If all you wanted to know was what SEO stands for, then read no further; S.E.O. is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. The goal of SEO is to make websites rank higher on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo Search. How do we optimize websites for search? More importantly, why do we care? Continue reading to learn the meaning of SEO and its impact on your digital marketing strategy.
Why is SEO important?
According to a study of search result click-throughs, the first result in Google search receives 33% of the clicks. On the other hand, the 10th ranking result doesn't even get 3%. These clicks are important because clicks equal customers.
What's the purpose of a search engine?
Simply put, search engines answer questions. They are like the librarians of the internet. They catalog, index, sort, and arrange all available web pages on the internet. It's a search engine's job to serve users the most relevant and trustworthy results to their searches. Each search engine has their own method (called an algorithm) for searching and organizing web pages. Parts of search algorithms are top-secret, but other parts are common knowledge. Search engines look at text, titles, links, and much more technical stuff.
They look at the text content of a web page to guess what the page is about and how relevant it is to certain search results. If the word’s “SEO Services” account for 5% of the total text on the page, then a search engine might assume that site should be shown to people searching for that term.
How are websites optimized for search engines?
While each a search engine's algorithm takes thousands of things into consideration before recommending a webpage, there are three major areas you should focus on:
- Content: Above and beyond, the best way to show up in search engine results is to have valuable content. Page titles, meta descriptions and headers are very important because they tend to summarize and highlight the content of the page in a few short words.
- Site Structure/Architecture: Next is to ensure that the architecture of your website makes your content easily accessible to search engines to index. If you're using WordPress, this often goes back to which theme you are implementing. This factor can be a bit more technical.
- Authority: Links—both inbound and outbound—are where it gets interesting. When one website has a link that directs to another website, that is a sign of trust. Every link to your site is someone else’s approval of your work. Search engines keep track of this and assign weights to all links that direct to a web page to help determine its ranking.
These are just a few of the many, many ways to optimize your site for search engines. Ultimately, the goal is to increase online visits to your website, because these visits will translate into real customers.
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