SEO is a term that’s thrown around all the time, so much so that it’s assumed everyone should know what it means. While there’s a great deal of information out there, it’s not always clear and can sometimes be confusing. This guide is designed to provide a basic understanding to help you utilize its power.
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What Exactly Is SEO and How Does It Work?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a process through which your website gets ranked in Google and other internet search results. How does it determine where you rank? It’s actually an interesting explanation.
Throughout the day and night, web crawlers are searching the internet. Imagine working in an office where robots are constantly moving around, gathering paperwork and data.
Once collected, the robots file it all away in the appropriate file cabinets and folders. When you ask for a file on Client X, the robot goes directly to the cabinet and file folder, bringing it back to you in record time.
Web crawlers do much of the same thing. They constantly move around the web, gathering data about websites, and filing that information away. When someone searches for “Apple Pie Recipes,” the web crawlers pull out all of the websites that provide this information. They then organize them in the search results, putting what they think is the most relevant and helpful first.
The next question you ask is probably, “How do they know which ones are most relevant and helpful?” And that is an excellent question. Google – and every other search engine – has algorithms for the web crawlers to use. While Google doesn’t share the full algorithm, it is known to include the following factors:
- Mobile optimization
- Page speed
- Internal and external links
- High-quality content
- On-page optimization
- User experience
Each of these factors and more is given a certain weight which helps the crawlers determine where in the search results a website should rank. Given that these exact algorithms are not shared, there really is no perfect formula for SEO. However, there are plenty of steps that have shown to have a significant impact on a website rating, some of which are listed below.
Steps to Successful SEO
These are just a few steps to help get you started.
Provide Helpful Content
Your content is absolutely crucial to SEO. Anything you share needs to be relevant to your audience and answer the question they are asking.
It also needs to be unique, which can seem nearly impossible when the Internet is flooded with information. However, it is certainly possible.
Yes, there may be thousands of blog topics similar to yours online, but none of them are written by you. You have a unique perspective and a unique voice. As long as you are writing the content yourself and not simply copying someone else’s, your content will be as unique as you are.
Having links to your website helps to set you up as an authority in your field, which makes the web crawlers view you as an important source. If you provide helpful content that ranks, other websites will start linking to you naturally over time.
However, this can take some time. In the meantime, consider utilizing SEO link building services to speed up the process.
Create a Sitemap
A sitemap is a way for you to put all of your important pages directly in the path of web crawlers. While they can find these pages on their own, creating a sitemap makes it easier on them, which can help improve your rankings.
SEO is an important aspect of business and one you shouldn’t put off due to a lack of time or understanding. Consider, instead, outsourcing your SEO tasks. You can do so permanently or simply until you gain a better understanding of the process.