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What is SEO Anyway?

  • Written by The Bulletin

Search engine optimization or SEO is the way in which businesses obtain traffic specific to their website organically. According to WebsiteStrategies there are some common tasks that are associated with SEO and they include adding optimized content that uses keywords specific to your niche and building quality backlinks. SEO helps to improve the rank of your website for free, the only cost to you is sweat equity, or if you hire an SEO professional, the fees that they charge to you.

What is SEO?

SEO is a series of methodologies and techniques the will improve your web page’s visibility in the search engines. When SEO is implemented correctly, a web page can appear as a first result in a search for a specific keyword or a key phrase. This position is called “rank” in SEO speak. When a web page is ranked high and appears on the first page of the SERP then people are most likely to click on the link to the page. As a page starts to receive more visitors they can convert them to customers, followers or readers. Although the process of SEO sounds simple and straightforward it does take some effort.

The First Step: Publish the Web Page

The starting point of SEO is to publish your website. Each page located on your website is distinct when it comes to Google. Your home page is considered a single page. Google indexes all the pages on a site individually instead of the whole website. This is the main reason why optimizing your individual pages is so important. You also need to consider the structure of your website, particularly how each page is connected to another through internal links.

The Second Step: Have Search Engine Robots Crawl Your Website

Once your webpages are published Google needs to find them. The process that Google uses is to send out robots which are commonly referred to as “spiders” because they “crawl” your site. The spiders crawl over your site’s pages and follow all outbound and inbound links to discover as much information about your site as possible which is why link building is so important. Robots do not recognize images, videos or sound clips. Therefore, you need to add text in the form of captions so that the spiders can crawl this content too.

Once Google spiders have crawled your page, they report back to the search engine with the data collected to be analyzed. The tools used to analyze the data is a formula known as the algorithm which determines how significant a page is which is based on keywords or questions that people search.

The Third Step: Your Page Rank is Determined by the Search Engine Algorithm

Once your website has been crawled and data collected, the search engine will evaluate and interpret that data. The search engine now knows the idea behind the main keywords found on each page of your site and this will determine the relevance of your pages in relation to other similar sites. Your site’s relevance will determine its authority. The relative importance of your webpage is determined by metrics which include your external links along with the influence of websites that have links to yours. Relevance is also determined by your meta description text, amongst other things.

The Fourth Step: Your Page is Indexed by the Search Engines

Once your site is up and running and there are no serious problems or issues, it will be ranked and indexed by the search engines. When someone types in specific keywords (not a general broad search) then your site should come up if your keywords are searched.

The Fifth Step: Your Web Page is Displayed in the SERP of the Search Engines

Once your page appears in the SERP (search engine results page) then it has been properly optimized. This means that if people are searching for your page using Google or any other search engine and they search for your service or page it should show up. Keywords are only one part of SEO. There are many factors which will determine the rank of your web page. These will include the quality of the links that point to your page from other sites and sharing on social media.

It is important to keep your website updated. Google will stop paying attention to your site if there is nothing new to read, so one way to keep your site up to date is to use a blog attached to it. Every time you add a blog post, Google will reward you by pushing your site to the top of the SERPs.

If you think of your website as a restaurant, how many people would visit that restaurant if the menu and décor was never changed in more than 10 years. What if there were never any specials or promotions? What if nothing new and exciting was ever introduced? How many people would go to that restaurant? People want something new and fresh that catches their attention and that is why you need to keep your content updated and fresh.

The more value that you provide to people, the more they will read your content and page and share it. This will generate more traffic to your site and increase your rank. This is the basic premise of SEO, and it is a simple concept. The main issue is to do SEO correctly at the beginning to ensure that your site is ranked properly. One of the best ways to achieve this is to contact an SEO professional that can ensure that your SEO is done right from the beginning. This is advisable because a professional is accustomed to all the steps necessary to ensuring that your site is ranked correctly the first time. If you were to try to do this process yourself and did not have experience, it would take you a much longer amount of time.

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