What is SEO and why do I care?
SEO is the acronym for “search engine optimization.” If you’re a website owner who has heard this before but not really sure why it’s relevant, then keep reading. The boring definition is that it is “the process of getting traffic from the ‘free,’ ‘organic,’ ‘editorial,’ or ‘natural search’ results on search engines.” Kind of reminds me of a farmer’s market. Here’s what all that really means: It’s a freely developed system of increasing the amount of visitors to your website based on your search engine rankings, because let’s be honest, when is the last time you actually used Page 2 of Google Search Results? (Thought so.) It’s an alternative to paid search ads, or Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
Listed are a few quick, but IMPORTANT, things to know when engaging in SEO for a website.
- Content Quality:
Offer true substance to your visitors that is not easily found on any other generic website. Engaging your visitors will keep them from clicking around on your page for only thirty seconds and leaving, which is a key determining factor in your rankings. This is also known as “stickiness,” or the time someone spends on a website.
- Doing Search Term Research:
There are numerous tools that will tell you what keywords people search for in relation to one another. Google Adwords allows you to enter a search term, which then gives you a list of keywords that are correspondent to your original keyword(s). For example, people searching for “vacation” might also search under “travel” or “flights.” Other free tools include Google Trends and Windtracker Keyword Suggestion Tool.
- Use of Content Words:
After doing useful research to determine what words you want to be found under, incorporating those terms into your web copy will increase your chances of being found. It’s important that this is a natural process, because Google robots can track phony keyword usage.
For example, don’t do this: “vacation vacation vacation vacation vacation”
- Fresh Content:
Constantly adding material that is relevant to your industry will also give a boost in your search rankings. If a popular search term is “trending” on Google and you include content on that topic, your website will likely show up in the top results for that search. However, after that trending period is over, it’s likely you’ll be lost in the mix again. That is why your goal is to do this often, keeping the emphasis on “fresh.” This can be easily accomplished if your website includes an up to date blog.
- More content, better SEO:
If you haven’t figured this part out already, “content is king.” Having more content on your website automatically increases the chance that search engines will become aware of these additions which will increase the visibility of your website. This is really important when it comes to body copy. Body copy refers to real text on the page rather than the visuals of the website, such as imagery and attached copy. This can be intimidating for visual webmasters, however necessary for better SEO.
Good luck and keep on optimizing!
This article was written by Mar Jahan, Gilday Creative’s Summer 2015 Marketing Intern with reference to the following article: “What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?” Search Engine Land. Web. 25 June 2015. <http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-seo>
Image: “SEO,” Sun Vision Technologies, accessed June 25, 2015, http://www.svtecheng.com/SEO.html.