Since the world wide web first launched in 1991, the entire landscape has changed. It’s not simply enough to have a website anymore. Online audiences are fickle and businesses and brands have to put…
work into creating engaging content designed to draw organic traffic. Paid engagement may help on the pure numbers end, but quantity isn’t everything. Likewise, having a select few users who heavily consume your content isn’t enough either. Search engine optimization, is the practice and implementation of different strategies designed specifically to increase both the quality and quantity of organic web traffic to your site via organic search results.
How Search Engines Function
To understand SEO, first you have to understand how search engines themselves work. Think of search engines as being giant digital libraries which houses web pages instead of books. When research students ask librarians for research materials they typically give them a brief description of their thesis. The librarian then goes through the library’s catalog and pulls relevant texts. Search engines act in the same way. When someone types a query into a search engine like Google, it goes through its entire lexicon of web pages and pulls the most relevant search results.
What SEO does
Web pages are marked as relevant based on algorithmic equations that determine which pages offer content directly related to your query. SEO is the process by which content creators tailor their content in a way to demonstrate to those search engines that their material is best suited to address the query at hand.
SEO-proofing your web pages means designing your content in a way that is congruent with a search engine’s algorithm. In short, SEO is exactly as the name suggests, optimizing your page’s content for search engines. By utilizing SEO strategies you open your web page up to better rankings in the search engines which results in more clicks which leads to larger brand visibility and credibility. Typically websites that appear on the first page of search results are the most trusted and therefore users are likely to take them seriously.
Why is SEO Important for businesses?
Brand reputation relies heavily on trust and credibility. As previously noted, SEO helps companies improve both of those factors. Visibility is huge for companies, especially those just starting out. Organic traffic plays a critical role in not just the web presence of a business but also increases user engagement and the likeliness of a consumer taking direct action. While traffic is key, what kind of traffic you get is also important. Where SEO is concerned is organic traffic i.e. users finding your page on their own through the annals of search engine result pages.
While other methods of traffic accumulation such as pay per click or advertisement arbitrage may assist in gaining overall impressions, they tend to be muddied with low quality and bogus sites with almost no content. As such, SEO helps with both the quantity and quality of your traffic.
Other tools like back-linking help your web page gain in search engine algorithms. By back-linking other pages, you in turn boost your own page’s credibility. Taking advantage of internal links works in a similar way. These are both strategies used by SEO specialists when creating web content. Back linking-another site aids in your own sites credibility which then makes your site more favorable to algorithmic criterion.
How SEO helps your business
By using SEO techniques like tags and writing good meta-descriptions for web pages you ensure you business will rank higher. This is where keywords and phrases come into play. If, for example, you’re a real estate business, if your web pages are all SEO’d properly, your page will rank higher and draw more traffic within searches related to home buying and selling. If you blog frequently about the process of selling homes, your page will rank higher in searches such as ‘how to sell my house’ or ‘sell my house.’
Finding a good keyword to rank for is one of the most effective ways to get your business name out. The key is to selecting keywords that are directly related to what your web page is about. Think about what other people might search to find your content. These are not always complete sentences, usually it’s a couple words or a short phrase. Think of this process like Instagram hashtags. If you’ have a style page on Instagram, you’ll want to use hashtags related to your niche. Tags like #fashion #outfitoftheday or #streetstyle might be good tags to use that will pull in more engagement. Keywords function very similarly.
By ranking for a keyword you are directing traffic to your page organically with the keywords acting as a conduit for your targeted audience by directing them to your content. There are also a plethora of online tools designed specifically to help SEO specialists monitor their content and track engagement which aid significantly in continuously improving your site’s SEO.
Again, SEO is largely based on trust. By gaining trustworthiness in Google or some other search engine, you increase the likelihood that a prospective customer will engage with your business. Good SEO can lead customers right down the transaction lane. Increasing your SEO is important because when users search for a particular service, they typically choose from the sites that ranked highest. Thus, a higher ranking, driven by good SEO means more business potential. You may have a business that sells side paneling, but a simple search for ‘side paneling near me’ isn’t guaranteed to list your website in the search results. The sites that rank the highest are going to be the ones that do the most business. As such, it is in the interest of a particular business to increase their visibility which can be done through implementing good SEO strategies.