What is SEO and How Does it Work?
In this blog post, we’ll cover what SEO is and how you can use it to increase traffic to your blog. In a recent survey, many of you asked us to create content to increase traffic for your website. One of the best ways to do that is to optimize your site for search engines. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get started with SEO. And by following the tips, you could easily add 1,000 more visitors to your website in a month.
So let’s dive in. If you’ve researched how to increase traffic to your website, you’ve probably seen everybody talking about “Improve your SEO” on your site, but what does that really mean? Seo stands for Search Engine Optimization or just how easy it is for Google to find your website. Now there are several different search engines out there. There are search engines like Bing and Yahoo, Yandex, but 90% of searches are done on Google.
So that’s usually what we’re talking about when we say search engines. Basically, search engines go out and scour the web to find pages and index them in their catalog. It’s very similar to when you have a book, and at the end of the book, you have an index where it tells you where everything was discussed and the location. That’s pretty much Google and their indexing system as well on the web in the cloud. So let’s take a look at an example.
Now, a typical search page with results starts with ads listed at the top. This is what’s known as a knowledge graph and what it’s doing is it’s pulling in a result that might be further down on the page. Since Google thinks it’s answering the query really well, it’ll get shown up here as well as down further on the page. Then below all of that, you have organic results. Typically they’re about ten organic results on one page, and organic listings mean that these results aren’t paid at all.
They show up on Google because they’ve done a good job telling Google that this page is about this particular query. You have people also ask area, which shows the related searches that people will do on this topic. Now, fewer than ten percent of people will actually ever click on the next page. If they don’t find what they’re looking for on the first page, they’ll adjust their search criteria, and that’s why Google added in this ‘People Also Asked’ area, and here’s the biggest why SEO is so important for your website.
Learn more about local SEO here.
This first position usually gets the bulk of the clicks, between 35% and 40%. The second will get between 15% and 20%, and then the third position will get around 10%. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your website is first on Google. But, how does Google even determine what should go on the first page? The biggest factor is relevancy. You want to make sure that your website is exactly what the searcher is looking for when they’re searching Google. Now Google uses over 200 factors to determine what’s relevant in their algorithms. There is no way that we’re going to be able to cover all of those, but if we can concentrate on a few, then we have a fighting chance to get seen in the search results.
In addition to relevance, you’ll also want to make sure that your site is useful. All that means is that when a user clicks on your site, the information they’re looking for is easily found. Think about the last time you searched. If you went to a page that you thought had the answer, but you had a hard time finding it on the page, did you stick around? Most people will click back and look for a different answer. So make sure that your site is also useful and that you’ve arranged the answers for the topic in a meaningful way that’s easier for readers to find what they’re looking for.
On-Page VS Off-Page
There are two main ways that you can work on SEO on your website, and they’re called on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-Page SEO is simply telling Google and the reader that you have everything that they’re looking for. You have all the indicators that they’re looking for, and really, this means you have all the right keywords on your site. Now, on-page SEO is easier to deal with because most of the changes needed are within your control.
For instance, if your site is is about barbeque, then you want to make sure that your site has the right keywords in the title, in the body, in the image descriptions. It also means you have supporting keywords in it like BBQ recipes, grill temperatures, types of meat, best BBQ grills and everything else that is related to that topic.
With Off-Page SEO, that means that you are making sure that other websites are linking back to you. These are called backlinks. Off-Page SEO is a little bit more out of your control because you’re relying on other people to believe that your site is worthy of a link. If you’re writing great content and networking with your industry or your topic area, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
If you don’t know where to start with the optimization of your own website check out how we can help you with our SEO services page.
Now we want to let you know, as we go through this SEO process, just realize that search engine optimization does take time. And sometimes it can be a little frustrating when you do not see the results fast. But if done properly, the results from your SEO efforts can last months or even years, depending on the topic you’re in.
Now that you know a little bit about what SEO is and how it can improve your site’s traffic, go out and start implementing what you learned. Get more awesome and in-depth digital marketing tips on our blog here.
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