Search engine optimization is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site's user experience and performance in organic search results. You're likely already familiar with many of the topics in this guide, because they're essential ingredients for any webpage, but you may not be making the most out of them.
Search engine optimization affects only organic search results, not paid or "sponsored" results,
such as Google AdWords
Even though this guide's title contains the words "search engine", we'd like to say that you should base your optimization decisions first and foremost on what's best for the visitors of your site. They're the main consumers of your content and are using search engines to find your work. Focusing too hard on specific tweaks to gain ranking in the organic results of search engines may not deliver the desired results. Search engine optimization is about putting your site's best foot forward when it comes to visibility in search engines.
An example may help our explanations, so we've created a fictitious website to follow throughout the guide. For each topic, we've fleshed out enough information about the site to illustrate the point being covered. Here's some background information about the site we'll use:
• Website/business name: "Brandon's Baseball Cards"
• Domain name: brandonsbaseballcards.com
• Focus: Online-only baseball card sales, price guides, articles, and news content
• Size: Small, ~250 pages
Your site may be smaller or larger than this and offer vastly different content, but the optimization topics we discussed below should apply to sites of all sizes and types. We hope our guide gives you some fresh ideas on how to improve your website, and we'd love to hear your questions, feedback, and success stories in the Google Webmaster Help Group.