Unlocking the Secret of Search Engines
SEO is a popular buzzword used in marketing; so if you’re new to writing or marketing, it might even be you who’s asking the question, what is SEO? Well, according to dictionary.com, search engine optimization (SEO) consists of, “the methods used to boost the ranking or frequency of a website in results returned by a search engine, in an effort to maximize user traffic to the site”. But what exactly does that all mean and why is it so important to businesses? What IS SEO?
There are two sides to this equation.
On one side we have search engines – the most popular, of course, being Google. Then there’s Yahoo, Ask.com, Bing, and hundreds of other popular search engines. Each of these has its own unique algorithm that dictates which sites and posts rank for different “keywords” that are used online.
For example, if you were to run a Google search for the term, “flowers”, Google is likely to return results that include large florists and flower delivery services that have applied SEO principles for that keyword.
Now, on the other side of the equation is you – whether you’re a writer, marketer, or small business owner. You play a huge role in optimizing content for search engines, as you’re trying to propose your content as the answer to a consumer’s question. This is important because you want to bring more users to your site and convert them into customers, right?
Millions of people run Google searches daily. Per Hubspot, roughly 75% of Internet users never leave the first page of results.
So, if you want to generate more site traffic, you’re going to want to do everything within your power to rank on the first page for keywords that are specific to your niche.
Now that we’ve answered the question “what is SEO?” and have a greater understanding of the basics, it’s time to look at what we can do to optimize our original content for search engines.
On-Page SEO vs. Off-Page SEO
The more you explore the world of SEO, the more you’ll hear about two different types of optimization: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO consists of your typical search engine priming, like using keywords, meta tags, title tags, and so on. These are elements that exist on your site’s page. Off-page SEO, on the other hand, consists of guest posting on other sites, circulating content via social media, and link building, among other methods that are, for the most part, executed externally.
Sometimes writers and marketers get so immersed in on-page SEO that they neglect off-page SEO altogether.
Using the two search engine optimization methods in harmony is the only way you’re going to rank for your keyword and have a chance at maintaining that spot. So, it’s important to be thorough when optimizing your content!
Are you ready to try SEO for yourself? If you already have experience with SEO, what have you found to be the most important factors for ranking? Share with us in the comments below!