What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Since the dawn of the internet in the early 90s, web users have invariably turned to search engines to find information. Along with the rise of search engine use came the opportunity for web developers and site owners to find ways to appear at the top of the listings on the search engine results page (SERP).
So along came Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the practice of trying to optimize your website so it appears higher on the SERP for the keywords you want searchers to find you under. SEO became particularly important when statistics showed that an overwhelming number of searchers never even look past the first page of search results. The same is true today, but searchers are becoming even more selective, where the overwhelming majority of us only select listings that are in the top 3 positions.
The strategies for SEO have changed significantly over the years, and will only continue to change as the 3 major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) alter their respective search algorithms. Still, as a website owner there are things you must always do in order to ensure higher placement on the SERP.
1. Be Trustworthy
One of the main factors in every search engine’s algorithm is something that’s known as trust rank. Trust rank is hard to define in the search engine world, but there are still a number of questions you must ask yourself in order to improve your trust rank in the eyes of search engines.
- Is the information on your website believable?
- Do you make promises in your copy that you can keep?
- Do you invite your users to interact with the site’s content?
- Is your site free of spammy messages and/or solicited links?
- Are sites that link to you trustworthy?
2. Get Linked
Links are considered to be the main currency used on the internet, because they are the most straight-forward way of determining a site’s trust. But you can’t just get any link to your site to improve your trust rank. Here’s what to look for in a quality link:
- Does the link come from a website related to my industry?
- Does the link come from a web page or article that relates to my website’s content?
- Do all the links that come to my site say the same thing (e.g. click here) or look the same way (e.g. text vs. image)?
- Do the links come from an established site with a high level of trust rank?
3. Stay Organized
An organized site is a crucial step in SEO, as it improves a user’s experience as well as a search engine’s ability to “index” your site. Here are some examples of organizing your content in a way that search engine’s can appreciate:
- Create pages for every product, service, and article that you offer.
- Label your pages with relevant title tags and heading tags.
- Make your site navigation easy to use.
While the subject of SEO is far more complex than what is presented above, keeping these points in mind when developing your site will give you a good foundation for improving your search engine ranks over time. If you would like to get your website optimized for the search engines, but are too overwhelmed to take on the task yourself, please contact us for a free estimate on your SEO needs.