SEO 101: A Friendly Introduction
Search Engine Optimization, often referred to as SEO, is a term you've most likely come across while on the web. If you're into digital marketing, blog posting, or article writing, you've probably come across it more than once. But what exactly is SEO? How do you use it? And why is it everywhere?
Here at PasciVite, we've used SEO to help various clients achieve their goals, a major one being increasing brand awareness. There are, however, multiple other reasons to practice the discipline. Ultimately, SEO is necessary if you want to grow your website's organic traffic.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the process of growing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine.
This definition may not be beginner-friendly, so let's break it down further.
Every website owners want more visitors for various reasons. It could be to read their content or purchase their products. However, the type of traffic one might receive matters. Would you rather have 100K visitors who will not contribute to your site in any way? Or would you prefer to have 1K visitors who will purchase your products or interact with your content? SEO is a strategy used to increase the amount of essential traffic that a site gets. These visitors are organic, meaning they are unpaid, and they found the site using search engines like Google or Bing.
How is this possible?
The search engines, for example, Google or Bing, use robots to crawl your website. In other words, they navigate through the site and read the content on it. How well your site is optimized or arranged will enable these robots to understand it better. When the robots know what content is on your website, the search engine can rank it higher in relevant search results. More people will end up seeing your site and clicking on the link if it's higher in the search results; thus, you gain more traffic.
Now reread the definition of Search Engine Optimization. Does it make a little more sense? I hope that helps you gain a little insight as to what SEO is and how it works.
How Do I Use Search Engine Optimization to Gain Traffic?
Words, and more specifically, keywords, are used for Search Engine Optimization. The keywords describe the content on your page. That's why you want to make sure your keywords are relevant to your target audience since they will be using those keywords to find your business, hopefully.
You may be wondering, though, how do I come up with keywords? Think, if you were a user trying to find your site, what words or phrases would you type in to find it? Those are your keywords. For example, if I'm looking for a black wedding dress for a specific event, I'm probably going to google "black wedding dress." To be drawn to your site or to rank high on the search results page based on what I typed in, "black wedding dress" must be in the title, in one of the many pages on your site.
Of course, there are going to be millions of other sites with the title "black wedding dress." For your website to rank, you will want to be a little more specific with your page title. For the page title to be optimized correctly, you'll want it to relate to the content on your page. For example, if your site pertains to black wedding dresses, and they're under $20, a perfect title would be "Black Wedding Dresses Under $20." It's specific, relates to your content, and will have fewer search result competitors than "black wedding dress."
Where else, should you utilize keywords and phrases? Not including the title, you'll want to have keywords in the page description, headings, and body content. Those are all areas readers will notice and look for, and search engines will be using to find your page.
In addition to using keywords, you'll want to ensure that your site is navigable for robots and humans. This meaning, a well-structured mobile-friendly website, labeled that contains additional pages so you can organize your content. There are applications, programs, and software all over the web to assist with that part of SEO.
Why Does SEO Matter? Why is it Important?
Search Engine Optimization is essential if you want to gain visitors to your site. Frankly, who doesn't want to increase their visitors' count? More traffic usually means more people reading your content, buying your products, and expanding your brand. It's essential if you plan on ranking anywhere on various search results pages. Even only utilizing some SEO strategies can help you gain traffic on the web.
Where should you go from here?
If you'd like to pursue a further understanding of SEO, there are hundreds of credible sources out there that do a great job explaining the concept and putting it into motion. If you're ready to start exploring and gaining traffic, you can always play around with keywords and see which ones rank you higher on the web than your competitors. If you begin utilizing Search Engine Optimization, you'll see the impact it will have on your website over some time. It truly makes a difference, and if you don't believe me, well then, try it out and see for yourself!