This article is an introduction to SEO geared more to the less-savvy website owners or bloggers out there like I was. To me, Search Engine Optimization was a fancy phrase that developers claimed, ‘helped me show up in Google searches.’ I didn’t think much of it. I knew that if I wrote useful blog posts, traffic would come. I wrote article after article of what I thought was fantastic content. Still, my page analytics exposed that almost no one visited my site.
I didn’t understand. I went all-in on my WordPress design and used some swanky plugins that looked cool. I added widgets and social media click-throughs thinking that linking my Facebook and Twitter would do the trick.
Still nothing. I had to go back to basics. I needed SEO.
What is SEO?
The most basic question is merely “what is SEO?” SEO stands for Search Engine optimization. According to Dictionary.com, Search Engine Optimization is the methods used to boost the ranking or frequency of a website in results returned by a search engine to maximize user traffic to the site.
To summarize, SEO is how we get people to come to our website. The majority of web-traffic finds our site through search engines, and Google and Yahoo reign supreme. Studies show that more than 90% of visits come from the first page of the search results. After that, websites have to rely on marketing, word of mouth, and blind luck to drive traffic.
A proper SEO strategy helps to put your website front and center, and by website, we mean every single page. Search Engine Results Pages, or SERP, are the pages displayed after any search. Like we mentioned above, 90% of clicks come from the first page, so the higher you place on SERPs, the better.
Google and other search engines built precise algorithms to generate search results. When you search on Google, you see at the top “About 16,000,000 results in 0.43 seconds.” They’re just showing off here. What they’re saying is their algorithm took only .43 seconds to search the entire Internet for your 16,000,000 results and ranked them based on relevance. Optimizing your website is how you become relevant!
Where can I find help?
As we discussed, SEO advice is everywhere. Reading books and articles on SEO will help with general knowledge. You can learn about keywords, metadata, snippets, slugs, and other fun jargon used in the industry, but you’re still blindly posting content and hoping for the best. Web applications like the Yoast WordPress plugin help grade your website, articles, and other pages, so you can make adjustments to be more optimal. These kinds of apps have their algorithm mimic a search engine’s algorithm and give you advice on how to make your page score better. The downside is that most of these programs cost quite a bit of money.
The best option is to talk to a team of experts. You get the knowledge and experience that comes from working in the industry for years. Optimizing websites is not easy, and SEO is incredibly complicated. However, I started from the basics, and so can you.
We’re here to help you learn more about how SEO impacts your website and how to increase your search traffic. Let us know when you’re ready to get started!