Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a major part of web marketing and is very important for your website. It can dramatically improve the visibility and ranking of your web site in search engines. The number and quality of backlinks that you build up will also play an important role in the direction of your online business. But how do you optimize your web site? This article describes the different steps that you need to take to improve the volume of targeted traffic and the popularity of your web site. First, you have to realize that search engine optimization is not just about implementing rules that tell the search engines what content to display. It is also about understanding what your target market wants. In this way, you can better serve their needs. Search engine optimization is not about creating a brand and promoting it. It is all about providing information on your niche, so that search engines can rank you according to its relevance. Search engine optimization aims at improving the volume of site traffic from search engines to your site or web page. SEO targets free traffic as well as paying traffic instead of direct traffic or organic traffic. Organic and paid traffic refer to visitors who are directed to your web pages by search engines such as Yahoo or Google. To get high search engine results, you need to make sure that your web pages are easy to navigate. The navigation should be smooth and user-friendly. Even if your web pages are rich in keywords, the users should be able to understand them. This is because many internet users are used to clicking links directly rather than reading anything. To achieve this, you need to use short sentences and words as much as possible. Black Hat SEO practices are commonly associated with spamming. These practices are not allowed by most search engines and thus, black hat strategies are adopted to get better SERP results. Black hat strategies include creating hundreds of backlinks for your site using different locations. However, black hat strategies have a downside such as slowing down your site’s rankings and also causing search engines to de-list your site. On the other hand, White Hat SEO practices do not include creating hundreds of backlinks or using any unnatural techniques to rank higher in the results. These techniques are considered more effective because they have less side effects. In order to be effective, white hat optimization involves several elements including quality content, building link popularity, link building, and optimizing keywords. However, white hat SEO is slower because it takes more time to get indexed by search engines. As a result of these differences, SEO practices for each has to be done differently. Every SEO expert has his own way to optimize his or her site for the best ranking possible. In addition to the above-mentioned differences, different search engines have their own requirements that differ from one another. Therefore, it is important for you to know these requirements so you can make the necessary adjustments on your SEO practice. For example, Google requires that your website has a separate URL from all other websites in your niche. With the above information, you can now decide if you want to hire an optimization company for your website. If you have the budget, you might want to go the route of hiring an SEO expert who knows how to create link farms and have a good understanding of search engines. However, if you only have a limited budget, you should be able to perform the basic steps of search engine optimization yourself. However, if you want to increase your traffic and improve your ranking, it would be advisable to hire an SEO company to help you out with your online marketing campaign.