Basics of SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is methodology used to improve ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Consumers look for businesses online, which provides business owners with a tremendous opportunity to grow their customer base. When SEO is done skillfully and over a course of time, a business website can consistently be listed ahead of the competition in search results. Only about 8% of consumers venture to the second page of SERPs. SEO is important because it helps a business gain website visitors. The best SEO also results in a high volume of conversions. After all, the ultimate purpose for striving to increase website traffic is to increase profits.
Google, Bing, Yahoo!, YouTube, and other search engines each have a set of parameters which determine where websites are listed in search results. The goal of the algorithm programming is to ensure that the best websites that seem to be what the user is looking for land at the top. Those sites are determined to deserve top billing by virtue of the algorithms.
When search engines were first available in the 1990s, many web marketers aggressively sought ways to trick the search bots and earn top listing for their clients. These eventually became short-lived victories, as the algorithms have continually been tweaked, to identify and penalize those using “black hat” SEO methods to fake out the system. Such websites are either temporarily or permanently removed from the possibility of being found in search results.
Algorithms have gotten incredibly intuitive, and search results aren’t strictly based on keyword matches anymore. Associations can also come into play.
Keywords are the primary method for communicating with search bots. It requires experience, knowledge, and skill to handle keywords in a way that yields top results. SEO resources are available to help make educated judgments about which keywords should be used on a particular website and individual pages to improve SEO.
Many of the black hat methods that were formerly so common often used keywords in their misguided pursuits of top ranking. Keyword stuffing, for example, was a common practice that completely detracted from what the search engines were trying to achieve. With keyword stuffing, the desired keyword is used excessively, removing the possibility that the content can have any quality to readers. Before algorithms became more sophisticated, these black hat keyword strategies managed to put undeserving websites in positions of top ranking, though the success was short-lived and eventually carried crippling penalties.
An important signal that Google looks for is whether or not a website is designed to give users a positive experience, whether they access the site on a desktop or on a hand-held device, such as a smartphone. If a website is not mobile friendly, it will be pushed back in search results. Considering that the majority of business searches are done on tablets, smartphones, and other small devices, this is an algorithm that makes a lot of sense.
These are among the bare basics of SEO. Flywheel Marketing covers these basics, content marketing, and much more. In fact, the way social media marketing has become a dominant component of online marketing, it arguably belongs in the list of fundamentals.
Learn more how we can boost your website traffic by contacting us at Flywheel today.