A new client's website just went live a couple of hours previous  - normally we would send a 'completion' email explaining about search engine optimisation , statistics and a 'congratulations'. We still had something to complete on this one in the background so we hadn't quite sent that email. And then I got this email (quite understandable) ...
 
"I've just been experimenting with various keywords on Google to see if my new website comes up on line and it doesn't register at all if I type in my name or other keywords. In fact I can't seem to find any combination of keywords that will bring up my website in Google search results. Is there anything I can do?"
 
It should be noted that search engine optimisation isn't instant - it can take from 1 to 9 months to show maximum improvement. Many SEO factors work together to bring more targeted traffic to your website, and doing only one thing in isolation may or may not make a difference.
 
The home page is the most important page as it is your entry for most search engines - the other pages are used to focus on different key phrases found during the research, and support the home page, giving you a wider base for your optimisation - hence more opportunities for your website to come up in the search results.

Simply, search engine optimisation involves...
  • research into what phrases people are using to find your industry, what other websites are using within your industry;
  • writing the META tags for the respective pages based on that research;
  • writing ALT tags for images;
  • and advising on keyword phrases for use in content within the pages