What is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.
What goes into SEO?
To understand the true meaning of SEO, let’s break that definition down and look at the parts:
- Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in products that you offer.
- Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.
- Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.
Why Should You Care About SEO?
Lots and lots of people search for things. That traffic can be extremely powerful for a business not only because there is a lot of traffic, but because there is a lot of very specific, high-intent traffic.
If you sell blue widgets, would you rather buy a billboard so anyone with a car in your area sees your ad (whether they will ever have any interest in blue widgets or not), or show up every time anyone in the world types “buy blue widgets” into a search engine? Probably the latter, because those people have commercial intent, meaning they are standing up and saying that they want to buy something you offer.
How Is Content Optimized for Search Engines?
There are several important aspects of search engine optimization:
Creating an SEO-Friendly Website
If you want your content to rank high in search results, it’s important to make sure that Google’s bots can easily find your website, crawl through it, and understand what it’s about.
An SEO-friendly website will have a good domain name, a good internal link structure, and will be built using good code.
These aspects of SEO can also be called “technical SEO.”
Optimization is not just about getting more traffic, but about getting the RIGHT traffic to your site. Keyword research can help with both of those goals.
Keyword research is about identifying the terms that your target audience is searching for. When you identify and use the right keywords in your content, you’ll rank higher for the exact terms people are using to find you.
In order to attain and hold on to high rankings, you need to make sure your content is exactly what searchers need. That means creating in-depth, well-written content in an easy-to-digest format.
One big factor that Google looks at when ranking your content is whether other people find it useful. Google looks at how many websites link to your pages, and considers each of those links a vote for your content.
Keep in mind, though, Google also considers WHO is voting for you. For example, if a trusted news site links to your article, chances are you have high-quality content. On the other hand, if you’re only attracting links from low-quality sites, Google may assume that your site is low-quality as well.