Skip to Main Content
Research questions: This tutorial aims to answer two general questions: (1) What contributes to search engine rankings? and (2) What can web content creators and webmasters do to make their content and sites easier to find by audiences using search engines? Key concepts: Search engines' rankings are shaped by three classes of participants: search engine companies and programmers, search engine optimization practitioners, and search engine users. Key lessons: By applying three key lessons, professional communicators can make it easier for audiences to find their web content through search engines: (1) consider their web content's audiences and website's competitors when analyzing keywords; (2) insert keywords into web text that will appear on search engine results pages, and (3) involve their web content and websites with other web content creators. Implications: Because successful search engine optimization requires considerable time, professional communicators should progressively apply these lessons in the sequence presented in this tutorial and should keep up to date with frequently changing ranking algorithms and with the associated changing practices of search optimization professionals.