Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a method by which you ensure that your web site appears close to or at the top of the list of results that are produced as a result of an online search. The higher your search engine ranking, the more traffic your web site receives; the lower the ranking, the less traffic your web site will receive. You must employ some form of SEO if you expect to generate increased traffic and, ultimately, sales and cash flow. On-page SEO and off-page SEO represent the two primary kinds of search engine optimization.

Let's take a look at on-page SEO.

When you optimize the keywords in your web site's content, title, and tags, all of which involve refining what appears on your web site, you are engaged in on-page SEO. Keyword optimization is one of the first aspects of on-page SEO that you want to attend to. A good rule of thumb is to have three to six percent of your content consisting of keywords (called keyword density). The search engines may not pick up your site if your have less than three percent keyword density, and if you have over six percent keyword density, then Google may view your web site's content as spam and penalize it. For maximum search engine optimization, place your keywords in your title and position them at the beginning of the title instead of at the end if the title is a long one. To further maximize SEO and ensure increased traffic flow to your web site, be sure that your domain name includes your keywords.

Now let's look at off-page optimization.

You have the ability do an infinite number of things with off-page search engine optimization. Off-page SEO involves creating special links, called backlinks) that lead from a source outside of your web site back to it. Unlike on-page SEO, which is limited to optimizing your site's content, off-page SEO gives you an unlimited number of ways to create high-quality backlinks.

You can create backlinks:

** through participation in forums

** through blogging

** through article marketing

** through pay-per-click or PPC advertising

** through online advertising

* And through social networking sites.

In order to use all of these methods consistently and effectively to build quality backlinks, you need to be very focused and organized; otherwise, using them all at the same time might turn out to be somewhat overwhelming. You want to use as many of these backlinking methods as possible, and you also want to create backlinks on a regular basis because you'll get better search engine rankings when you backlink consistently. This can be easily accomplished, for example, by publishing one article on an article directory, as well as one post on your blog, each day. When you are comfortable with this daily publishing and posting routine, begin work on a PPC campaign and start posting on forums a couple of times every day.

So now that you've answered the question "What is SEO and Why is it Important?", your SEO strategy should include the number of times you intend to publish backlinks to your web site each day or week, and you'll need to adhere to it to the best of your ability in order to make effective use of off-page SEO. Begin slowly, remain consistent, and you will reap the rewards of excellent search engine rankings, as well as increased traffic to your web site. Follow a daily or weekly plan of off-page SEO for a minimum of three to six months before you try something new. The amount of traffic you will be able to get to your website, as well as the cash you will generate, as a result of consistent on- and off-page SEO will increase steadily, resulting in the online success you've always dreamed of.