SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of optimizing a website or webpage to improve the ranking of a website on search engine results pages (SERPS). The goal for most businesses is to increase their website traffic and rank high for targeted search terms or phrases on search engines like Google. There are many benefits that come with SEO, such as free and traffic to your website each month. If you have a website and want people to find and see it, you should care about optimizing your site.
SEO works by demonstrating to search engines that your content is the best result for the topic at hand. This is because all search engines have a goal to show the best and most relevant results to their users. Below, we will explain SEO and its key components of success even further.
Before you worry about whether or not your website is optimized, you need to know what you want it to be optimized for. This is why you need to do keyword research. You need to understand how your target audience search for your products or services. After you do some basic research on this, you can then prioritize which terms you want your website to show up for in search engine results. Once you know what you are targeting, you can then start worrying about how to optimize your website for those terms.
An easy way to understand what factors impact how well your website is optimized is to consider which tactics that are done/are part of your website compared to those that occur somewhere else. If you haven’t done the basic on-site tactics well, then your off-site strategies will have less impact. While there are many components to having successful on-site optimization, below are 4 of the main success factors.
- Everything starts with content when it comes to website effectiveness. This includes SEO. Does your site provide relevant and useful content related to the search terms you’re targeting? Is your sitemap structured to easily find content?
- Foundational Elements & Best Practices
- This area is critical for any organization designing and developing a new website. You’ll need to make sure that whoever is building your site understands website optimization and includes SEO implementation. Foundational elements include items such as website architecture, URL structure, website speed and page load time, meta descriptions, and blog structure.
- Mobile-Friendly Website Development
- Nowadays, most website browsing is done on mobile devices. So it’s critical for usability, engagement, and website optimization for your website is mobile-friendly. In 2015, Google started penalizing non-mobile sites in their ranking algorithm, which pushed web browsers towards sites that are easier to navigate and engage with.
- Content Marketing
- As you develop your website and digital marketing strategy, you should also focus on your long-term content marketing plan. You need to think through how your website can become your marketing engine and what type of content works best for you. The message should always be that strong content adds credibility to your organization and enhances search results.
Off-site optimization refers to strategies or tactics that are executed somewhere beside your own website, but positively impact your website’s search engine rankings. Once you have the baseline established, off-site tactics can help take your site to the next level.
- Links to Your Website
- An easy way to think about links to your website is that each link from a reputable and relevant site is like a vote for your site to show up higher on search results pages. A link from a trusted website is worth more than a link from a smaller site.
- Social Marketing
Social marketing initiatives support search engine optimization objectives in a number of ways. With social media sites, they provide relevant links to your website. They are also a perfect place to post content from your website or new content that relates to your sites. Companies with significant followings on social media will positively impact SEO results.