Think back to the last time you used Google to search for something. Did you look past the first page of search results? How about the second? Chances are you probably didn’t make it to the third page. Surveys have shown that fewer than 30% of people look at Page 2 search results and even fewer at Page 3. And if your site is listed on Page 6 or higher, you might as well not even exist.
So how do you keep from getting lost in the sea of seemingly never-ending pages? One way is to optimize your site for search engines such as Google.

What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO as it is commonly known as) is the art of increasing the exposure of your website on the major search engines. While Google and other search engines don’t readily share the exact formula for how they rank website pages, most (especially Google) offer insight on how to get higher page rankings.

There are three main components to SEO: SEO-friendly HTML, content for search engines and visitors, and link building.

Making Your HTML SEO Friendly
This is probably the simplest of the three components. Making your site’s HTML SEO friendly involves limiting the amount of flash and javascript on your website pages (as these aren’t easily indexed), beefing up the title, alt, and meta tags to match the site’s content, reducing page load times, site layout and organization, and more. The good news is once you’ve “fixed” these problems, future maintenance is minimal.

Keywords and Content
Content is the lifeblood of your Web site. Content shows search engines and visitors exactly what your site is about. Once you have an idea of what your site is going to focus on, you can begin creating content centered around that focus. Some examples of types of content include articles, blogs, FAQs, client testimonials, photos, product reviews, white papers, newsletters, and video.

However, before starting to build your content library, you should first identify 10-15 keywords that you want to specifically target. Google’s Adsense Keyword Tool is a great tool to identify which keywords to target. Once you’ve identified the keywords you want to target, focus all of your content around those keywords.
Link Building

For SEO purposes, you should consider links to your sites as votes in the search engine popularity contest. There are several ways to create links back to your site and encourage others to link back to you. First and foremost, have great content that is worth sharing with other people. Other methods include submitting your URL to directories, creating viral videos, commenting on blogs, buying links on other sites, link trading, and using social media bookmarking (Digg, Stumbleupon, etc.).

Understanding search engine optimization will help you increase your Web site’s visibility and traffic, which could significantly increase your profits.