What is Search Engine Optimization?

Foul Mouthed Kid Red Glasses - What is search engine optimization

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What is Search Engine Optimization? You know Wikipedia has something to say:

The search engine optimization definition (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users; these visitors can then be converted into customers. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, video search, academic search, news search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.

That seems like a bunch of words just to answer the question What is Search Engine Optimization? SEO is simply choosing a word or phrase to optimize your content to so that when people search for that word or phrase your content stands a chance of showing up. It looks something like this and it works best when you have a bunch of related content or there isn’t much competition. Like say for the long-tail search phrase “foul mouthed kid red glasses.”

The trick is the strategery part of it all. Wikipedia?

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience.

That is to say that one should put much thought into which keywords are chosen to optimize said content to.

Great. How do you do it?

1. Choose a keyword or phrase and then make sure it appears in the:

  • Page Title
  • Meta Description
  • Slug
  • Subtitle (H2, H3, H4, H5, H6)
  • First Paragraph
  • Image Alt-tag

2. Make sure your content has more than 500 words.

3. Make sure your content links to other pages within your site.

4. Make sure your content links to other sites besides your own.

That’s it? Sounds easy.

Unfortunately that isn’t it but if you only do those things you’ll be well on your way. What I just covered are the broad strokes of on-page SEO. There is also off-page SEO.

Search Engine Optimization Tips

These actionable tips can help optimize your site for search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing immediately. You don’t need a lot of expertise for most of them but if you run into trouble reach out to an SEO professional or a website design professional that can shed more light on answering the question What is Search Engine Optimization.

  1. Understand the Search Engine Optimization Process: SEO is an ever-evolving process and what works today may not work tomorrow. Stay up-to-date on Google’s releases and understand the impact they’ll have on your website rankings. However, useful and well written content that is optimized for the user never goes out of style.
  2. Rankings don’t improve overnight: Your site won’t show up in the top spot overnight. Improvements in your search engine rankings happen over weeks and months. It is best to have a 3-6 month strategy and stick to it.
  3. Add great content steadily: The sites that rank the highest are the ones that continually add great content written to and optimized for specific keywords and phrases. The minimum length for a properly optimized article is around 500 words but shooting for 1,500 words is best.
  4. Speed is a killer: Your site should load fast. The optimum number seems to be under 5 seconds for now but expect that number to shrink as hosting companies, technology and development tools improve. Test your site speed now.

Ranking Factors = Your Digital Reputation

Where do you Focus on Citations, Backlinks, Anchor Text, & Site Speed + SSL because they influence your site’s ranking. Google calls them trust factors or something similarly hippy-like. Some matter more than others but they all need attention. You’re building a digital reputation based on these trust factors whether you know it or not so pay attention to them. When you do you’ll provide a better user experience and that will only become more important as the internet matures.

1. Focus on Citations by following this advice from the article 8 Best Local SEO Tips: 

Tip 5 – Citations, Citations, Citations

Think of citations as link building for a physical address. The social media accounts discussed in Tip 2 act as top shelf citation sources. The more QUALITY citations you have consistent with your NAP, the more authority Google and other search engines will give to your business address, and the more likely your company will rank for the keywords you are trying to rank for.

Citation Management Resource:  Whitespark Citation Finder Tool

2. Focus on Backlinks and Anchor Text by setting up and regularly checking Google Console.

3. Focus on Site Speed by following this advice from the article Site Speed versus Page Speed:

How fast is my site?

Test your site and find out.

How Do I Get a Faster Website?

Improving your site speed by improving your ui

ACTION ITEMS

Get a Faster Server

Use Managed Hosting

Enable Caching

Use a Content Delivery Network

Compress Images

Combine Files

Kick Flash to the Curb

Still wondering What is Search Engine Optimization?

Reach out and let me know if you have questions or run into trouble. Check back often for new articles.

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