And why does your business need it?
Search engine advertising is a simple way to make your business more visible on the World Wide Web. The Internet has changed the way customers search for and choose their purchases. In the past, traditional television and print advertising were intended to “reach out” to the public, hoping to spark interest in the products for sale. Over the past 20 years, however, this has changed. The Internet has allowed consumers to interact with each other and do their own research. In effect, customers are “reaching out” to businesses, rather than the other way round.
But to begin with, you first have to ask the main question:
What is a Search Engine?
Search Engines are websites that have the ability to search the Internet for information of any type. The most popular Search Engines being: Google.com, Bing.com, and Yahoo.com.
Why are Search Engines Important?
There are 34,000 searches per second taking place on Google in 2009 . And that number increases daily!
Based on Chitika research, about 35% of searchers look at the first result. But 94% of those searchers look to the first ten results. While only 6% may go through to other results.
There is a huge competition between website owners to be ranked as the first result (or at least on the first page). For this reason you need to optimize your website for search engines in order to help them find and capture your website more efficiently and effectively. But how? That’s the big concern.
What are Keywords?
Search engines use some mathematical methods to find the most relevant pages and results for any search. These websites capture almost all of the websites on the Internet and store some of their content.
When you want to find the most pertinent websites on a specific topic, you must enter some words to find it. Some of your words are key parameters for search engines to find your results. These are what are called keywords.
How to Optimize Your website for Search Engines
Let’s use an example of a typical search a person might do on the Internet. A SE needs keywords to start its job. So let’s say a user is looking for websites about sport watches. They might go to Google.com and type in “sport watch”.
The first thing a search engine does is search for all the website domain names that contain all or part of the keywords “sport” and “watch”. For example, some websites like bestsportwatch.com or sportsmenwatch.net will have a greater opportunity to appear on the first page of the results. In my previous post, I have described the importance of your domain name. It should be chosen wisely.
The next thing a SE does is search through the various websites’ URLs. An URL is the address that is typed for entering a web page, such as www.coldad.com or www.your-domain-name.com/[url]
An URL like www.anydomain.com/sportwatch-for-men has more opportunity to be presented on the result page than a website like www.anydomain.com/?p=376/2012/02/08
To optimize your website, restructure the URLs of your website to contain topics and keywords instead of unrelated numbers or characters.
Number of Unique Visitors
Nowadays, search engines are getting more clever. Recently, the number of a website’s unique visitors (a kind of visitor who comes to a site for only one time in a month) has become a parameter in rating the website. This means, the more unique visitors your site has, the higher the rating of your website in search results. Your website, then, must have some interesting subject matter to attract visitors for at least one time. A searcher may be attracted to your site because of a free service or a big discount on a popular product. Give your visitors at least ONE reason to visit your site.
Page Rank Gives You Priority
To combine all factors into one single parameter, some search engines like Google.com work based on the page rank. Page rank is a calculated number, based on your domain name, your URLs, your content texts, the number of visitors, the number of other websites that are linked to your website, the number of pages that your website has and so on. Search engines give you a rank between 1 to 10, where 10 is the highest page rank that a website can have. The higher the page rank, the higher the priority in a search result. You can check your page rank on this website. 
Social Media Gets You Noticed – For Free!
Instead of asking other websites to add a link to your website (to increase your page rank), add social media buttons to your content. Then make it easy for visitors to share them over their own networks. This will increase your page rank more effectively, efficiently and ethically than other ways.
Using The Right Keywords
You should not forget that search engines are looking for keywords, so use the main keywords in all your content. When I want to determine a SE Optimized post title, I always search for it on this tool  to make sure people will find me. You may have even found this post because of it.
To find the most relevant categories of keywords for your website, Google has made available this tool .
An XML sitemap is a specific file that records the website’s structure that in turn is scouted by search engines. Again, having a well-made, well thought out XML sitemap is key to optimizing your visibility on any SE. Granted, unless you’re tech savvy, it’s not easy to create a XML sitemap manually. But there are many plugins and software that can generate it in a single click. To be of help, I’ve included here a free WordPress Plugin as I’ve done in previous posts. 
Other Important Factors
There are some other areas in which search engines scan, such as: alternative text for images, well structured text-like headings and the number of other websites that have linked to your website. For example, I have added at least one alternative word to any of the images on my site, developed heading structure on my posts (such as H1, H2, and so on) and introduced my website throughout all my other networks.
Black Hat Search Engine Optimization
Beware! Some people may offer you (they may even guarantee), a SE Optimization for your website that brings you to the first page. They may be, in fact, using special software to show search engines that your website has many pages – when it’s not true. Or they may generate the perception that there are numerous inbound links to your website – which is also not true. This is called Black Hat Search Engine Optimization  and it should be avoided. While it may at first appear to be a great benefit to your business, it could end up hurting you in the long run. Your website can run the risk that search engines will see what’s really going on and decrease your rank. A SE may even give your site a negative point.
SEO is a Long Term Strategy
Optimizing your website for search engines doesn’t happen over night. But you need to learn about it and begin the process as soon as possible. And once you’ve begun, you can keep checking your ranking to see what keywords work best for you. Or what domain name seems the most effective. Just keep going.