Search engine optimization is the digital marketing method of directing quality web traffic to your website.
It takes advantage of search engines like Google and Bing to increase the visibility of your brand to your target audience.
The primary advantage of SEO is that it’s a cost-effective advertising tool. You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to make your company more visible through online ads, which isn’t a sustainable practice.
Moreover, you can also find affordable services from agencies that specialize in this digital marketing strategy.
Companies like First Page help businesses build traffic, gain leads, and, ultimately, increase their sales without relying on paid advertisements.
It’s better for your business to grow a following organically with the right SEO strategies. This way, you boost your authority and credibility as a brand aside from increasing your customers.
How Search Engines Operate
To understand how SEO works, it’s crucial to know the mechanisms behind search engines. Popular ones today are Google and Bing, with the former dominating the industry.
Search engine algorithms are known to be self-operating. This means that they look at a user’s search query and scour through millions of web pages, looking for relevant results automatically.
Search engines have bots or spiders that crawl through every single web page and its corresponding content that’s published online.
When you make your website, Google indexes it, which is the process of adding it to their database.
The spiders discover new pages by following the links in their content. For instance, your blog post contains a link to your homepage—search engine bots can crawl through that hyperlink and index it.
The process is unending and continues as more and more content gets published daily.
Search engines look at the following signals to determine the relevance of a web page to a user’s query:
During its early days, search engines relied heavily on keywords to evaluate if a web page contains the content that users are looking for. Now, it still has a significant bearing on relevance, but other factors influence it.
If you run a cupcake store in New York City, your aim should be to rank for relevant keywords like “cupcakes in New York” or “where to buy cupcakes New York.” With this knowledge, you can create blog posts that incorporate these phrases to boost your search engine rank for a particular keyword.
For this factor, search engines utilize the Schema markup that you include in the back-end of your website. This code informs web crawlers about what your content is all about, not merely with what the data says.
While machine learning has rapidly improved in recent years, AIs still require guidance in grasping the nuances of human language. The Schema markup is a perfect tool to optimize your content for search bots because they can fully understand code.
They can then use the information on your website’s Schema to display your content to users who typed in relevant keywords.
Search engines also look at the recency of a particular web page in evaluating its relevance. For instance, if a user searches for “UK concerts 2019,” it’d be weird if one result showed a 1961 concert by The Beatles.
The premise for this is that these people are looking for shows they can go to, not performances that have already happened.
User engagement plays a significant role in the relevance of a page. The number of visits and time spent on-site by visitors has a considerable impact on the rankings of your website.
Moreover, search engines also check the number of links pointing to your web page because these backlinks are considered as a vote of confidence in your content. The more sites link back to you, the higher your domain authority, which can drastically improve your rankings for relevant keywords.
The SEO process involves making sure that all aspects of your website can be read and understood by search engine bots to make your brand more visible to potential customers.
Top SEO Factors to Consider for Your Site
1. Page Speed
User experience is the priority in any SEO strategy. That’s why you should check how fast or slow the elements of your website gets delivered to your web visitor.
A slow-loading site can increase your bounce rate, which is the percentage of traffic that abandons your page without performing other actions like clicking on another internal link. A majority of people won’t wait for your website to load. They’ll just close it and look for another web page.
Check your media and compress them if they’re adding unnecessary bulk to the data sent from servers to users. Another way is to cache the elements for a better experience the next time a customer visits your website. If your site is on WordPress, you can choose from a variety of plugins for this feature.
2. Link Building
Search engines focus on links now to determine the relevance of a web page. A lot of people think that linking to other websites will cut a significant portion of valuable visitor time on your site.
However, linking to authority sites can actually help you feed off of their credibility and establish your brand as a leader in your niche.
3. Engaging Content
While technical optimization is a crucial aspect of SEO, you need to remember that you’re using this digital marketing tool to acquire customers. Therefore, you must write content for humans first before focusing on making your web page crawlable by search bots.
Engaging and accurate content also encourages other sites to link to you as their reference. This significantly boosts your domain authority and build your reputation as a credible source of information.
4. Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are snippets that you find beneath the page title in the search engine results pages. This is a vital part of SEO because it informs human web visitors about what they can expect to learn in your website.
5. Readable URLs
With the primary focus on user experience, it makes sense that readable URLs should also be a part of your SEO strategy. Aside from letting human users know the content that they’re visiting, you can also place relevant keywords in the URL to boost page relevance.
SEO can help your business gain more customers and, ultimately, bring in more sales by boosting the visibility of your brand to your target audience.
This digital marketing process ensures that search bots can crawl through all aspects of your website and pull up your web pages for relevant keywords.