Understanding How SEO Works
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is perhaps the least most understood science within the website development and digital marketing industries. There are many agencies and professionals that claim to provide SEO, but only a few actually understand what it takes to make it work as intended. In order to have effective Search Engine Optimization on your website, you must first learn how SEO works, and how search engines think.
The Business of Search Engines, and their influence on how SEO works.
To understand how SEO works, you must first understand that the search engine industry is in fact a business. All major search engines including Google, Bing, and Yahoo all strive to provide their search traffic with the best possible results to maintain a high user loyalty.
Search engines profit from businesses and organizations buying paid ads through their services. To encourage those businesses to purchase their paid ad services, they need a steady flow of search traffic to increase the chances of ad exposure.
The search engine industry actually hates SEO Agencies like ours, and they hate us for a good reason. It is cheaper to maintain a higher position in search engines with SEO than it is to continuously remain as the highest bidder in pay-per-click advertisement.
It is also a fact that search traffic by majority prefer the organic search results over the paid links. This is why SEO is still vital for companies that are actively seeking exposure, their reach, and increase conversions or sales.
How SEO Works With Keywords and Key-Phrases
When you search for something through a search engine, you are essentially asking the search engine a question, and it is basically providing you the most relevant answers.
In order to hold a favorable position in the search results, your page must be the most relevant answer possible to the question that is being asked. These questions and answers are what we call keywords and key-phrases.
Using the right keywords or key-phrases is the most important factor with search engine optimization. Professional keyword research must be done to determine the most searched terms used by your target audience.
Creating your Website For SEO
Believe it or not, effective SEO actually begins with your website’s design and code. Everything from your page load speed, mobile responsiveness, content structure, code validity, and the code to text ratio plays a factor in how well your page may perform in the search engines. Poorly created websites may signal a poor user experience, and since search engines want to provide the best possible results to their traffic a positive user experience is very important.
It is also important to know that search engines do not rank websites, they rank web pages. So when creating your website, each page should be treated as its own independent chapter based on its chosen keyword or key-phrase. Your pages should be rich in unique (non-duplicated) content that is relevant to the chosen keyword or phrase. Content is king with SEO, and usually the sites that have more of it (granted that it is unique and relevant) tend to rank higher than the ones with less.
The idea of optimal SEO is to attempt to be the most relevant, fresh, and informative source for the keyword or phrase you are looking to rank for. Maintaining an attractive, user-friendly website that is well designed will also increase your chances for a positive user experience which will lower bounce rates and signal a quality result to the search engines.
How SEO Works with ‘Offsite’ Optimization
A website linking to your website is basically receiving a vote for trust, especially if the website that is linking to you is of a related industry. Search engines will measure the vote based on the quality of the website that links to you, and the authority of the domain. If the website is of low quality, it could actually hurt your optimization rather than help it. So this goes without saying that buying backlinks is highly advised against.
The other vote that counts is social shares, search engines (in particular Google) measures social shares as the user vote, and it appears to count more than backlinks in some cases. Remember, it is all about the user experience and providing quality content to their traffic. Social shares tend to signal a positive user experience, one so quality that a user has elected to share their experience with their friends.
Do note that buying social shares in an attempt to trick the search engines may have a reverse effect… attempting to trick or scam search engines in anyway is bad practice and can eventually get your website blacklisted in the search results.
Wrapping up How SEO Works
Each search provider has their very own proprietary algorithm, search formulas, databases, and search software that they use to remain competitive in their own industry. It is the job for search engine optimization professionals to stay up-to-date with how SEO works with each of these major search providers, what their software looks for, and how they rank websites based on those factors. If you are interested in learning how your website is performing in the search engines contact us for a complete SEO analysis.