Quick! What’s the first thing you do when you have a question?
You “Google it,” of course!
Within seconds, search engines like Google and Yahoo! magically serve you website recommendations perfectly catered to your query.
But no wizardry here. The results you see are no coincidence.
Behind the infinite list of search results presented to you are well-informed SEO best practices and digital marketing strategies that have set these websites apart from the rest, according to Google’s algorithms. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the deliberate process of optimizing your website in a way that can most effectively communicate with search engines such as Google and their algorithms. But how does it all work and, most importantly, how can you make it work for your site?
How Does SEO Work?
Every search engine has something called a “crawler” that continually crawls through all the information found on the internet. Once the information on your website has been crawled, it then gets stored and entered into a search engine’s algorithm. When a user enters a question or query into the search bar, the search engine will then serve up your website and give the user the opportunity to view the information on your site.
But because the internet is such a huge space, and there is so much information out there, it can be easy to fade into the background. Implementing SEO best practices can not only keep your focus on your website content, but it can also set your site apart from the rest causing your website’s pages to be featured in the search engine results pages.
A website page that is perfectly optimized will use a variety of SEO best practices. These best practices can include:
- Keyword Research
- Page Formatting
- H1 Tags
- Title Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Internal Linking
- Image Optimization.
Let’s look a bit more into each.
Keyword research will help you find the words or queries for which users are already actively searching. To find these keywords, SEO developers and strategists view historical data provided by search engines to make their forecast for which keywords and topics will make for highly desirable content. By using specific keywords that have been proven effective, it is more likely that your content will appear high up in the search engine results pages.
Search engine crawlers read content on a web page similar to how you would read an outline: it first views the titles, the headings, then the detailed body copy. For this reason, it is important when developing a web page to be mindful of how your content is formatted so that it can be easily understood by search engines.
The most important tag in SEO is the title tag. The title is the first tag that search engines see when discerning what a page is about. This tag should include researched keywords to maximize its effectiveness. This tag is displayed both in the tabs of your browser and as the main link in search engine results pages.
Another important SEO tag is the meta description. This tag is displayed along with the title tag in the search engine results pages. This tag helps to describe to users what the page is about convincing users to click on your URL.
Possibly the second most important SEO tag, the H1 tag is the first heading that should appear on the page. This main heading should include researched keywords and describe what the page is about. This main heading tag is the first on-page content that search engine crawlers will read.
If you have multiple pages on your site containing similar content, linking them together can help show search engines that you have authority on a topic. Having authority on a topic means that your brand or website is knowledgeable on a specific topic and makes your site more likely to appear on search engine results pages.
Search engines don’t only crawl text, they also look at imagery on websites. Optimizing the file sizes and tags associated with each image can help get your site’s imagery into image search services such as Google Images.
Why Dedicate Time to It?
Revising or developing a site to incorporate best SEO practices can be a tedious task, but it is worth the time. Because SEO relies on search engines, all traffic driven to your website via SEO is organic. Organic traffic is completely free and can drive higher quality traffic to your site. In traditional paid advertising, you pay money and create strategies to get your brand in front of users. With a search engine optimized site, users who are already actively searching for sites like yours are able to find your brand on their own. This gives the user a sense of control and ownership having found you.
Another reason that dedicating time to SEO is important is because search engines are always updating their algorithms to make their service more efficient for their users. Because the search engine platform is continually changing, it is important to keep your site up-to-date with the most relevant SEO practices to maintain your site’s search engine competitive advantage.
Ready to Get Started?
A solid SEO plan and strategy can help get your site higher up in the search engine results pages. The SEO developers and strategists at 535media LLC can help create a custom plan to locate SEO errors and correct them using the most up-to-date SEO practices. Contact us at 535media LLC to get started with optimizing your website’s content.