Search engine optimization (SEO) remains a widely unknown concept throughout the business world. Slowly but certainly, however, familiarity is increasing as business owners realize that healthy SEO metrics are critically important for business success. But, even among those who are acquainted with the concept, there exists an impression that SEO is an abstruse field only understandable by a tiny minority of computer experts. This impression plays a large role in preventing business owners from learning more about SEO and utilizing basic strategies to improve their online performance. In point of fact, though SEO can be a bit technical in some respects, many of the core principles of SEO follow naturally from common sense and can be mastered quite easily. In this article we will discuss the common sense basis of SEO.
The most essential principle of SEO can be summarized with this phrase: diligence and expertise are rewarded, while laziness and incompetence are punished. As much as SEO professionals may prefer to think of SEO in more complex terms, it is this simple principle which sheds the most light on why certain sites perform well and others perform poorly. Why does the website of The Wall Street Journal – http://www.wsj.com – perform so well? It is possible to explain the performance of this site by analyzing all of its SEO activity in great detail; one could look at the quality of its links, authors, layout, imagery, keyword density and so forth. But, the simplest way to explain its performance is still the following: http://www.wsj.com put more effort into its development than other sites which perform less well by comparison.
Of course, not every business owner has the budget of The Wall Street Journal, and so setting the performance of WSJ’s site as a benchmark is likely not a wise decision. However, as long as you do not cut corners and attempt to “trick the system,” it is reasonable to expect that you will receive favorable treatment from SEO metrics without having to invest an exorbitant amount of money.
For instance, as referenced in a previous article, it is imperative that business owners create original, high quality content for their site. Business owners who pilfer content or publish content which is patently substandard will be slapped with penalties. It does not require large sums of money to produce quality original content; it requires time, energy, knowledge and skill. No matter if a fortune were spent, the SEO metrics are not going to reward a business owner who tries to go around these requirements. In a sense, then, SEO has a democratic or egalitarian orientation: good metrics have to be earned through hard work, they cannot just be bought by the highest bidder.
In short, as long as business owners use common sense when developing their site and exercise good diligence, they can expect solid SEO performance.
Be sure to view this presentation to learn more about the basics of SEO for small business
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