What is SEO?
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is a method of promoting content based on almost invisible details implemented strategically on your website. Have you ever wondered why the top Google results are what they are? It’s because smart developers utilize SEO to enhance their searchability.
The primary use of SEO is to make small, meaningful improvements to your website. This better helps users find your content, providing them with a curated browsing experience. When users see your content at the front page of Google, they’ll know it’s because your website is optimized.
Marketing strategies traditionally revolve around flashy, eye-catching spectacle. Thankfully for both you and your viewers, SEO focuses more on subtle adjustments to keep online traffic high. So don’t worry about having to throw around bright colors or nonsense phrases, you can instead increase your visibility with just a few smart words.
There are many types of SEO, but the primary two are “on-page” and “off-page”. On-page SEO is a process that, by using keywords and meta tags, affects the content itself to make it easier for search engines to find you. This can be done using copy or within the source code of your site itself.
Off-page SEO is more about how your website appears from the outside. The first thing anyone sees when they go to your page is the URL, so how appealing is that link? Does it appear often on other websites? Will people click it at all? These are the kinds of questions pertinent to off-page SEO.
Activists use SEO to distribute powerful messages, and restaurants use it to appear on local Facebook pages. Buying, selling, promoting, lambasting, whatever your purpose, if you want more successful content, SEO is your go-to tool.
Who is SEO for, and why should you use it?
Any business that wants to seriously make the most of their internet presence will use SEO. Blog content, social media, private websites, even well-known engines like YouTube, all of these require proper management and care in order to make the most of them. Online metrics are based entirely on traffic. As such, small business may use SEO to get their names out there, while larger ones may use it to maintain their current trajectory.
If you want to create basic awareness for your website, this is a good way to do so. Standard promotion on social media sites may work, but people most often look for things on Google, so bringing yourself to the top spot there is essential to gaining interest. Otherwise, your great content may be buried under the veritable flood of Twitter notifications.
Special, time-limited events require you to promote your content more aggressively. Charity drives and special deals alike need to appear more prominently to draw attention, so organizers should do whatever it takes to reach the forefront of your browsing experience. By properly adjusting your keywords, you can set yourself up for success without compromising integrity or falling into the trap of “limited time only” offers.
With all of that said, there are many times where SEO might not be as helpful. Clickbait is one of those instances where your efforts to create appealing content will backfire, causing many to discredit or ignore your work. Be intelligent and be informed. Blindly following trends may hurt more than it helps.
Of course, it is not easy to manage everything on your own. SEO, while essential, is time-consuming. Making incremental adjustments to your website is harder than it looks, so how should you go about it?
The first way is to become an SEO yourself. While the job has no formal requirements or degrees, and is not currently taught at universities, you can find certification for such on certain websites. This will allow you to do the work yourself, at little cost.
Unfortunately, not everybody has the time or skills to properly learn or perform SEO. In this case, it is best for you to find someone who does have the required skills to do it for you.
As when hiring anybody for anything, SEO experts are plentiful, but you shouldn’t lose your head seeing all the options. Your priority when looking for an expert is to understand your audience.
Who are you marketing this to? Search results are based on many more factors than just content; they also take into account users’ locations, their histories, and much, much more.
Someone in Chicago who wants improved SEO rankings may search for experts within Chicago itself, so that their content matches what people in that area are searching for. After all, there’s little use promoting a family restaurant in one state to people from another.
On the other hand, people love familiarity, so they may look for content that matches their interests. You’ve seen the “cookies” request on every website; that’s how those sites target ads and content to your interests. Similarly, SEOs for, say, a lotion brand will want their website to appear more often than competitors’ when customers Google “good lotion brands”.
SEO experts do all of this and more for you. They may even act as leads to gather interest, and therefore clicks, depending on their services. Be patient, though, because SEO campaigns can take time to garner results. Still, the payoff is well worth it, so consider hiring an expert to help if you need it.
There’s a lot that goes into managing a website, and many underutilize the tools they have. Search engines are the most prominent resources available to you in this age of online marketing, so they should also be your focus when building interest. Use Google well, and you’ll be able to accomplish any goal.
Your foray into the world of SEO starts with you. Do you want to be an SEO master, or do you need someone else to cover it for you? Whatever choice you make, you’ll be sure to help your website be the best it can be.