Camron Matschek • February 6th, 2018
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO is the branch of marketing related to increasing the ranking and visibility of a given website in search engines.
Why Invest in SEO
91% of internet users use search engines when browsing the web or looking for a product so it’s important to ensure your website is being indexed and included in the major search engines.
It’s not enough, however, to simply be included in the search results. Most people searching visit a website that appears in the first page of search results – 75% of users never scroll past the first page.
Business invest in SEO because even a small increase in organic rankings in search results can result in a huge increase in traffic, leads and sales. Visitors from search results are often highly qualified and frequently show conversion rates higher than other traffic sources.
When we optimize a website, we target specific keywords. This means we focus our efforts on ranking well for specific search keywords that we’ve determined will bring the type of traffic we’re after.
For example, a interior painting company would want to rank well for the search query “interior painters”, but probably wouldn’t care to rank for “paint brushes”. The idea is to garner the traffic of users looking to have their house painted, not those who are looking to paint brushes themselves.
When a search is made, search engines want to bring forward websites that are relevant to the search query and high-quality. When people refer to “the algorithm” they’re talking about the factors and calculations search engines use to best determine what’s relevant and quality.
While these exact algorithms and factors are top-secret, the industry as a whole has figured out best practices and behaviors that are relevant and useful for SEO.
For example, the following are known to positively affect a website’s ranking position:
- High-quality content on your website that is clear and information-rich
- Ensure each page is linked to at least once on your website
- Use keywords to create human-friendly and readable URLs for your pages
- Ensure each page as completed meta-tags
- Remove duplicate content
This is by no means an exhaustive list ¬– so many factors are at play with SEO that at many companies it’s a full-time job (or they out-source it to experts at a company such as IPX).
If you’re interested in learning the basics of SEO, I recommend The Beginners Guide to SEO by Moz. It’s free and is one of the most widely-read beginners guides on SEO.