Making sure your website is found by potential customers and clients is a critical function. After all, you are building a site to promote your business, and it is only as good as the traffic it brings. The strategy of making your website easy to find on search engines is called search engine optimization, or SEO.?

SEO is important for your web site because most people will find your site through a search engine, such as Google. When someone searches the Internet for a problem that you solve, or a product that you sell, having great SEO built into your site design will direct them to your site instead of a competitor.?

If your site comes up in the first page of results for particular key words related to your business, you will experience a surge of customers and clients – for free! Investing the time and resources to optimize your site for SEO is a wise alternative to paying for ads and leads for your business.?

If no one can find your website, what good will it do you? SEO should be taken into account from the very beginning of your site’s development cycle. Some sites are planned with image software that has blocks of text, a company slogan, or the company name as an image. Such decisions lead to poor SEO for the site down the road, and are difficult or expensive to change later.

Once your site is up and running, you can monitor the effectiveness of your site’s SEO by tracking visitors to the site and how they find your site. Content, such as product or service descriptions, can be tweaked, adjusted, and re-written if necessary to improve your ranking on search engine results.?

While the amount of information on the Internet about SEO can be overwhelming, a good strategy relies on a few core design concepts that you should keep in mind during development. Make sure your site has well-written, useful content that describes the problems you solve and the solutions you offer. Organize the content of your site using a common-sense approach. It would be prudent to think about how the pages on your website will link to each other and be categorized before putting them up on the site itself. Make sure to include a sitemap that will help search engines understand how your website is organized. You should also include alt tags and descriptions for any images used in the site’s design.

SEO is a crucial aspect of creating a new website. Careful planning and organizing of the content from the beginning will go a long way to making the site an effective marketing tool for years to come.