Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is designing web-sites for the purposes are able to rank well at search engines. Say you want to sell some electronics to people on the Internet. The first thing you do is register a domain, say electronicsforsale.com, and then you write some content about each of your products for the site.
If you're designing that site from the ground up to rank well at the search engines then you first have to decide which keywords you would prefer to rank for, and build pages concentrated around that key phrase. Is the logical choice when you're selling electronics the word 'electronics'? Of course not, that's simply a category and people don't often use it as their main search word. There are a million terms people use to search for electronics, from specific brand name merchandise right up to extremely general phrases like 'cheap televisions'. Knowing your market is essential in marketing, and knowing your keywords is essential in SEO.
So search engine optimisation consists broadly of three categories, keyword research, web-site construction, and engine marketing. The brief summaries of each area below will give you a solid jumping off point for the vast world of learning about SEO. All serious persons pursuing this type of marketing should become active members at WebmasterWorld.com.
The best way to do initial keyword research is to use a service. The best service online for keyword research is undoubtedly WordTracker.com - however, they also charge a subscription fee. There are some other options, such as Overture's keyword reporting tool, but no other tool has the depth and comprehensive nature of Wordtracker.
After you have a web site running, the other important place to look for keyword combinations that you might want to strengthen your rankings for is in your log files. Web server log files contain information about all of the people visiting your site, and include a 'referrer string' which give some information about the link that sent them to your site. A good deal of the time search engines include the search query used to find your site in the referral string, letting you know exactly how a specific visitor found you. Have a look at the engines, if you are ranked for that term at number 19, perhaps a little more optimisation will bring you up to the top ten.
While entire books can be written about SEO savvy web-site construction, there is only one thing you really need to do to make a web-site that is search engine friendly: keep it simple. If you use basic coding, not auto-generated pages, you will have clean easy to read sites that search engines like. If you use a page generator or save normal files as html in a word processor like MS word, you will have code filled with unnecessary junk, diluting the quality content that your text represents. Rule number one in the optimisation game, only ever use clean code.
When you're making your site, use text to link to your subpages and subsections. If you use graphics instead, the search engine spider does not know anything extra about the link and what it represents. If you link to your subpage about sony electronics so that it shows up with the 'anchor text' being 'sony electronics', the search engine spider will associated the page your linking from, and the page you're linking to, with the phrase 'sony electronics'. Anchor text is essential in building your site.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing is about much more than search engine submissions. For the most part, submitting to search engines is an outdated practice, which only needs to be done once if at all, as the major engines will find and spider your site based on links pointing to it from websites that they already have indexed. If this seems like a chicken and egg scenario, it's not really, all you need is one or two links from other web-sites to get your site indexed initially. The best way to get these links is to link out from your site to someone else, and then email that other site requesting a reciprocal link.
When linking between sites remember to follow the method you used in your site-construction. Try to receive links into your site from text links, not graphic links, as text contains information. The more links you are able to produce pointing to your site from the rest of the internet, the more important major search engines will consider your site, and in turn, the better they will rank it.
To learn more about each of these processes, and to master the money making opportunity they represent, sign up for our recommended affiliate program, then join the discussion over at WebMasterWorld.com, where you can learn details on everything you need to do to make money from search engine optimisation.