Search engine optimization (SEO) is the science of generating increased website traffic by ranking higher in search engine query results, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. The objective is to ensure that your website shows up as high as possible for a relevant keyword search.
“Search is in a constant metamorphosis as the search engines are continually changing their algorithms to ensure that searchers are getting the most relevant results,” says Chris Peer, owner and CEO of SyncShow. “As the landscape changes and the Internet evolves, so must search. Over the past four to five years we have seen some dramatic changes in how search engines determine a site’s rank.”
Smart Business spoke with Peer to learn more about SEO and its impact on search results.
How does SEO affect search results and how has it changed during the past four years?
Search engines want to make sure the searcher finds the best results. With thousands, sometimes millions of websites competing for a first-page listing, the search engine looks at two primary criteria:
- Relevance. How relevant is your website content to the search term? If you have editorial content on your website that matches a search you are part of the pool.
- Importance and authority. This is where it gets a bit trickier and an expert is often needed. Importance is based on thousands of criteria. Search engines not only see if you have relevant content but they need to determine how to rank you.
To ensure that the searchers have a positive experience, search engines look at things such as:
- Website speed.
- How well the content is written.
- Number of visitors to your website.
- How many other websites are linking to your website.
- How much relevant content is on your site.
- How well-built your website is.
- How often you publish content.
- Social media mentions and engagement.
- Whether the site has a mobile responsive design.
These are just a few of the factors affecting how a search engine ranks your website.
Why does SEO matter when it comes to lead generation?
The most effective way to drive brand awareness online is with SEO and content marketing, which includes your entire digital footprint. SEO, driving traffic and brand awareness require a business to create content and publish that content where its buyers consume content relevant to their job role.
How is an SEO strategy determined?
An SEO strategy is based on the sales goals of the company, by the product or service you wish to sell and the buyer you wish to reach. Once these are defined, you must determine where you are today with your ranking and compare it to your competitors. This will help you find the low hanging fruit, which is a good place to start. The goal is to generate quality traffic as efficiently as possible.
How is an SEO strategy executed?
SEO isn’t usually a quick fix. It is a marathon, but the dividends are worth it. The later you start, however, the further back you fall in rankings.
Whether working with internal staffers or an outsource partner, the process typically begins with a formal keyword and competitor analysis to determine your starting point. That leads to an exhaustive review of your website where technical issues are identified and addressed, and the infrastructure is adjusted for stronger communications with search engines. The next steps for SEO include implementing a longer-term strategy that uses social media and content marketing.
SEO requires strategy, like a battle in the war against your competitors. The winner has the strongest defense and a persistent offense.
Insights Lead Generation is brought to you by SyncShow