What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is essentially the process in which one attempts to have their website ranked well with major search engines like Google or Bing, as well as with searchers themselves. Search Engine Optimization is often used as a marketing strategy to increase traffic to a business’s site or web pages, which in turn helps expose their company and services to those searching for them.

There are a variety of factors that can make SEO successful (view periodic table of SEO), as well as several to look out for. When attempting to optimize your online presence, you’ll want to take into consideration seven areas of focus: Content, HTML, architecture, links, trust, and your social and personal status.

The content of your website or page must be easy to navigate, have a substantial amount of information and be aesthetically pleasing to a degree. The actual information on the page should be rich with the words and phrases you want to rank well for, and the writing itself should be correct in terms of spelling and grammar. It’s also important that the content is engaging and relevant, shares accurate information with readers, and isn’t weighed down by advertisements.

The HTML portion of SEO goes into more detail when it comes to the web page itself— for example, the title tags, meta descriptions and headers should be properly filled out in accordance with the desired keywords as well as the topic at hand. Mistakes in the HTML coding of a web page can make it more tedious to navigate and less structured. Watch out for keyword stuffing (a phrase which means using words you’re looking to rank for to an excessive degree) as well as HTML errors that can cause important keywords or links to become hidden or difficult to see.

The architecture of the site focuses more on ease of use and the overall online experience of the viewer. If the page loads slowly or the site is full of repetitive, unnecessary information, the viewer will most likely abandon viewing those pages and find a more user-friendly website to explore. Likewise, if your site layout is not compatible for mobile users or those with other electronics that have Internet capabilities, you are losing out on a lot of crucial exposure.

Search engine optimization also has a lot to do with how you interact with your visitors and clients as well as other websites and publishers. There should be no doubt in your visitors’ minds that the links on your pages are both relevant and directed to trusted, quality web locations. Paid links and ones created via spamming other places on the Internet can often affect your SEO ranking negatively, and should also be taken into consideration.

Trust should arise in other areas of your SEO strategy as well— for example, if your website is considered an authority on the subject or not, and if your site domain and authors are consistent and established. If your site has been the subject of flagging due to inappropriate or pirated content, this will most certainly reduce the amount of trust viewers have in your material and your professional status.

When someone visits your web site or page, they are no doubt going to look for approving feedback or positive ratings from others like them. This means that your social media presence is very important when it comes to SEO. A higher number of likes or shares on a page can help you create a reputation that other people visiting your site will trust. The location of these visitors, as well as the pages being regularly visited, are other ways your site can be ranked well for search engine optimization.

SEO is an important part of a marketing strategy because the Internet has completely changed how those searching for products or services interact with their results. In this case, their results are the web sites they choose to visit, and the vast majority of those sites will be ones ranked well with search engines. That’s why it’s important to give searchers exactly the answers they’re looking, for while providing a web site that is appealing, informative, organized, and highly relevant. By implementing SEO best practices into your Internet marketing strategy, you can increase your sales potential and exposure instantly.