SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a method of increasing your visibility in Search Engine results – in non-tech terms – it helps Google find you when your prospects are searching for what you do. I’ve heard clients speak about SEO (either directly or indirectly) as sometimes “tacky”, because when done badly, its glaringly obvious. You’ve seen these sites, where the content doesn’t make sense because there are too many keywords “unnaturally” in the text.
So, why do we do SEO?
First, it begins with an understanding of what your prospects are likely to type into a search engine, and then making sure your website has those keywords naturally throughout its content. Let’s look at a real-world example; if you go to the new grocery store that you haven’t been to before to find salsa, where are you going to go? How are you going to search? When you think “Mexican”, you are applying keywords to your thought process. Find the “Mexican” aisle and you’ll find plenty of salsa options. Now some people may think of salsa -> nacho chips -> snack food aisle, so most likely you’ll also find salsa there, but perhaps a few number of choices. But notice that some brands are in both spots, because they know that both aisles will attract consumers looking for salsa, some may be deliberately looking (Mexican aisle) while others may stumble upon salsa (snack food aisle) while looking for something else. Your grocery merchants predict this behavior by studying the buying habits of individuals and how they search a store.
Your website is no different. Good SEO looks at the search habits of your prospects and strategically develops a plan to organically attract these prospects to your site, by helping them find you. If they’re warm leads (prompting their search), then you want to be at the top of the search results.
Now let’s add the element that more than ever before, searches are being done on mobile devices. Since mobile devices have much smaller screen sizes then laptop/desktop PC’s, being ranked higher on the search (fitting on the screen without scrolling), is a huge advantage.
Search engines are getting smarter about how they interpret keywords on your site. They’re not just looking for a paragraph with content containing keywords. They’re looking at all of your content on your website, including social media and your blog. Search engines want to see consistent relevant content, not just a static paragraph or two overloaded with links and keywords. What does this mean? SEO is a journey, not just a destination. It is ongoing, and involves understanding trends, changing algorithms, and consistently evaluating what can be better.
And right now, for the purpose of this article, we are just talking about keywords (and really only scratching the surface). SEO is also about external links, the anchor text of your external links, and the quality of link sources. We haven’t even touched on that yet.
Two great resources on SEO can be found below, and …