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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the process of making small changes to website pages so they will rank higher with the search engines. Historically the perceived need for SEO has spawned shady businesses who claim to put you on the first page of Google or drive thousands of users to your website. There is no quick fix for achieving SEO but a well-defined set of processes will improve a websites performance and achieve a higher search ranking.

It is important to set realistic expectation and why SEO affects the first page on Google. All things being equal, Google will always try to match a user’s search to the website it feels most closely matches the search. If you want to find a plumber then Google knows that plumbers are normally needed locally so will use its knowledge of your location and look for plumbers in your area. That quickly narrows down the millions of websites for plumbers to the few that are in your local area. How it selects the plumber to go at the top of the page will depend on many factors but these are all defined and can be followed. The best website will win. We want to make your website the winner. If you are selling a common item or service getting to the first page can be challenging because your competitors will have the same tools available and could simply be more established, more proactive, or simply closer. Finally going back to those who guarantee first page placement, you should always get first page on Google for your unique company name.

The main aspects of a website that good SEO practices will touch include:

  1. Good Key Word list used in moderation in well written original content that changes frequently
  2. Quality links from other websites to your website including citations from reputable sources.
  3. Optimized titles and page descriptions
  4. Clear navigation and simple menu structure
  5. Correct use of <alt>, <meta> and image tags and titles
  6. Seed the search engines with clear site maps and indexing rules
  7. Calibrate your site against the W3C standards

Google has a hidden criterion for deciding what to consider for the ultimate page ranking between similar sites. It is hidden because there has been so much abuse and manipulation by websites trying to fool the ranking. Today with Google constantly refining its search results and their extensive ability to read and understand a sites content, the best SEO is to follow the recommendations and perform good research for the business you want to promote.

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