So you’re interested in search engine optimization? It is an essential tool for any business. Today we are going to take a look into what SEO is and why it is important.
Regardless of what search engine you use, search results are constantly changing. Search engine optimization or SEO as it is called in the industry is, the methods used to boost the ranking or frequency of a website in results returned by a search engine, in an effort to maximize user traffic to the site.
It is up for debate who actually coined the term SEO, but the term began circulation in the late 1990’ after Sergey Brin and Larry Page created the world’s largest search engine. The SEO we know of today began with the emergence of Google. Most SEO focuses on optimizing for Google’s search engine, which dominates the overall search market with a share of over 90%. SEO gained popularity as the internet grew and companies took advantage of the ranking system. According to Forbes Magazine there used to be numerous issues with hackers tampering with the algorithm and altering the rankings on Google. Initially created to organize the endless information accessible on the internet, Google has evolved over the years, but some things have stayed the same. Search engines and SEO exist to discover, understand, and organize the internet’s content in order to offer the most relevant results to the questions people are asking. Google is constantly tweaking its search algorithms, so there’s no guarantee that SEO practices that worked in the past will keep working in the future. However, there are tips and tricks that are incredibly helpful that we have for reference in a past blog you can check out here.
There are various ranking factors that influence whether a website appears higher on the search engine results page based on the content relevance to the search term, or the quality of backlinks pointing to the pageThe better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and traffic new customers in. Ideally, you want your web page content to appear as one of the top three results. This ordering of search results by relevance is known as ranking. In general, you can assume that the higher a website is ranked, the more relevant the search engine believes that site is to the query. SEO helps to increase relevant traffic, leads, sales, and ultimately revenue. Traffic is the key word here and I’m not talking about cars stopped at an intersection. Online traffic is its own entity, capable of making or breaking your website. Traffic can be a powerful tool for a business not only due to the sheer amount of traffic, but because there is a lot of very specific, high-intent traffic. The people who visit your website matter, but the ones who actually make purchases and want to invest in your products or services are especially important because they want something that you offer.
How: The search algorithms behind these processes are unique. They are designed to scan relevant, authoritative pages and provide users with an efficient search experience. Optimizing your site and content with these factors in mind can help your pages rank higher in the search results.
Terms to Keep in Mind
Crawl: Scour the Internet for content, looking over the code/content for each URL they find.
Index: Store and organize the content found during the crawling process. Once a page is in the index, it’s in the running to be displayed as a result of relevant queries.
Rank: Provide the pieces of content that will best answer a searcher’s query, which means that results are ordered by most relevant to least relevant.
Having several positive SEO factors can increase your odds of success, but negative factors can worsen those odds. There are plenty of strategies to avoid when optimizing your website. Since SEO has been around for a while, there are some tactics that no longer have the same desired effect that they used to. Google has put into place penalties for users that you need to be aware of. There are cases where Google manually goes through websites and gives out penalties and there are those given out by the algorithm.
Things to Avoid
Stay away from Cloaking: This is when websites that show full content to Google but restrict content viewable to users. Images can also be cloaked which includes obscuring or hiding certain images from the viewer.
Keyword Stuffing: This is another big no – not that will get you in trouble. This is when you use irrelevant keywords. Instead of filling your page with useless information, add information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.
We have covered the basics of where SEO came from, what it does, how it works and the basics to avoid. Hopefully, this information will be beneficial in helping you take your business to the next level.