What Is SEO?
What is SEO? Just like us, you’ve wondered what the answer to this question is at least once or twice. SEO (search engine optimization) is the ongoing process of creating, amending, and linking web content to make the content indexable (searchable) and appealing to search engines. Let’s start by talking a little bit about search engines and how they index and recommend content and then we will expand on the “creating, amending, and linking” part.
How Search Engines Work
From a user standpoint, we are all familiar with how search engines work. We type a phrase into Google and Google fetches millions of results. We then choose the result(s) that we consider most credible and trustworthy from the search engine results page (SERP).
That straightforward process is very complex on the backend. Search engines employ algorithms (a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, specifically by a computer) that crawl web pages to determine which web pages to display for the user. These algorithms use many factors to determine which web pages are relevant and credible enough for the user. Concisely, that is how search engines like Google work. We will dive more into the algorithmic factors when we discuss creating, amending, and linking web content.
What Is SEO-Friendly Content?
My (Tyler’s) entrepreneurship professor always used to say, “Content is king!” Why is content (specifically, written content) king? Because those webpage crawlers are only able to interpret the written word (although they are becoming more sophisticated).
This is why content is king and this is why the written content on your website is important for SEO. Therefore, it is important to have an adequate amount of text on each webpage of your site (a recommended minimum of 300 words per page) and have at least one focus keyword per page. That focus keyword or phrase is then parsed appropriately throughout the webpage in all the proper places. Make sure your focus keyword is in these parts of your webpage:
- Title tag
- Meta description
- H1 header tags
- Body copy (3-5 times is a good amount)
- Alt image text
There are other slightly more advanced SEO-friendly content best practices (such as XML sitemaps, canonical URL’s, structured data, etc.) but optimizing your written web pages is the beginning of creating an SEO-friendly website.
Amending Web Content To Make It SEO-Friendly
The advice above is what we give to entrepreneurs who are building their first website but perhaps you already have a website! That’s great! Perhaps you are also learning about the value of SEO and need to amend some of your web content so that it complies with SEO best practices. If this is you, then you will need to apply the above advice as well as some extra steps.
First, you’ll want to conduct a site audit using a tool like SEM Rush to identify areas of weakness in your site’s SEO. In our experience, some of the most common SEO errors include:
- Duplicate content (or not enough text on a webpage)
- Broken internal and external links
- Large image files
- No title tags, headers, or meta descriptions on web pages
- Orphan pages
- Slow web pages
Once an audit has been conducted and areas of weakness identified, with a little SEO know-how, you can have your site polished up in a matter of a few weeks or even days. Making sure your technical (on-page) SEO is up to par will make it easier for your site to rank will with various search engines.
Linking Web Content To Reinforce Credibility
Creating and amending your webpage content assists the search engine crawlers with properly indexing your site and it does make the content more appealing to the crawlers. But to describe your content more accurately and give it more authority you will need to conduct some internal linking as well as acquire backlinks from authoritative sites.
Internal linking refers to web pages that are on your site that link to other web pages on your site. Backlinks refer to other websites that link to your webpage content. Both are important, but many SEO professionals believe that backlinks are more important than internal links. This is because search engines believe that what others say about your site and its content is more important than what you have to say about your site and its content. Regardless, make sure that you are appropriately linking to web pages within your site and acquiring backlinks from authoritative sites back to your web pages. Linking will help search engines to more accurately determine what your content is and who it is meant for.
The one thing that we want you to take away from this article is that SEO is the ongoing process of creating, amending, and linking web content to make the content indexable and appealing to search engines. SEO is primarily an ongoing process. You cannot set-it-and-forget-it when it comes to SEO. It is a long-term investment with amazing results when they do appear. Secondly, SEO is requires creating, amending, and linking your webpage content. Be sure to consistently create new content, amend your current content, and link amongst your web pages and acquire links from other websites. Finally, SEO is meant to index your content and make it more appealing to search engines. In doing so, you will also optimize your content for humans. When you invest in SEO you are ultimately investing in people.
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