What is Search Engine Optimization Anyway?

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Search Engine Optimization (also referred to as SEO) is simply optimizing your content (web pages, websites, blog posts, articles, press releases, and the like) to attract the attention of search engine spiders.

Search engine spiders ‘crawl’ your pages, and what they find on them determines your rank on search engine results pages when searchers are looking for certain keywords.

What is a Keyword?

A keyword is a word or phrase that is used throughout your webpages, websites, blog posts, articles, press releases, and similar documents that relate closely to the subject of those documents.

For example, the keyword for this article is SEO Rank Toronto. I could also use SEO Rank, SEO, and Toronto as keywords because they do relate somewhat to the subject of this article, but the best keyword to use in this case is the SEO Rank Toronto.

This is because if I used just Toronto, when people searched for almost anything in Toronto they would come up with unrelated articles like this one.  If you are looking for ideas for a vacation in Toronto, you don’t really want Google, Bing, or Yahoo giving you results for an SEO article.

The misuse of keywords and tags are two of the reasons your typical searchers get so frustrated with searching; it seems like every time you search for ‘tropical vacations’ your top 10 results are for Viagra.  While you might need to take Viagra along for your tropical vacation, it isn’t what you want or need for a result when you’re searching for that tropical vacation.

Another issue with keywords is that you shouldn’t just stuff them in any old place and ignore readability. This is called keyword stuffing and is considered a black hat (or unethical) SEO technique. Your average keyword density is based on the length of your article, but for a 500-word article a 2% to 5% keyword density should be sufficient.

This article is 500 words (give or take) so I should mention SEO Rank Toronto no more than 3 to 4 times throughout the article. If your articles are longer (say 1000 words rather than just 500) it’s to be expected that your keyword density will be higher, but it should still be around 2%-5% (6-10 repetitions of the keyword or phrase).

For readability purposes, the keywords should be occurring naturally rather than being forced used.  So far, I’ve used SEO Rank Toronto (my chosen keywords or phrase) 4 times in this article.

That is a low keyword density but I’m also attempting to use the keyword or phrase as it naturally or organically would occur in the article. Your overall goal is to attract the search engine spiders as well as customers, readers, purchasers, etc. There’s a fine line between readability for humans, and SEO for the spiders.

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