In today’s connected world, it’s common for a business to have a website used for advertising their products and services. With search engines available at everyone’s fingertips through mobile devices, it has become even easier for customers to search for things online and just about anywhere. In order for a website’s marketing strategies to be successful, a listing on the first three pages of any search engine is a high enough ranking to bring a significant amount of visitors to the website.
There are paid ads, which guarantee placement on the front page, but the best and most beneficial way to increase your presence on the search engines is with search engine optimization. Also known as SEO. Unless you’ve been under a rock, the term SEO is as common today as the word Google. If you don’t know exactly what it means, then this article is going to help you understand exactly what SEO is, how it works, and why it’s important for anyone who wants to get results from their website.
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, and is a marketing strategy implemented to increase the quantity and quality of visitors to your website through search engines. It involves making changes to your website design, content and responsiveness to make your website more attractive to visitors.
The goal of SEO is to increase website visibility on search engines, give better placement in search results for certain terms, and make it easier for websites to be found by people searching for information or services in a specific industry.
How SEO works?
There are two main methods used by the search engines to decide which websites to list in search results. Crawling and Indexing, both of which involve an evaluation of your website, and every aspect of your content, images and mobile responsiveness.
The days are gone when you can develop a website specifically for search engines. With the algorithms used by today’s top search engines, your content will have to be human readable and engaging enough to keep people on your website for more than a few seconds.
The two main methods used for SEO by search engines include:
Google, Bing, and the top search engines have automated robots (or bots) that periodically visit all websites on the internet. These are called crawlers. Think of the internet as a spider web (the world wide web), crawlers move along the web from one website to another searching for and analyzing websites. The more connected your website is with other high ranking websites on the web, the better your overall placement will be. This is why having backlinks to your website is important.
The crawlers look at the content you have on your website and match your website with keywords that have been entered in previous searches; making your website more likely to appear the next time that specific keyword is entered in a search.
Once your website has been found, the next method is:
Indexing is what occurs when your page has been crawled, and analyzed. It’s essentially a recording of the fact that your website exists, and some information about the purpose of your website and what can be found by anyone who visits any of your pages. Once your site has been indexed, the search engines have their own (super secret) algorithms that decide exactly what keywords on your site will have an impact on your rankings, and exactly how and where your page will be placed in search results.
To keep things interesting, and prevent people from taking advantage of the system, search engines will usually change their algorithms every few years. While this can cause headaches for marketers and companies, in the end it ensures that websites and companies aren’t simply producing content for placement, but producing content that actually serves a purpose and is helpful for anyone who would visit the website.
Why is SEO Important?
There is only one reason why SEO is important. Visibility. The more people that see your product or website, and know about your services, the chances are greater that one or more of those will become a paying customer, or subscriber, a fan, or a follower. SEO is the way to make that happen organically.
Everybody wants to be seen. The idea is to be visible to the world, and no one will be able to find your website if you don’t have relevant content. There are many ways to ensure you’re writing quality, persuasive content, otherwise you would be wasting your time, money and resources. Consumers buy products and services after research and reviews. They follow individuals and companies who regularly provide engaging and informational content that solves problems. So the more visible you are, the more you engage your audience, the more people will begin to think that you are the best at what you do.
In the end, the concept of SEO isn’t overly complicated. It’s just like any other form of advertising with the exception that you’re actually providing useful information to your potential customers, instead of placing an ad and hoping for results. Before you do any work towards SEO, it’s important to have a good SEO and content strategy. When done right, SEO is the best way to get insight into the kind of people who visit your website. In order to write content to help your SEO, you’ll have to research the market and competitors, which in the end gives you a better idea of the marketplace and forces you to adopt strategies to better serve those potential customers either with content or modifying your products and services to fit your audience. If you’re venturing into the world of SEO and content creation, check out this white paper on how you can supercharge your SEO strategy.