Search engine optimization is the process of structuring and promoting your website in order to make it easier for search engines to find you. Why do you need this? It’s because search engines are primarily the way that people find information on the Internet. In other words, you use SEO to make it easier for potential customers to find you (and eventually make a purchase from you).
With SEO, your primary goal is to increase the number of visitors to your site. There are several factors that affect this, but first, let’s take a look at how search engines work.
To borrow Search Engine Land’s excellent analogy, think of search engines (like Google, Bing, and Yahoo) as the librarians of the Internet. They collect and store information about every single page on the web. People go to them to find the exact piece of information that they need.
For example, let’s say that a certain baking hobbyist needs to buy a 17 x 14 inch pan. What he’ll do is go to www.google.com and type “17 x 14 inch baking pan” in the search bar. Google will then produce a list of websites that sell that particular piece of baking equipment. This list of websites is called the search engine results pages or SERPs.
If you sell baking products, you want your website to be at the top of SERPs for that particular search term. This is because Mr. Baker will, most likely, only click on one of the top three results on a page. That’s right: most Internet users won’t bother digging deeper if they’ve already found what they need.
Imagine being one of hundreds of results, and landing on page number 5. Nobody would even know that you were there, and you’d get lost in Internet oblivion.
Getting to the top of SERPs involves a lot of hard work and patience. There are several factors involved — let’s take a look at some of the major ones.
Keywords. This is one of the most important bits because people use words to search for information. This means that, if you want to rank highly for “17 x14 inch baking pan”, then you’ll need to have those keywords on your webpage.
Links. When another site links to yours, search engines consider that a recommendation, and they give you points that help you rank higher.
User engagement. Search engines also look at the quality of interaction between your website and its visitors. Things like how long they stayed on a page and how many links they clicked on are measured because these indicate whether your visitors actually consumed your content.
In other words, search engines measure how useful you are to your visitors. This is where good content comes to the rescue: your blog posts, infographics, videos, and everything else on your site have to be so good that your audience can’t help but read them.
You can also check out our handy infographic below.
Indigo Media Labs is a content-focused and data-driven digital marketing agency. Our strategies revolve around the lifeblood of your business: the customer. We create extremely high-quality content that builds trust, authority, and likeability for your brand. Ask us how we can help your business. We’d love to chat.