (like Google) to make sure that what a person is searching for, he gets related results. So only car-related stuff should show up if I am searching for Mitsubishi Evo.
You are a blogger, and your blog is about baking cakes. You write recipes and other fun stuff (fun stuff for people interested in cooking obviously). So when you write a blog post about your latest and greatest cake recipe, your post will be picked up by search engines (like Google). All search engines store this information so that they can display it to anyone searching online. But here’s the problem: there are just too many websites and blogs out there discussing whatever you are discussing. So the chances are quite low that your post would show up on the first page of the search results. That is where all the hoopla about search engine optimization comes along; to get your blog posts on the first search engine results page (SERP).
Whatever someone searches for online, that is a keyword. It is not usually just one word, but a phrase. So, as a blogger/website-owner, if you want people who are searching for cake recipes to come to your website, you could optimize your blog for that keyword. Making sense?
You as a blogger need to figure out which keywords you need to work on. These keywords will serve as the focal point for your SEO efforts. SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization.
SEO is setting up your website in such a way that the content on your website shows up on the first of the SERPs. That is why deciding your topic early on and then sticking to it is usually considered a good blogging practice (although this is usually presented as a rule, this sticking to one topic, but it is not a rule, it is a suggested practice. A lot of successful, rich bloggers do not follow this per se).
When you write good enough content, other people link to that content. All external links pointing to your website are backlinks. A search engine will consider your website to be authoritative if it has more and more backlinks. Which makes sense; a backlink is kind of a vote the other website is giving you, and search engines use that to determine the relevancy of your website to the keyword in question. Making sense? (if not, ask me in the comments section)
Getting as many backlinks as possible is one of the most practiced task for any SEO effort. It is also the most misused. A lot of spammers use this concept to try to dodge the search engines. You, thankfully, are not a spammer.
Content remains King
It all boils down to this; your content. What you put on your blog should be valuable enough to be linked to. No SEO gimmickry would do if the content is not actually useful. The concept, I assure you is divinely simple; create something valuable, unique and interesting, and people will link back to it.
Write for the people, and they will come.
But it is hard to create valuable content if ALL you are tying to do is earn a quick buck. A solid STARTA mentality is required; your first priority should be to ‘help people out’, you know, for-profit philanthropy.
That is it. I kid you not folks, that is it. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently. You as a business owner are now well informed about what exactly is SEO and how it applies to your overall success online.
Yes. The rest are tactics. There are tons of ’em. From keyword phrase research to identification of LSI keywords to article marketing to directory submissions. And more. Lots more. If you approach SEO from the tactics end, confusion is guaranteed. Now you know. Go, start something.