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shutterstock_198895682Search engine optimization, often referred to with the acronym of “SEO”, is a process that boosts a business’s exposure and ranking on Internet search engine results. The aim of SEO is to catapult a business’s website to the first page or two of search engine results. Ideally, SEO efforts will eventually drive the website to the top couple spots on the first page of results.

Why SEO is so Important

When prospective customers are in need of a particular product or service, they often refer to Google and other search engines. They type in what they need along with their location. The majority of such web sleuths will only scan through the search engine results on the first page or two. This is precisely why SEO is valuable. SEO that propels a company’s website to one of these initial pages will be shown to hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of prospective customers. If even a small percentage of these web surfers click the search results link and are redirected to the company’s website, the odds of a conversion will be drastically increased.

The Power of Local Identifiers

SEO in 2016 is not the same as SEO in 2010 or even SEO of 2014. Nowadays, one of the key SEO strategies is the inclusion of local identifiers in web content. Google’s search engine algorithms are so complex that they reward companies for adding specific geographic information to their website, blog and other online content. Anything from the business’s physical address to its city, the names of local neighborhoods,mentions of nearby towns and even nicknames for the area will help a business climb the search engine rankings.

Search Engines Reward Content With a Narrow Focus

Google does not reward websites that flood the Internet with voluminous material. Posting a steady stream of broad-based articles, editorials, updates and other content to the web is not the best SEO tactic. Rather, the content should be highly specific in nature.

The Role of Inbound Links in the Context of SEO

SEO is enhanced with the implementation of inbound links. Businesses that make a concerted effort to incorporate inbound links throughout their online footprint will be deemed as legitimate by Google and most other search engines. The purpose of inbound links is now twofold: They drive people to a website and also boost SEO efforts. This is precisely why every business should ask for links from suppliers, colleagues, friends and beyond.

Keywords are Still Important

One aspect of SEO that has not changed over the years is the use of keywords. Though the major search engines will penalize those who use an abundance of keywords in an overt attempt to enhance SEO, keywords should still be scattered throughout a business’s online content. As an example, a business that sells fitness gear should include terms like “yoga pants”, “exercise equipment”, “sports bra”, “running” and so on.