Search Engine Optimization refers to improving the placement of your website in the organic search results of search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing for selected keywords or phrases related to your business.
Before you can understand exactly what SEO is, you need a background understanding of how the search engines work and how they determine the rank of websites in their search results. You also need to understand the difference between organic search engine results and paid search engine results.
Each search engine uses a different set of criteria to determine exactly what sites are “most relevant” for each search term — these are known as the search engine ranking algorithms. The algorithms take many factors into account and in Google’s case, there are over 200 different factors that are used to determine a site’s ranking. These algorithms are changed and updated constantly, so a large part of Search Engine Optimization is keeping up to date with the important factors in the search engine ranking algorithms.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO involves making onsite changes to your website and completing offsite tasks to increase its search engine friendliness. The more the search engines “like” your website the more likely they are to rank it highly in the search results. The search engines try to determine and return the websites that will be most relevant and useful for each search completed. The more useful the results, the more people will use the search engine and the more revenue the search engine will make.
Onsite Search Engine Optimization (SEO) incorporates any changes made specifically to the website’s content or code. There are hundreds of known aspects of both website coding and content that are believed to increase a website’s attractiveness to the search engines. These can include things such as:
- Website layout and structure
- Proper use of HTML tags
- The inclusion of keywords in prominent positions and content
- And many, many more
Offsite SEO entails building your website’s prominence on the wider web. The search engines not only look at your website’s code and content to determine how it will rank in the search results but also how it appears in the broader online community.
A large part of Search Engine Optimization involves increasing your website’s endorsements or recommendations by building inbound links from other websites to yours. Each inbound link that comes from another website to yours can be seen as a recommendation that your website is a valuable source of information and hence should be displayed more highly in the search results.
Generating inbound links to your website can be a difficult task and often happens naturally over time — however, the process can often be expedited using various techniques such as:
- Make sure your website is listed in relevant, trustworthy online directories
- Creating valuable, interesting content that other websites will want to link to
- Being an active online community member on forums, blogs, and online discussions
- Creating an active social media campaign and generating interest via social interaction
- And many, many more
A successful SEO campaign has to incorporate many different things, including in-depth keyword research to determine the keywords most relevant for your business; a balance of onsite and offsite SEO; a balance of user-friendliness versus search engine friendliness; ongoing review, testing and reporting; and consistent offsite SEO activity.
WebSuitable has a dedicated Online Marketing department which specializes in Search Engine Optimization. If you would like WebSuitable to manage your SEO campaign so you can focus on your business, learn more about SEO or call +1 (877) 293-9932 to speak to one of our SEO specialists.