If you are online doing anything, you’ve heard the term Search Engine Optimization, SEO for short. But what does this term really mean? Inquiring minds want to know! So, let’s answer some basic questions about this term. After all, knowledge is power. What is a Search Engine? When it comes to defining what a search engine is, it really has nothing to do with a physical train on a track somewhere. A search engine is actually a software program. Okay, so using a search engine software program you are using a sort of lock and key system for finding information. The key to finding the information you seek in any search engine is to type into the search box an exact term, also called a keyword, to retrieve specific information. Just as you must have the exact key to get into your home’s front door, search engines want exact words. These exact words are called keywords. When you type in keywords in a search engine box, you get access to the information you want that’s stored in the search engine.A search engine is like a huge, electronic, information warehouse. This warehouse of information is also called a database. The word “data” is also a word for information. A database is like a huge file cabinet. A file cabinet is a structure containing drawers that hold files in folders. Using the orderly filing system in the file cabinet, you can search and easily find specific files an unlimited number of times. During a search, the search engine software program picks out, collects and reports contextually relevant information related to the keyword you typed into the search box. Use just the right keyword and you get the specific information you want. For example, suppose you wanted information on how to convince people to choose your business solution over your competitors. What keyword term would you type into the search box? It must be exactly the right one to get the matching type of information you seek. You could use distinctive terms that set you apart from your competition such as… • Daycare provider for infants • Open 24 hours • Available in the Surprise, Arizona area • Nurse on duty 24 hours • Handicap accessible These terms are all examples of a parent looking for a facility with just these exact criteria. The parent WANTS these specific services. If YOU are a daycare provider located in Surprise, Arizona, and you list on your website… • Daycare provider for infants • Open 24 hours • Available in the Surprise, Arizona area • Nurse on duty 24 hours • Handicap accessible parents will INSTANTLY know they are in the right place when they come to your website. They will read you offer SPECIFICALLY that which they seek for their infant children. The more specific you are with the right terms, the faster people know to come to you for the exact services or products they seek. Being contextually relevant to search terms is at the heart of search engine optimization. When you format your website or blog with keyword terms that match the keywords a business seeker types in the search engine search box, you are OPTIMIZING your website or blog. You are speaking the same language as your ideal prospect. So, Search Engine Optimization is… In other words, “optimization” is the process by which you make the search engine system very effectively give you the information you seek. When things are highly functional, you naturally feel satisfied and happy! So, search engine optimization works in more than one place. USE SEO on your website or blog. Use the keywords, images and marketing language your ideal prospect uses. This will help you be a very successful business (often over your competitor who is NOT actively using search engine optimization.)

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