A Brief Look and Search Engine Optimization and Why You Need It
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is how websites get ranked in browsers for given keyword searches. It consists of many different strategies and processes that combine to give search engines what they are looking for…the most relevant and quality search results for the user. Broad stroke: if you have the perfect answers to a keyword query, there is a good chance your site will appear at or near #1 in the search results for a given keyword search.
Of course, in the real world, it takes a lot of things to go right for that to happen…it takes patience and persistence…it can take 6 months to a year of consistent, regular, SEO site maintenance to get you ranked in the top 10.
The ‘secret sauce’ that will work is definitely a moving target…Google makes changes to its search algorithms several times a day and your competition likely won’t be sitting idle…but if done right, you can see dramatic improvements in site traffic…and that usually means more business!
SEO maintenance consists of two parts. On-site and Off-site. On-site consists of under-the-hood tuning of the site, to allow search engines to figure out what you are about, whether you are a trustworthy source of content, providing a good user experience, and whether the site is presenting link-worthy content.
Off-site consists primarily social media presence and link building, however, anything that is not site related that increases brand visibility, will be good for site ranking. As for social media, independent studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between high-ranked pages and social media ‘buzz’ around that page, or brand.
Link building is also important, and is measured by the number of quality sites that link to your content. It takes time to build quality links, however, quality content will be found and linked to.
In summary, if your site is fast, easy to use, has the quality content that users are looking for, and represents a trustworthy business, Google will find you and rank you accordingly.
For a more in depth look at SEO, I found this book for the business owners, or webmasters, to be very helpful.