Did you know that the majority of online experiences begin with a search engine, and nearly 75% of inquiries start on Google?
How about the fact that the first five results on Google get 67% of all clicks? Crazy, right?
You’ve probably heard this before, but search engine optimization, or SEO, is the secret to getting your content recognized on a broader spectrum.
But What is SEO?
According to HubSpot, SEO, is “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.”
In simpler terms, SEO is the process of optimizing your online content from the back end so that a search engine will display it as a top result for searches of a particular keyword.
For example, let’s say you write a blog post about digital marketing trends, you’d want the search engine to show it as a top result to anyone searching “digital marketing trends”, right? SEO is the formula that makes that possible.
Using SEO can put you ahead of the competition. If two websites are selling the same thing, the search engine optimized website is will likely have more viewers, and in turn have more sales.
How Google Ranks Content
You’re probably wondering, “How can I optimize my content for Google to understand?” The answer to that question is a bit more complex than you may think.
Search engines have one goal only: to provide users with the most relevant information based on their search inquiry.
Even though search engines have become increasingly sophisticated, they still can't see and understand a web page the same way a human can. SEO helps the engines figure out what each page is about, and how it may be useful for users. Sometimes SEO is simply a matter of making sure your site is structured in a way that search engines understand.
To deliver the right information to users, search engines analyze two factors:
- Relevancy between the search query and the content on a page. Search engines assess this by using a variety of factors, like topic or keywords.
- Authority is then measured by a website’s popularity on the Internet. Google assumes that the more popular a page or resource is, the more valuable is its content to readers.
There are a ton of ways to improve the SEO of your site pages. Search engines look for elements including title tags, keywords, image tags, internal link structure, and inbound links (also known as backlinks). And that's just to name a few.
Search engines keep their algorithms secret. But over time, SEOs have identified some of the factors they consider when ranking a page. We refer to them as ranking factors, and they are the focus of any SEO strategy. Some of the most prominent ranking factors include:
- Keyword Usage
- Site Structure
- Site Speed
- Time spent on site
- Number of inbound clicks
- Quality of inbound links
The algorithm is designed and created by humans, however, the rankings given to websites are solely determined by the outcome of the algorithm. There’s no manual intervention by humans to adjust the rankings specific websites are given by the algorithm.
Search engines also look at site structure and design, visitor behavior, and other external, off-site factors to determine how highly ranked your site should be in their SERPs.
Adding more content, optimizing image filenames, or improving internal links can affect your rankings and search visibility, so be sure to consider all these factors before publishing your next post!
Wrapping it up
Nowadays, search engine optimization is more important than ever and it’s necessary for anyone publishing content to the internet. If you own a business or manage a website of any kind, be sure to consider some of these basic guidelines to improve your online presence and ultimately reach your goals!