Event Recap: A Beginner's Guide to Search Engine Optimization

The Internet has introduced a plethora of new tactics and tools for attracting new customers, and business owners have always been looking for new ways to become more efficient at customer acquisition.

It's no surprise that a healthy showing of Ocala, Florida business owners attended the Ocala, Marion County Chamber of Commerce’s August Power Series Workshop event to see A Beginner’s Guide to SEO, presented by Rasmussen College Online Marketing Manager Josh Braaten. Josh led the audience through an SEO crash course where he educated business owners about online marketing opportunities.

How Search Engines Work

Josh began his presentation by first explaining how search engines work. He pointed out that it would be difficult to optimize your website without first gaining some insights into how a search engine functions. Josh explained the concepts of:

  • Crawling – How search engines discovery your website
  • Indexing – How Google builds a mirrored copy of the web to power search
  • Relevancy – Different factors that Google considers when determining what’s relevant to a given user’s search
  • Results – How Google returns search results – this is the part of Google that is familiar to most people

Factors Involved in SEO

Once the audience gained a basic understanding of how search engines work, Josh went on to describe main tactics to optimize for search engines:

  • Architecture – Can search engine spiders find and read the content on your website?
  • On-Page – The process of identifying keywords, mapping them to pages on your site, and creating or editing the content of those pages to include increased keyword prominence
  • Links – Links are the cornerstone of the Google algorithm. A link is like a vote for your page form another website
  • Social Media – Social media engagement is emerging as an important signal in search engine algorithms

Implementing SEO through Inbound Marketing

After talking about SEO factors, Josh suggested to unify tactics as a part of an overall inbound marketing strategy, in which helpful, engaging, and optimized content on a page pulls new customers to the website through search engines and social media. Additionally, Josh described the ethical considerations that are often debated in SEO.

Josh wrapped up by pointing out that SEO isn’t something that can be learned in a day, which is why Ocala business owners will want to attend the next Power Series Workshop on website videos and blogging scheduled for August 23, 2011. The Rasmussen College Ocala Campus and Josh Braaten were proud to be a part of this event, and extend thanks to the Ocala, Marion County Chamber of Commerce for making it all possible.

Presentation: A Beginner’s Guide to SEO

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