What Is SEO (and Why You Need It)
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is a multi-disciplinary digital marketing practice that focuses on helping websites achieve higher rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs) thus increasing its overall visibility and click-through rates (CTRs) when prospecting buyers are looking for relevant products and services. However, SEO is not answered merely by implementing a few “tricks” here and there. It encompasses a lot of creativity and technical know-how.
SEO isn’t just about building search engine-friendly websites. It’s also about making your website better for people too.
Rand Fishkin from Moz.com
We all know that the kings of search are Google, Bing, and Yahoo! (in that order). And while there are many other channels that have the ability to drive traffic to a website, like Facebook and Twitter, the majority of searches performed on the internet are done through search engines. What makes search engines like Google so unique is that they provide targeted traffic – ensuring that the results returned are relevant to your search query. And if you aren’t visible in the search engines everyone knows you’re missing out on valuable leads and opportunities. Having a website that pops in search ensures that your business stays open 24/7/365.
Why doesn’t my website show up in search?
Unless you’re DMOZ, the web’s oldest and largest people-reviewed web directory (which has been shut down since March 17, 2017), search engines may need help in deciphering what your website is really about and why it deserves to rank better than your competitors. Almost everyday Google is coming out with new “algorithm” updates in order to help deliver better results to its users. This is where a good SEO strategy comes in. But do it wrong and your website could suffer the consequences of being buried deep in the abyss of search results. Page 62, anyone?
What are some of the things search engines look for in a website?
The world of SEO is uber complex, but for most tech-savvy individuals, it’s easy to grasp the basics. Even if you only possess a tiny bit of SEO knowledge it can make a world of difference. By no means is this a definitive list but in its simplest form, search engines look at a combination of these factors:
- Site architecture – URL structures, page titles and descriptions, meta tags, etc.
- Content – are you delivering content that will drive user engagement? Is it easy to understand or stuffed with keywords you think will help it rank?
- Link Profile – who’s linking back to you from their website? Are you earning backlinks from websites that are authorities on the web?
- User Experience – is your website effective in delivering its message? Is it enjoyable to use and easy to navigate?
For anyone that’s serious about ranking well in search engines, these factors, in combination with hundreds of others, should be addressed with any website.