What is SEO? It’s one of the most common questions I get from small business owners, entrepreneurs, and bloggers. SEO is the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process website owners, and bloggers take to help the search engines be able to find and index their content. When it’s easier for the search engines to see and read your content, it’s easier for them to rank your website or blog.
It’s how you get free traffic to your website or blog. When someone types a search term in the search engine, results are returned. Sites that have focused on their SEO and provide high-quality content are listed at the top of the results page, and because of their positioning at the top, they get the majority of the clicks.
Every website or blog needs a good SEO strategy so they rank higher and can grow and gain readers and customers. SEO can be incredibly powerful when done right. It’s not something to, “just figure out.” There are so many parts to a full SEO program, and because of the Google Algorithm, there are a lot of rules to follow too.
Google and other search engines want to provide the best possible results for their users, so they try to rank the most reputable websites at the top of the search results. The rules are pretty simple, create high-quality content that answers users’ questions, build a trustworthy site, and keep doing it over and over again to gain and maintain your rankings.
Without an SEO strategy and plan, a website will struggle to rank in the search engine results. Have you ever searched for a business and not found it at the top of the search results and wondered why? This happens when they either have no SEO strategy or the wrong one in place.
SEO has two parts, on-page, and off-page. Your website’s on-page SEO includes your page’s meta information such as Title Tag, Meta Description, Header Tags, and Keywords. It also includes your image file names, image ALT text, and content. Internal links (the links from one page or post within your website to another page or post within your same site) impact your SEO.
Your off-page SEO is comprised of the links back to your website from somewhere else.
There’s also a technical element to SEO. The search engines crawl your website with a tool they refer to as their, “spiders.” The spiders crawl your site by following the links within your navigation and your body copy. This is why we focus on our internal and external links as part of our SEO strategy. If you have a website that’s slow or has broken links or other technical issues, it won’t rank as well. A strong technical foundation is required for SEO.
Learning how Google works is the first key to improving the SEO for your website or blog. Once you understand the basics of SEO, you can start to improve your site’s optimization. You’ll want to focus on both on-page and off-page SEO elements to see the best results.
One of the biggest misconceptions about SEO is that it’s a one-time effort. It’s not. You have to continually optimize your website or blog to maintain your rankings. If you move up to position #1 and stop working on your SEO and your competition is still working on their SEO, they’ll surpass you in a matter of time. You have to continually add new content and make sure your site is able to be crawled by the search engines.