You put a lot of work into creating a great website, only no one can find it and Google doesn’t rank your site very high. You hear about a thing called “search engine optimization” (SEO) and decide to give it a try. However, before you go adding keywords that will improve your Google rankings, take a step back and learn the basics of SEO.
SEO is the act of altering or optimizing your website and its content in order for search engines to deem it relevant and useful to certain topics. When people use search engines they are presented with a list of results for that search term. These results are called Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and generally speaking, the websites that appear at the top of the SERPs will receive plenty of traffic to their websites.
In order to determine your position on the SERPs, search engines use their own algorithms. While algorithms are constantly evolving, one constant remains: your website needs to be easy to navigate, popular and relevant.
Easy navigation means making sure you include on-page enhancements such as internal hyperlinks, and a sitemap so visitors can quickly and easily find their way around your website.
You should also consider other off-page strategies such as leveraging your business relationships to build online links. By implementing this strategy, search engines will rank your website as a reputable source.
Relevance is judged by your content. By including the keywords in the metatags of your site and throughout your content, you are indicating to the search engines that your website contains relevant information. By focusing some of the pages of your site on keywords, you will score higher with the search engines.
Combining these factors can effectively convince search engines that you deserve to be near the top of their SERPs. However, SEO isn’t just about building search engine-friendly websites. It’s about making your site better for people too. This process can take time and a lot of effort. Take your time and understand SEO before diving in.