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What Is Search Engine Optimization Really?

In today’s digital world, search engines are the most popular source of information. If you’ve searched for anything on Google or Bing, you’ve seen the effects of SEO, whether you know it or not. SEO stands for search engine optimization and it’s a huge part of modern marketing. In this article, we’ll explore the components of SEO, how it works, and how to use it to benefit your website. 

Search Engine Optimization

Understanding SEO involves more than just knowing what it stands for. Search engine optimization is the process of editing how your website appears in search results in order to increase awareness. It is a common term in marketing. Most SEO work is done in order to increase traffic to a website and ultimately increase its business. 

A majority of SEO marketing focuses on search engine results pages or SERPs. This is where all the results of a search are displayed. The results are displayed in order, with the most relevant results first. Since most users don’t scroll past the first result, many businesses want to make sure they’re at the top of a SERP. The coveted first position SERP ranking can mean a lot of traffic and business for that website. But how does one get to this position? That’s where SEO comes in. 

how does seo work

What Does SEO Stand For?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It involves managing your website in order to control how it shows up within the results of a search. SERP ranking is determined by many different factors. Search engines like Google and Bing typically use crawlers, a tool that scans websites for information. These crawlers collect information on these sites to determine how useful they are for various search inquiries. The more useful websites will show up first in the results page. 

The first position in a results page is a highly sought after position. Sometimes, Google may even put a website before the first result. This is called Position Zero, and it is another incredibly sought after SERP position. Position Zero is when a search engine provides a direct answer to a question instead of a link to a website. Search engines like Google consider things like quality, reliability, keywords, and meta descriptions to determine how relevant a website is. 

How to Do SEO

Once you understand why SEO is important, you can focus on optimizing your website. There are many different ways to do SEO in order to improve SERP rankings and increase business.

Research Keywords

Keywords are an easy but powerful way to improve your SEO. Keywords are the words searchers use when they’re looking for something online. Staying up to date on relevant keywords is an effective way to stay relevant within various searches. Search engines will examine your website looking for keywords related to certain searches, so it’s important to apply these terms to your website. For example, users typically won’t search for something as generic as “clothes.” They might include other keywords like “affordable,” “unique,” “vintage.” Including these keywords within your site can ensure that Google knows when to include your business in a search using those words. There are many different websites that can show you how common certain searches are. These can help you track what keywords searchers are using. 

how to do seo

Utilize Keywords

Once you know what keywords are relevant for your website, it’s important to include them meaningfully throughout your website. You can’t just throw keywords around anywhere in your website. Overusing keywords is called “keyword stuffing” and it can ultimately hurt your business’s SERP ranking. Search engines are looking for quality content on your website, so the keywords need to be meaningfully integrated into your site. One way to do this is to create content related to those keywords. 

Blogs and articles are some of the most common keyword-related content. Writing articles that use these keywords can let Google know how helpful and relevant your website is. Many content-related articles answer common search engine queries while using relevant keywords. The content should relate to your business, so if you’re running a florist’s website, it wouldn’t make sense to create content about the latest dance trends. The content should also be high quality so it encourages users to stay on your website longer. 

Internal Links

Within this content, you can include internal links to other parts of your website. Internal links are links within an article or blog post that link to other pages within the same website. This can be another useful way to improve your business and site traffic. Users can follow these links to other pages on your website that might encourage them to become a customer. The longer they’re on the website, the more likely they are to purchase from your business. Even if they don’t buy anything, the amount of traffic your website receives is another factor that is considered by search engines when determining SERP ranking. 

Website Structure

Some other ranking factors might have more to do with how your website is structured. Search engines consider things like whether or not images are embedded within your website. Google prefers websites with images as well as descriptions of these images. Alt-tags for images that explain what’s happening in the image makes it easier for Google to know how relevant the image is. A relevant image doesn’t do much good if search engines can’t see how relevant it is. That’s why alt-tags are so useful. They provide descriptions via text that search engine crawlers are more likely to pick up on. 

what is seo

Meta Descriptions

Descriptions in general are always helpful for SEO. Meta descriptions are the little blurbs included alongside a link in a SERP. It’s important to maintain an up to date, relevant meta description for your website. Search engines and users alike should be able to read your meta description and understand how your website is relevant to their search. 

Mobile Friendliness

Google also provides higher rankings to websites that are fast and mobile friendly. Many Google searches are done on mobile devices, making the need for mobile friendliness very important. Not only do you want to make sure your website is accessible to mobile users, but Google considers this an important factor as well. While these may be a little more difficult to control, maintaining your website’s function and appearance can seriously improve your SERP position. 

If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of optimizing your website yourself, you can outsource your SEO campaign to others. For a cost, companies provide various SEO services. These services are often charged on a monthly basis, somewhere between $500 to $2,000 a month. There are three main types of SEO services. One involves the content on your page, another involves content off-page. The third includes anything technical. 

what does seo stand for

Recapping SEO and How It Works

SEO is the pinnacle of modern, online marketing. Search engine optimization involves optimizing your website in order to improve your SERP position. The thought process behind SEO is that the better your SERP ranking, the more users will visit your website. The more users that visit your website, the more successful your business will be. 

There are many ways to improve your website’s SEO. Some of the most popular methods involve making use of keywords. Keywords are words and phrases that are relevant to popular searches. Using these keywords within your website will increase the likelihood that your website will show up in the results of searches using those same keywords. Because of this, it’s important to stay up to date on relevant keywords. Sites like Google Trends can help you track this information.

Once you know what keywords to use, you’ll want to use them meaningfully throughout your website. Using too many keywords incorrectly can cause problems for your SEO. Many websites use blog posts and articles to seamlessly incorporate these keywords into their pages. Answering popular search inquiries can ensure that your website is showing up in relevant searches. This content should be meaningful. Google’s crawlers determine meaningful content in a variety of ways, one of which is the number of links on your website. Internal links in articles and blog posts increase engagement and the amount of time users spend on your website. 

It’s important to remind these search engines how useful your site is any way you can. If you feel overwhelmed by trying to manage your website’s SEO on your own, you can outsource SEO services. Businesses provide a variety of SEO services, usually for a monthly fee. This maintenance can include anything on-page, off-page, or technical.

FAQ:

  • What is SEO in simple words?
  • What are some important factors affecting SEO?
  • Can I do my own SEO?
  • What is position zero?
  • Can you outsource SEO?

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