SEO – Search Engine Optimization – it’s one of those buzzwords that gets thrown around all the time. But, what is it? Why does it work? Throughout August, we’re going to take a closer look at SEO and how it affects your web presence.

What is SEO?

Optimizing your website with SEO rich text helps search engines, like the popular powerhouse Google, determine where your website is displayed within their organic search results. Your ranking is determined by how relevant the search engine believes your site to be.

Search engines determine relevancy by a number of factors, but the one you have the most control over is how your site’s content is crawled and evaluated.

Submitting your site to Google and Bing is a really important step because it tells search engines your website exists and what links are available to be crawled and indexed. Not every page will be indexed, but at least search engines will know where to find you.

Crawling is accomplished through complex algorithms. This means a computer, not a human, determines how relevant your content is. While we don’t know the exact algorithms, we do have a general idea about their basis. And, we know that they’re becoming more intuitive every day.

In the past, web developers could use a technique called keyword stuffing. By simply packing a page with a specific search term used multiple times, they could increase a website’s rank. This no longer works. In fact, it hurts your website’s SEO rank.

Today, the algorithms are based on factors including:

  • Topic/Relevancy (to the search)
  • Engagement
  • Shares and Inbound Links
  • Expertise

SEO rich text – text which has the appropriate search terms – is very important. But, if the search engine believes your content is not valuable to your audience, they’ll lower your ranking in the organic search results. More importantly – if your content isn’t valuable – you’ll lose any audience you might already have.

Why Does SEO Work?

By creating a history of high quality content, rich with SEO terms for which your audience searches, you establish yourself as an expert. You foster engagement. You encourage shares, such as on Social Media platforms. All of these factors combine into a web presence the search engines recognize as relevant.

Relevancy increases your website’s rank. It helps you be displayed in the top search results. It attracts more visitors to your website, gains you new leads, and gives your business another avenue to develop relationships.

Why does SEO work? Because a website with a strong SEO presence helps your business grow.

In the next few weeks we’re going to address the difference between reader friendly content and SEO rich content. We’re going to look at some helpful SEO tips, tools, and best practices. We’re diving in. We’re exploring. So, if you have any SEO questions you know you want addressed, shoot us an email. We’d love to explore them with you.

Want more information about Google's search results right now? Check out this really cool search results page breakdown by Google.