Achieving a high ranking on search takes an effective strategy to help search engines deliver your website to the most relevant audience. By using Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you can provide the tools search engines use with an accurate picture of your site’s subject, purpose and intended audience. When utilized correctly, SEO can help push your site to the all-important top spots on the search engine results page.
What is SEO?
Every time a user enters a search term in their search engine, automated tools called "crawlers" or "spiders" will scour their database of indexed pages to return those sites that offer the most relevant and popular content. To do this, they use their own algorithms to identify a hierarchy of sites that most closely match the user’s query. The top factors affecting search rank are the quality and quantity of sites linking to the overall domain, sites linking to individual pages and keywords within the page content. For the web content creator or designer, this means paying attention equally to both the on-screen content and the behind-the-scenes metadata.
Why SEO is Important
However engaging the content of your site, it won’t achieve its potential unless users can find it. Optimizing your site means clearly indicating what topics it covers with carefully placed keywords. Therefore, the first step of planning a new blog post or piece of content is to establish the set of keywords it will address. These keywords should then feature in the title, subheads, on-page text and the meta tags. Because search engines identify images by their alt text, you should also label each image with relevant keywords. You can also improve your site’s visibility by inserting quality links to other pages in your site, as well as external sites. If you are able to produce a quality content piece that other high-ranking sites link to, it also boosts your search ranking.
What is SEO Marketing?
SEO marketing is the discipline of researching the keywords that will rank highest in organic search and implement them throughout your site. When you apply a coherent strategy to your site content, planning each new post with the user in mind, you will boost your site’s chances of appearing in the all-important top positions in search results. Get your site to the top spot on organic search, and you can expect to secure over 36 percent of traffic.
What is SEO Writing?
Writing for SEO is a specific skill requiring the ability to create engaging, useful content that incorporates keywords in the right places. In this respect, investing in an SEO expert to create content can reap significant rewards. Previously, website creators could trick search engines into ranking their site higher by loading each post with keywords, but algorithms are now wise to keyword stuffing. Ultimately, content that is meaningful and relevant is more likely to be shared and linked to, so SEO writing should never allow keywords to take over the content. Rather, the right search terms should be placed in the headers and meta text to help search engines assess the value of the post.
- Moz: How Search Engines Operate
- Digital Marketing Institute: 10 Tips to Increase Your Organic Page Ranking
- Leverage Marketing: How Far Down the Search Engine Results Page Will Most People Go?
- Moz: Weighting the Clusters of Ranking Factors in Google's Algorithm
- Impact: how Important is a Top Listing in Google?
Nick Marshall is a UK-based writer specializing in trends and best-practice in the B2B sector.