What is SEO and Why Does it Matter?
SEO is a digital marketing tool that has blown up in the last 3 years from a new “trend” to a marketing staple that has endured the ever-changing strategies and rules of digital marketing.
According to Search Engine Land, SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial,” or “natural” search results on search engines versus the paid for text listings at the top and sides of the search results page.
All major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo show primary search results that consist of web pages and content like videos and local listings. These search results are compiled based on the keywords and phrases the user types and the top sites shown in the organic results are the sites the search engine considers most relevant. Having your website at the top of the organic search results is a coveted position. You don’t pay Google to list your website first in search results, your site has to earn the spot.
Common Craft, a media how-to site, describes search engines as a librarian that essentially has access to every book in the world and must devise an effective and efficient system to collect which book, or web page, the user is looking for. So how does a search engine manage to find information from the worldwide web and redirect the most relevant content to its users in a matter of milliseconds?
Algorithms. If you haven’t heard that word since high school algebra, don’t be scared. Search engines use algorithms, which is a system that is specified to show searchers the best results based on what they search and these algorithms are how search engines determine the primary search results.
The key to higher rankings on search engines is optimizing your site to match up with the search engine’s algorithm, also known as Search Engine Optimization.
To boost your search results rank, choose your keywords carefully. Make sure you choose keywords that are relevant to your site content and uniform with other keywords in titles and links- because those matter too! Don’t forget that each webpage has a title, so make it consistent with its content keywords that users are most likely to search for.
Webpages link to other webpages, and websites that have a lot of linking pages look good to search engines, and they take notice in their rankings. However, search engines are smart and can tell if fake links are being used just to look good, which will diminish your rankings. Here’s another friendly reminder that words matter! Practice consistency by having similar keywords in your page titles, content and links.
Your site’s reputation is also crucial when gaining rank in search engine results. Keep content fresh, engaging and original, link to pages and a find a balanced combination of all the previous algorithm components and higher search ranking will come. SEO is not instantaneous, it takes effort to build but yields superior results when executed correctly.