Search engine optimization is the process of influencing how high your website ranks in organic (natural, unpaid) search results on a search engine’s result pages. Search engines use algorithms to crawl web pages, downloading and storing them in a library known as an index. When someone types a query into a search engine, the algorithm examines all the pages in its index to find those most relevant to the query. These results are then shown to the searcher.
A search engine’s algorithms are complex beasts that use input from you, the content creator, and searchers to figure out how relevant and trustworthy a webpage is. This then helps the algorithm determine what search terms it should surface for a given query and how highly it should rank those results.
As a business, you have to invest time and resources in search engine optimization to ensure your website is showing up for the right queries. And even if your content is great, it may not be getting the attention it deserves if you’re not ranking on the first page of search results.
But the good news is that you can improve your search engine optimization by making changes to your site and by improving how you create your content. In fact, it’s a skill that you could learn yourself if you have the time and desire to do so. Or, you could delegate it to a marketing or web development person on your team.
SEO has many different aspects, but some of the core components are keywords, link building and on-page optimization. The latter refers to things like ensuring that your content is geared towards the search terms you want to rank for and using those words in the right places. For example, placing your keywords in the title and meta-description tags of a page can help reassure search engines that your content is relevant to a particular query. Similarly, including keywords in your image file names and alt tags can help search engines understand the relevance of images to a query.
Another important aspect of on-page SEO is ensuring your page is structured in a way that search engines can easily crawl and index it. This can include things like having a unique URL for each piece of content, including meaningful headings and titles, and properly formatting your code to indicate what the page is about.
Correct structured data on your pages can also make your content eligible for different features in search results such as review stars or fancy decorated results.
There are a lot of factors that go into optimizing your content for search engines, and it can be difficult to know where to start. But the most important thing is to create content that satisfies your customers’ needs and answers their questions. If you focus on doing that, the rest will fall into place.