SEO is one of the most used terms among website owners and internet marketers today. As the name suggests, SEO or Search Engine Optimization, represents a set of activities focused on getting a website at the top of search engine results pages for certain keyword or keywords.
The Importance of Keywords
In order to get a proper answer to the question “What is SEO?” you need to learn more about keywords because they represent one of the vital parts of every SEO strategy. Keywords are words or group of words that website owners would want to use to get visitors to their website. For instance, in case you are a dentist in Hartford, CT, your keywords would probably be Hartford CT dentist, Hartford CT dental health, etc. In other words, these are the phrases that people looking for the kind of services you offer will probably look for on popular search engines. Even though this activity might sound simple and easy, the truth is that there are thousands of websites out there and many of them are already ranking for your keywords. Of course, this doesn’t mean that people can’t use the benefits of SEO, they just need to spend more time on this activity or hire professionals to help them.
The graphic below illustrates how Search Engine Optimization can be a highly effective marketing tool.
What is SEO: Basic Elements Explained
Hiring a SEO company to help your website appear on the first page of search engine results is a smart move. However, before you decide to use professional help, it is good idea to learn more about the basic elements of SEO. Generally speaking, we can divide SEO activities into two groups:
- On-site Optimization
- Off-site Optimization
There are many small business websites that make the common mistake of focusing only on one aspect of optimization. If you want your website to rank higher, you need to pay almost equal attention to both activities. Some experts suggest that off-site optimization is slightly more important compared to on-site optimization.
On-site SEO usually includes activities that will make the website more readable to search engines and their crawlers and spiders. In addition, on-site SEO includes regular checks about the functionality of links and removal of broken links and keyword density and efficiency. We should not forget that content plays an important role too. Every search engine, especially the relevant ones like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, are fond of new, relevant content. So, in case you have new blog posts, articles, press releases and other similar content shared on the website on a regular basis then you will soon notice the benefits. No matter how successful a website is at this moment, it will decline over time in case it doesn’t share new content from time to time.
This is a group of SEO activities that is more complicated and versatile. Just like in the case of on-site SEO, this is an ongoing work. Even though it includes different activities, the main point is to obtain links from other websites pointing to your website (backlinks). So, the more links you get, the better. However, it is good to point out that not all links have the same quality and value. A link that comes from a popular and relevant website is much more valuable than getting ten links from new websites without page rank and authority. Experienced SEO specialists know that domain authority and page rank of the website can determine the true value of every link you get from that website.
The off-site search engine optimization activities might include:
- Social media activity
- Building quality links
- Participation in online forums
- Article submission (to reputable sites)
- Joining Directory Websites
- Guest blog posts
Social Media Activity
Social media platforms have become quite popular in the last few years. They have millions of active users and this is the reason why search engines consider them important. So, it is a good idea to focus on learning how to use them to maximize your online presence. In any case, you must be present on the most popular social media platforms with complete profiles and an active presence if you are in a highly competitive industry.
Building Quality Links
Let’s be clear – this is a complicated aspect of SEO. Search engines, especially Google, rank the quality of your content based on the number of other websites that link to it. Buying links is strongly discouraged. Experienced SEO companies know how to identify opportunities and either coach you or build a backlink profile that will allow you to climb the search rankings.
In the past, online forums were used by tech people and geeks, but today online forums are used by ordinary people who are sharing their opinions and experiences. While it is true that social media lowered their influence, it is also true that they are still widely utilized. Of course, if you want to get the most from this activity, opt for activity on forums that are in your niche/industry.
There is no doubt that articles are an excellent way to obtain quality backlinks because search engines still consider them as places where relevant, new information can be found. The internet is full of opportunities for you to submit your content on industry blogs and digital media outlets. Fresh content on your website will always be important, but your can establish a lot of credibility by getting your content published on other websites. It is vitally important that your articles are unique, relevant, and engaging. Never post the same article on two different places and be able to identify the keywords that will help build your digital authority. Consulting SEO professionals will always make a significant difference.
Join Directory Websites
When the Internet emerged, people used directory submissions to get the information they need. Today, there are thousands of directories and most of them are free to join. Many of them target specific communities of people, which allows you to both build your domain authority and target potential customers who are already looking for your services.
When is the SEO Process Finished?
This is a very important question, but unfortunately, there is no precise answer to it. First of all, it depends on your industry. There are some very competitive niches/industries and ranking highly in these niches requires months. If your competitors are naturally less visible on search engines, then you might be able to notice the results in weeks.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is an ongoing project because popular search engines are constantly changing their algorithms and changing the rules. This is quite natural, since they want to provide the most relevant search results to their users. They also need to be sure that no one is abusing their ranking algorithms. Those looking for the best results from SEO should look for professionals who have experience, skills, and experience in this field.
Consider contacting us for a free SEO consultation about the best strategy for your business.