The SEO Series: 'What is Search Engine Optimization?'

Where and how a recruiter spends their time is crucial to the success of their business. Too much time in the wrong area can dramatically decrease their billings. Unfortunately, time-wasting activities sneak up on you like a thief in the night. Before you know it, those activities you thought were harmless and helpful turn out to be destructive and detrimental.

Take, for example, website optimization. Recruiters all want massive amounts of traffic to flow through their website so they have an endless supply of candidates and clients from which to choose. Unfortunately, with more traffic comes more fender benders, break downs, and wear and tear on the vehicle. You can spend tons of time optimizing your site, but is that the best use of your time? Is that where you make the most money?

One thing is for certain: a website is crucial in today’s market. Most people don’t use phonebooks these days. In fact, most people under the age of 30 may never have seen one. They jump right on their Internet-enabled phone and run a search on Google or some other search engine to find the phone number of the local pizza parlor. That’s why a website is a "must have" business tool. It’s your store front. It’s your calling card. It legitimizes your business on the Web.

What do you think when you do a search for a company you might do business with and you discover that they don’t have a website? Are your first thoughts, “What kind of company doesn't have a website these days?” and “Do I even want to do business with them?” Those are thoughts that run through my mind.

Today, in many cases, your website is your storefront. Your website is your company's brochure that describes your services. Your website is a selling tool. But first, people have to find you. That’s why “optimizing” your website for search engines like Google or Bing is so important.

What is “website optimization” or “search engine optimization”? Wikipedia defines search engine optimization (SEO) as "the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page for search engines via the 'natural' or 'organic' search results. Optimizing a website may involve tweaking its content and HTML to both increase its relevance to specific keywords people use to search and to remove barriers to how search engines find you."

In my next blog post, I’m going to discuss the two types of search engine optimization techniques: what’s called “on-page SEO” and “off-page SEO.”

(Todd Bossler is a writer for Top Echelon's Recruiter Training Blog.)

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