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What Is SEO?
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SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. This once novel concept has taken the digital marketing industry by storm, becoming one of the most important strategies in your online arsenal. But if you’re not familiar with the term, you’re probably wondering what is SEO?

What Is SEO?

SEO is the concept of optimizing your business content so that it’s found more easily by organic search results. That sounds a little complicated, so let’s break it down.

Let’s say you need a new pair of running shoes. What’s your first step? If you’re like most consumers, you’re going to head over to your favorite search engine (probably Google) and type in “best running shoes to buy”, or something similar. In the click of a button, your screen is filled with hundreds of pages of links to stores and sites that sell shoes. Easy, right?

Well, it’s easy for the consumer, but if you’re one of the stores selling the shoes, getting your business to appear on the first page of that list is much harder. After all, not many consumers go to page 37 for running shoes unless they’re looking for something specific. So, the higher you are in the search results, the better your odds for making a sale. A good SEO strategy helps you get there. But how?

How Does SEO Work?

When you type that query into the search box, a search engine acts much like a digital library, quickly scanning through its billions of stored and categorized websites to find ones that fit your need. To create that database of sites, search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo have complex algorithms that send crawlers out to every website to find and index content for their results.

As their creepy name suggests, these spiders skulk about every page of your website content looking for clues about who you are, what you’re selling, and who you’ll benefit. The better they can index your content, the higher you’ll rank on their search engine results.

SEO is the process of optimizing your content to have as many clues as possible for the crawlers to use. It’s both an art and science, as you’ll need to understand what the crawlers are looking for and how to give that to them. Unless you’re a developer for their software team, most people don’t know exactly how these algorithms work. But we do have clues that can help us tailor our content to make the crawlers happy and give us a better place on their sticky web.

How Do I Use SEO?

Some of those helpful clues you can use to tailor your content for SEO comes from the search engines themselves. For example, Google explains that their search algorithms include factors such as the relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and location settings of the searcher.

To fall in line with their algorithm, you need to make your page relevant to certain searches, easy to use, include expert sources, and give your business location (among other things). Doing this comes in many forms, some of them included in the words of your content (called keywords) and others more technical in nature, such as optimizing your meta-tags and using proper backlinking. Check out this article for more information on how to dominate Google’s rankings.

The art form of SEO comes as search engines continually update their algorithms to weed out low-quality pages. In the past, websites honed in on certain factors of the algorithms and stuffed their websites with them to rank highly in search results. Things like duplicate content, keyword stuffing and improper linking caused a mass amount of poor and irrelevant content to dominate search results, to the frustration of users and developers everywhere.

These days, algorithms are constantly updated and fueled with artificial intelligence (AI) that keeps manipulating the system to a minimum. Websites that try to scam the system with low-quality SEO are penalized and often removed from search results entirely. Now, you’ve got to do the honest work to make the front page.

Each search engine has its own algorithm, so the best SEO strategy takes into account which one you want to rank for. Organic traffic - website traffic that doesn’t have to be paid for - is best found on Google. But if you’re looking to rank for video content, you’d need to research YouTube’s search algorithm for SEO guidance.

The Takeaway

SEO is the process of optimizing your digital content so it’s correctly indexed and highly ranked by search engines. The concept is based on tailoring your webpages and content to match up with specific factors search engine crawlers are looking for. When used correctly, a strong SEO strategy can benefit your business by gaining you higher amounts of organic website traffic that you don’t have to pay for. Try to dupe the system and you’re risking being put in a search results time out.

Do you need help developing or implementing a strong SEO strategy for your business? We can help! We offer a full range of SEO services to optimize your website so you show high on search results and get more leads, more traffic and more business. Contact us today!


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