If you do any kind of work online, you are likely familiar with the term “SEO,” but do you know what it means, and what it can do for your website? First, let’s answer the question what does SEO stand for?
What are SEO and SERP?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and that is simply a way of saying you are making it easier for search engines like Google and Bing to find your content.
Search engines have as their goal the matching of relevant, quality content to your search. If, for example, you go to Google and type in “best nail trimmer for dogs,” Google is likely to provide you with a list of reviews, or perhaps even pet stores in your area.
The page that comes up in response to your search is referred to as the Search Engine Results Page, or SERP, and most people searching for something never venture past that first page of 10 results, so if you are trying to bring traffic– and thus customers– to your site, ranking on that front page is vital to your business.
SEO is what you need.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO is all about catching the attention of search engines and getting them to suggest you to people searching for what you are offering, whether that be a product, a service, or simply information. If a search engine cannot find you, it’s pretty certain that a customer never will.
SEO helps search engines understand what your site is all about, and thus, hopefully, they can connect you with your intended audience.
What Is Good SEO?
SEO utilizes several ways to make your site more attractive to search engines.
This is a big one, and Google has taken steps to ensure that they are indexing quality sites that offer a good customer experience. Google will favour a site that tries to offer value over one that constantly focuses purely on sales.
If you are offering quality content on a consistent basis, Google will be more inclined to rank you highly.
Keywords are Key
Keywords are what the name implies: the words a customer searches for in order to find what they need. By posting articles that focus on good keywords, you will help those who search using those words to find you.
To continue with pets as an example, you may use “dog food” as a keyword, and it would be something that is searched for often, but it is also something that would be found in thousands, even hundreds of thousands of other websites.
Narrowing it down to “natural dog food” makes it more specific, and while that phrase may be the focus of fewer searches, it is also more likely to stand out, with fewer competitors using it.
Being even more focused with “Five Best Natural Dog Foods for Overweight Large Breed Dogs” is very specific, but anyone searching with that term (or part of that term) would be much more likely to be brought to your site, as there would likely be very little competition.
Keywords, then, need to be something that is being searched for, but not so common that you are competing with thousands of other well-established websites.
Being Mobile Friendly
Google is moving to a mobile-first index, which means that it is placing greater emphasis on sites that are mobile friendly, offering a good user experience to those using phones, tablets, and the like.
Ensuring that your site is responsive to mobile devices will again cause search engines to rank you higher than competing sites that are not optimized for these devices.
These are just some of the factors that help improve your SEO. There are a number of others that may not always be under your direct control, such as backlinks from questionable sites. But by focusing on all that you are able to do in order to make your site not only visible but attractive to search engines and users alike, you are increasing your likelihood of ranking well on SERP.
Let us know if you have any questions about SEO.
Christian is a British-born entrepreneur and founder of Marwick. For over 19 years, Christian has successfully helped businesses excel in digital marketing. Founded in 2012, Marwick has grown from a start-up to the 11th Fastest Growing Company in Canada in 2020 and expanded into the UK in 2019.