As a beginner, here’s what you really need to know about SEO:
As the name would imply, Search Engine Optimization deals with optimizing your site for the search engines. But what does that actually mean?! Basically, the internet is chocked full of websites (like yours) on a zillion different topics. So in order for a search engine like Google to match a website with what someone is searching for, they have to figure out what each page on that website is about. Once Google has an idea of what type of information (or “content”) can be found on each page of each website, they can rank all of the available options in order of how helpful they think each one will be to a particular searcher. Obviously, this is no easy task! So they use what’s referred to as an algorithm to weigh all of these different factors that they think will help determine which webpage is best to show a particular searcher for a particular search query. So every time anyone searches for anything, this algorithm runs and in just a few fractions of a second, it returns results that it thinks that searcher wants to see. Pretty cool, right? Why am I telling you this? Well because, understanding this process is key in determining what SEO actually means!
SEO deals with trying to improve your website on one or more of the things that are factored into a search engine’s algorithm so that your site appears more relevant to searchers. The result of being seen as more relevant is that your site will be ranked higher than a less relevant site, which is why business owners that want to improve their rankings will use SEO to achieve that goal.
Okay, now that you know what SEO does, let’s look at what SEO is.
While Google doesn’t tell us exactly what goes into their algorithm at any given time (it’s always changing) or how each factor is weighed, they do give us general information. In general, we know that is king! Now, there are a lot of smaller, more technical elements that SEO experts can work on to help improve your site’s mechanics, but when it comes to relevancy, content is consistently the best way to ensure that your site is well optimized. (This is where the term “content-based SEO” comes from and why so many companies have a “content strategy.”)
When we talk about content, we’re referring to all of the things on your site that Google can “read.” So this includes the text on your homepage, product descriptions, blog posts, informational articles, video transcriptions, FAQs, and so forth. Having keyword-rich content is a great way to get your website picked up by Google for relevancy on those terms. The best part about focusing on content is that, unlike chasing current SEO fads, the time you spend on it will always be a good investment. Why is that? Because content helps visitors first and foremost and then has a secondary benefit of giving you an SEO advantage. Content is customer-focused and timeless, which you really can’t argue with from a business perspective.
If you need help generating content, improving your SEO in general, or marketing your website online, get in touch with us! We’d be happy to provide you with some free advice and figure out how we can work together to make your online business successful!
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!