What is SEO and Why is it Important?
When getting hired for my job here at Noticestry, I had no understanding of the back end of websites, what went into promoting online content or why any of that really mattered. I thought if there was content to be posted, that was all that really mattered, right? Well, I quickly learned that I was very wrong in that assumption. Our web developer was very patient while she explained to me the importance of different behind the scenes parts and pieces. One of those was SEO. So, if you’re like I was, and don’t really have much of an idea as to what SEO is, read along and learn why it is so important for your business.
So, let’s start with the basics, what the heck is SEO? It stands for Search Engine Optimization. Its function is to maximize the number of visitors to a website by making sure that website appears high on the list of results when being searched on a search engine, like Google. SEO is a process of getting traffic from the free and organic search results on search engines rather than paid advertisements. Search engines have different algorithms that help to rank websites in order of information they contain that is related to what is being searched. SEO helps to make sure that your website contains the different ingredients to match the search engine’s recipe for ranking, ensuring the best results for your website.
There are a few pieces that search engines look at that are important to SEO:
WORDS: Search engines account for every word on the web. This helps them to narrow down search results to ones that are only about those specific words searched.
TITLES: Each page on the web has a specific title, but you may not be aware of it because it is in code. Search engines look at these titles to summarize the page, just like a book title would summarize a book. It’s important that your title includes keywords that summarize information in your article that might be searched.
LINKS: Links between websites matter. When one website links to another, it means that website has good information. The more links a website has, the better it looks to a search engine.
WORDS IN LINKS: If you have a word linked with a website, the search engine can connect the two and realize that website is a good source for that information. For instance, if a website says, “Amazon has a lot of books” the engine can connect “book” and “Amazon”, linking to Amazon being a good source.
REPUTATION: Sites with consistent and fresh information as well as growing, quality links may do better in search rankings than those that do not.
Understanding these broad pieces of what the search engines use in their algorithms can help to craft the keywords you use on your webpages. The more relevant your information is to what is being searched, the higher you will be ranked and the more people will be connected to your webpage.
So, what does this mean for your business? You want your website, social media, or whatever is associated with your company to be one of the first things that pop up when your industry is searched. This leads to more site visits and inevitably more business. The more people who can view the services your company offers, the more likely you are to gain them as a client.
There are many free tools out there that can help you to figure out if the words on your webpage are being searched. Here are just a few:
- SEO Stack Keyword Tool: You can search keywords on your webpage in this tool and it will tell you it’s search rank on different search engines.
- Keywords Everywhere: This tool helps you to see the search volume of your keyword when it’s searched in Google. The higher the search volume is, the more that word is being looked up which means it’s a good keyword for your website.
- Wordtracker Scout: This tool allows you to go to your favorite websites and view the best keywords they use. The bigger the words show up, the more relevant they are to the volume of what is being searched.
The culmination of these free tools can help you to know what is being searched so you can then optimize those words on your webpage. Understanding the different pieces of the puzzle can help you to make sure you have the right pieces on your website to match the algorithms of the search engine. This can then ensure that your webpage will be ranked higher in the search results for the relevant information that they hold.
While content is very important, your great content won’t reach its maximum potential unless you optimize the use of SEO. Whether you feel this is something you can learn about on your own, or you feel more comfortable hiring an expert, SEO is a very important resource to utilize. Don’t let your time developing fantastic content go to waste because it wasn’t adequately positioned on the search engine. While this article only really gave a surface explanation as to what SEO is, follow along with the rest of our blog to find out more specifics into how SEO actually works!