What is Search Engine Optimization?
In this blog post, we’ll cover what SEO is and how you can use it to increase traffic to your website.
One of the best ways to do that is to optimize your site for search engines and we’ll cover everything you need to know to get started with SEO. By following the tips in this blog, you could easily add 1,000 more visitors to your website in a month.
If you’ve done research on 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. The effectiveness of your site’s SEO determines how easy it is for Google to find your website. There are several different search engines out there. You have sites like Bing, Yahoo, and 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 just 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 talked about and the location.
The Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS)
Let’s take a look at an example. Now, this is a typical search page with results. You can see that there are ads at the top. Most search engine results pages show a few ads at the very top. After all, that is how Google makes most of its money. Then below the ads there are sometimes map results, depending on the search query.
Then below all of that, you have organic results. Typically, there are about ten organic results on one page and organic listings simply mean that these results aren’t paid at all. They show up on Google because they’ve done a good job of telling Google that this page is about this particular query. Then you have a “suggested searches” area and this simply 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 simply adjust their search criteria and that’s why Google added in the “Suggested Searches” area. This is also the biggest reason why SEO is so important for your website.
The top three organic results get over 70% of all the clicks. The 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%. So, that’s why it’s so important to make sure that your website is first on Google.
How Does Google Determine a Website’s Position in the Search Engine Results?
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 and there’s 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 that they’re looking for is easily found. Think about the last time you did a search. 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 go look for a different answer.
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. 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 just 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 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.
And the cool thing is, if you already have a website with some articles on it then you may be just a few tweaks away from seeing massive results with your traffic, without writing any new content.
With Off-Page SEO, that simply 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 but if you’re writing great content and networking with your industry or your topic area then it shouldn’t be a problem.
It’s important that you know that as you go through this SEO process, just realize that search engine optimization does take time and sometimes it can be a little frustrating when you’re not seeing 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. In future blog posts, we will go more in-depth into ways you can perform both on-page and off-page SEO.
Contact us at HighMark SEO Digital for more information about how SEO can drive more traffic and more sales to your business.