A basic explanation of what is SEO and why it’s important

Image courtesy of Pixabay and geralt

Image courtesy of Pixabay and geralt

If you have a website, chances are you’ve heard a lot of talk and hype around having good SEO, and we’ve written articles about it in the past. You might understand that SEO important, but you might not understand why it’s important, or how it really works. We’ll explain what this website strategy is and  why developing SEO is worth your time and effort.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and refers to how easy it is for search engines (like Google and Bing) to index your site. When a search engine indexes a site, it basically means the search engine “crawls” the site and creates a record of the content so it knows where to send people for information. The goal with SEO is to design a site that is easy for search engines to crawl. There are a whole host of things that factor into making your site attractive to search engines.

How does SEO work?

SEO works on a pretty simple principle: do the right things, get higher ranking. The prize in the SEO game is being the #1 ranked site for your target key search words and phrases. Search engines are constantly crawling and re-crawling the internet to stay current with all the constant information updates and changes added to websites. The new information is indexed, and sites are ranked according to how well they index. Thus, the ranking is always shifting. The higher the ranking, the closer to the top of the search results list a website is.

Some things that contribute to how high your website gets ranked are backlinks, keyword use, your site’s age, how often you post new content, overall website traffic, bounce rate, whether or not you have a sitemap, and more. This article gives some practical, easy things you can do to make sure your website is friendly to search engines without needing to be a web programmer.

There are different methods you can use to get high ranking with search engines, but not all are recommended. If you choose to have a professional help you with your website’s SEO, know what kind of methods they use. There are proven SEO strategies that can take a little longer to gain traction, but will build long-term results. There are also ways to “cheat” the system to get results faster, but this may result in a site using these tactics being banned and should be avoided.

Why bother with SEO?

Practicing good SEO is how you make sure you get the most out of your website. The entire goal of your website is to get visitors, who hopefully become customers. A website with good SEO will get sent more visitors. Simply being passive about your website’s SEO isn’t an option if you want to see your site become a lead-generating resource for your business.

Helpful SEO hints:

  • Since information is constantly changing on the internet, creating good SEO for your website is not a one-time deal, it’s a process you have to be consistently improving.
  • Start with a good set of key words and phrases you want to be found for and structure your site around those.
  • Use analytics to measure how well your site is doing with SEO. Gauging these statistics will help you determine whether visitors to your site are finding the information they’re looking for, what topics are particularly interesting to your audience, and where your traffic comes from.

What are your tips? What has worked well for you?

 

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