SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. SEO is the process of increasing the quantity as well as the quality of a website’s exposure and traffic through organic search engine results. Organic search engine results are those that are not paid for through advertising systems such as Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising.
As much as SEO is about search engines and websites, it is also about people and what they are searching for online. Understanding what answers people are seeking, the type of content they’re looking for, and what words they’re using are the keys to connecting your website with people who are looking for the solutions that you may have to offer.
How does SEO work?
Search engines, such as Google, have crawler bots that collect information about all the content on the web. That information is then brought back to the search engine and put into an index. Next, the index is analyzed by what is known as an algorithm, where the search engine then decides how to rank the index of relevant information. The algorithm considers several factors and signals to determine search result rankings.
This is where the O in SEO comes in. Digital content creators must figure out the best ways to optimize their web pages in order to be identified and picked up by the search engine. In addition to being recognized by the search engine, the content creator has to be sure that they are producing content that people want, need and enjoy.
What factors play into SEO?
It is very important to keep in mind that search engines rank web pages, not websites. With that being said, each page on your site requires its own individual optimization process to improve its visibility. Here are some of the major optimization factors that search engine algorithms look for:
- Crawlability: Crawling is the process used by search engines to discover new content. It involves tracing links on pages that they already know to those that they haven’t seen before. Pages with effective internal linking are more likely to be crawled.
- Mobile-friendliness: The number of searches that come from mobile devices is growing every year. Due to this, Google announced a boost in rankings for web pages that are formatted for mobile devices. Even if your page manages to rank higher on a search engine results page, the likelihood of someone sticking around is slim to none of if a desktop version of your site loads on their mobile device.
- Page Speed: Page speed is how slow or fast your webpage loads. A page that loads slow will ultimately lead to user dissatisfaction. Search engines want to keep their users satisfied so the faster a web page loads, the higher it will rank in the results.
- Search intent: This is one of the most popular methods of optimization. This is the process of identifying key words that searchers may type in and finding a way to integrate those words into your web page content so that users are driven to your site. For instance, SEO for contractors’ web pages may include key words such as “general contracting near me” or “home remodeling.”
Why is SEO important?
Though website traffic can be generated through other marketing channels such as paid advertisements and social media, search engines drive the majority of online traffic. Organic search results receive way more clicks than paid advertisements because they are viewed as more credible by searchers. SEO has about 20 times more traffic opportunity than paid advertising on both mobile and desktop.
SEO is also one of the only marketing strategies that can continue to pay off over time. If done correctly, a site optimized to receive high ranking can have a snowball effect, increasing traffic steadily over time. Paid advertising on the other hand, requires consistent funding to see only a percentage of the results you’d see with SEO.
It is crucial to stay up to date with the current SEO trends that will satisfy what search engines are looking for. Search engine algorithms change quite often so what may have worked for you today may not work tomorrow. There is a lot to learn about the world of SEO, but the results prove the time and effort to be totally worth it. A well-optimized website will increase the number of leads your business sees. Learn more about using your website to grow you business with our guide on website traffic.