As a small business owner and marketing professional, I get asked about SEO all the time. SEO can be hard to understand if you have an old-school approach to business or a brand new business with no previous startup experience. Sure, you may know that SEO stands for search engine optimization. And, that’s a start!
In this article, we’re going to go over some basics of SEO just to give you an understanding of how SEO tactics will work for you and your website to help grow your business.
Define SEO, Exactly
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of organically, or naturally, generating traffic from major search engines through non-paid methods. SEO is the process of proving to the search engines that your website is a relevant and useful result for important keywords and phrases.
How Search Engines Work
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing evaluate websites based on a large number of factors to determine the best results to display to the individual conducting the search.
In order to get listed on the first page of Google’s search results for a certain keyword, a business owner will need to make sure that their website fits Google’s ranking algorithm standards. There are many factors used to build these algorithms, some very complicated. It would be impossible to optimize a site perfectly for all the factors.
Additionally, the search engines are constantly learning and revamping their metrics and algorithms, so their factors are constantly changing as well. They do this as they find more ways to ensure that the very best, most informative, most useful sites are ranked the highest. It is best to remember that the search engines are simply trying to provide the best searching experience for their customers. By remembering this simple principle, your own SEO efforts will be much more effective.
From Little Things, Big Things Grow
Good SEO is an accumulation of many small tasks that don’t make a lot of impact on their own, but add up slowly for huge impact. For SEO to be effective, there are a few tactics in place that are consistently among the most heavily scrutinized (and rewarded) tactics by search engines.
Focusing on having a lot of engaging and informative content on your sites is one of the most important factors of SEO.
Good use of meta tags, descriptions, and titles let the search engines know what your website is all about. These items also show up on the search engines results page, so it’s good for both search engines and searchers.
Stay focused on your keywords that you want to optimize for. When you optimize for the right keywords, you’ll have a lot more success than trying to rank well for everything.
The most important thing about SEO is to try and be the most useful website out there for your field, vertical, or product. Be informative for people and by so doing, you’ll also gain the trust of the search engines, so that they are more likely to rank you higher on the search results pages.
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