Perhaps as you’ve searched around the Internet and sites like Contextual Backlinks ChurchMarketingOnline.com you’ve seen the term SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is simply setting up your website to best allow search engines to read your website and understand what your website is about. Search engines aren’t very good guessers, so SEO is done to tell the search engines specifically what they need to know or what you want them to know.
The goal of SEO is to increase your website’s rankings in the search engines and bring more visitors to your website. An optimized website can bring 2 times, 3 times, or even 10+ times the visitors than an un-optimized website. So, understanding SEO and its importance can make or break a website.
Search engine optimization is primarily done by targeting keywords or keyword phrases (a keyword/keyword phrase is a word or phrase people search for in the search engines). By performing search engine optimization targeting a specific keyword, you are telling the search engines that you want them to list your website when someone searches for a particular word or phrase.
For example, if you have a church in Hoboken, NJ, you would want your church’s website to be listed when someone searches for churches in Hoboken, NJ. So, you would perform SEO on your website targeting “Churches in Hoboken, NJ” as part of your church marketing strategy.
Because SEO is about targeting keywords, choosing the right keywords is the most important part of Search Engine Optimization. There are two key properties of a keyword to take into account, popularity (how much are people actually searching for the keyword) and competition (how difficult will it be to rank well for the keyword). The goal is to optimize your website for the most popular keywords that you can compete for and it’s not always easy to pick keywords.
Just because you think a keyword should be popular, doesn’t mean it is. In fact, I’ve found that most people’s gut feeling about keywords is wrong. Even if your gut is right about the keyword’s popularity, if the keyword competition is too high, your site won’t rank well for it even if with SEO (at least not for a while) and you won’t get any traffic. So, it’s essential to do keyword research before you start optimizing your website.