What Is SEO? 

You know those tragic stories about people who invest so much into making their website shiny and new, only to get zero visitors?  It’s a lot like spending weeks planning a kid’s birthday party only to realize you never sent out the invitations! I don’t know about you but in this imaginary scenario – we refuse to make a toddler cry, again.  Which is why we use SEO to keep that hope alive!

What is SEO anyways?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short) is a series of activities a site owner or SEO Consultant takes to help your site become found by your customers.

Most new site owners are not at all familiar with SEO. I mean let’s be honest with all the things you need to learn while starting your business. Most of the time this comes up as just another ethereal acronym. However, without search engines, your site will not be in a searchable index. Meaning no one will know your website is out there just waiting to be clicked on, scrolled through and converted to a customer.

So, how do I get my website out of limbo? In this article, we’re going to explain how search engine optimization works so you can apply this knowledge to your web strategy.

How Does Search Engine Optimization Work Exactly?

what is seo? - Your WP Guy - Kids playing with confetti in a celebration

There are two parts of search engine optimization. The first is called on-site optimization, and will involve creating content using various keywords, creating internal and external web links, and performing tasks like compressing images and building caches to amplify your website experience.

The second part is what is called off-page or off-site optimization, which involves building links and reaching out to websites that have great “link-juice.”  Mmm refreshing! Okay, maybe it doesn’t taste great, until that traffic starts showing up and then it tastes like victory.

A search engine’s job is to find the most relevant content in your search query. To do this, they use software called bots to scan (crawl) your site. A search engine then compares the bots findings to any existing search queries related to your site.

PRESTO!  Like magic you’ll then see where your website ranks in Google search results.  Thanks Fairy SEO Mother. Next, we’ll highlight a few factors that contribute to your place in one of these searches.

Keywords: The Key to Optimizing Your Site

Are you familiar with what “keywords” are? Whenever you search for something like “food near me” or “best gluten free bakery in (your town),” the search engine uses these “keywords” to then calculates the best results for you. However, the search engine may not always know what keywords to classify your website under.

The goal of anyone conducting SEO or SEM (Search Engine Marketing) on your site is to enhance the search engines process using the top keywords possible. So “on site” SEO involves finding these keywords, and optimizing various parts of your site so that they’ll be pertinent to them. Someone like an SEO marketer can help figure out what keywords for what you sell, who is already ranking under these keywords, and the best strategy to start outranking your competition.

Some Factors That Influence A Site’s Ranking

Google and other search engines are kind of like a box of chocolates… You never know what you’re going to get. We can take calculated guesses, but sometimes Google still will throw us for a loop.

However, many people have the data to prove that these are some of the most crucial factors to your website’s rankings:

  • How many articles are on your site
  • Length of those articles
  • How long a visitor stays and reads those articles
  • The time it takes for your web site to load those articles
  • Whether your “sitemap” has been submitted to Google/Bing/Yahoo/DuckDuckGo for indexing
  • If you’re using an HTTPS address or not (if you are on a maintenance plan with us, we will handle this for you!)
  • If you have a Google business listing, a Facebook page, a Yelp page, etc.
  • And finally, how many other websites are linking back to your website
  • The list goes on and on: Click here to read more

So it’s hard to say which keywords need enhancing, or how many articles to write for your site. It all depends on how many other people are trying to rank in your line of work or niche. An SEO agency can be your best friend for this reason. They have the experience and know-how to safely rank your site so that potential customers are more likely to become your actual customers.

A site may not rank for certain keywords for years, while others may rank in just a few weeks or months. So regardless if you take a DIY or agency approach, just know this still takes some time.

SEO is a crucial part of every website and we hope that this article has helped you understand why and shed a little more light into the darkness that can be SEO.

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