From a young age we have been taught that words have power. They can build up or destroy. They can help or hurt. Now, with search engines like Google, words take on a whole new type of power. Keywords can make or break a search. They can also make or break a site.

Search engine optimization (SEO), maximizing the number of visitors to a site through the use of various techniques, is a relatively new idea, but it is an important one. It begins with words and a little bit of love. According to Haley Burkhead, founder of Market Beautifully, a company that teaches marketing techniques, the key to SEO is “making Google fall in love with you.”

This can be done a variety of different ways. One way to rack up what she referred to as “brownie points” is to optimize keywords in the site’s permalink. Adding keywords into the unique URL of a website increases the likelihood that the site will come up first when those keywords are typed into a search engine.

Another way to woo Google is to increase the speed of the site. The faster the site loads the more partial to it Google will be. The ideal load speed is about two seconds, although anything faster than four will get you some brownie points. She suggested using sites such as Google Analytics, which have site speed tools that determine the load speed of a site and give tips for increasing the speed.

A third and final way to effectively use SEO is by having quality content. Google, much like a teenage girl, thoroughly stalks its potential love interests online. It sends its “Google bots” to prospective websites to assess their quality and thus determine the site’s ranking in a search.  To have quality content a site must use key words throughout the website and have a detailed content.

Words have power. In search engine optimization they have the power to woo Google into ranking a website high. However, when misused, words can also send a website to the recesses of a Google search like an old ex-boyfriend.

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