What is SEO and why is it important?
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and it’s important because if you have favorable SEO on your website, it’s likely to rank higher by search engines such as Google or Bing. Your objective as a business owner is to be found, liked and visited on the web. It’s difficult to be found if the search engines place you on the fourth page of search results.
There are many factors which impact SEO on a website. Searchengineland.com created a marvellous table (Fig. 1.) to help understand the factors involved in search engine ranking below. Focusing on 6-7 of the factors which carry the most weight in ranking on search engines will improve your odds of climbing the list and being found on the first page of results.
This list is full of things that you, as the writer can control.
- CONTENT— Content is key! It may be a machine which is looking over your site and judging, but those judges have become smart! They have come to understand the difference between “stuffing” keywords into a webpage and material containing good quality content. This includes your images too! Remember those machines can’t see your photos, so it’s important to enter the information in the ALT sections when you’re adding images to your posts. This is one of the most often overlooked habits of beginning bloggers.
- TITLES–Does your title contain the keywords you listed in your SEO section of the post? This tells those crawlers how relevant your information is in relation to your content. The search engine always wants to bring up the most relevant information for the searcher. The title and the content must make sense together in order to improve ranking.
- RESEARCH–Take the time to research the keywords which make the most sense for your article or post and are relevant to your website. It wouldn’t make much sense for you to write an article about how to bake bread if your keywords are real estate, homes and rentals. You could write about making bread; it just wouldn’t help your case with the SEO crawlers. That article may not directly help your SEO ranking, but it could help with another factor shown on the table below–your social reputation. You may be viewed as more personable and “human”; because of this, people may be more inclined to share your article with friends through social media channels, which can help influence your ranking in search engines. That’s a different topic though!
- LINKS–Outbound links, if they are relevant, informative and take your reader somewhere useful and interesting can help improve your ranking. It feels kind of counterintuitive to direct people away from your site, but when it comes to SEO, links to high quality, well trusted sites can boost your credibility too. Keep them honest; don’t try to trick the crawlers. Make your links worthy of being on your page. They should be there to help readers find additionally interesting things.
This is a good start for those who are just beginning their foray into the world of SEO.
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