Even in 2019, we regularly meet business owners and website managers who don’t know what SEO stands for. Sure, they know that it’s an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, but they aren’t sure what optimizing for search engines means or what that looks like.
If you are one of these folks who are trying to understand what SEO stands for, then this post if for you!
For over ten years we’ve taught people what SEO is and helped them grow their online presence by using it. We understand what it’s like to not know about internet optimization and our hope is that this post will give you the foundation you need to begin your own SEO journey.
What Does SEO Mean?
Basically, SEO is the process of helping search engines understand your website.
Believe it or not, search engines actually “read” your website! The programs they use to do this are called “crawlers.” These programs click through your links, read image alt text, and do their best to understand the message you’re communicating. This ensures that they can connect your website with people that are looking for what you’re selling.
If Google’s crawlers think that your website is a good match for people, then they will rank you higher. Alternatively, if the crawlers feel that you don’t answer the questions or offer the products your audience is looking for, then they will rank you lower.
Unfortunately for people trying to rank on Google, it can be really tricky to figure out how crawlers rank websites. Fortunately, though, there are people, like our team here at Fannit, who have dedicated decades of their lives to learning how crawlers think. This is where SEO basics come into play!
What Does SEO Look Like?
Like a coin, SEO has two sides:
- Crawlers: This side focuses on the science of determining how crawlers think and optimizing a website for their little robotic brains.
- People: This side is all about improving your site for its human audience. After all, you’re trying to sell your human readers, not Google’s robots.
By optimizing your website for search engines and people, you will give your rankings a boost. If you do it right you may even get listed on the first page of Google — the golden place to be, as the first page of Google, captures 71% of search traffic clicks!
Key SEO Tactics
Landing your website on the front page involves a combination of SEO tactics and strategies. Among other SEO basics, here are three of the most important parts of your website that need to be optimized in order to reach the front page of Google.
1. Organizing Your Site’s Architecture
It’s important that the menus and organization of your site flows in a logical and intentional way. A disorganized website will motivate readers to exit (damaging your rankings) and will confuse crawlers (also damaging your rank).
A quick tip for improving your site’s architecture is to have relevant internal links placed in your content. This way readers are led to click through multiple pages of your site and, if you do it right, are funneled to the product or service that you are selling.
One of the big ways that Google determines the rank of your website is by reading the links pointing to your website from other websites. These are called “backlinks,” and Google considers the quality of these links a clue towards determining the quality of your own website.
If spammy or low-quality websites are linking to your site, then the search engines will assume that you are spammy as well. Alternatively, if your website has incoming links from reputable sites, then Google will think that you are a high-quality site too.
So it is that a crucial step in SEO is disavowing bad backlinks and building better ones.
3. Content Marketing
Two more things Google considers when ranking your website are:
- How long people stay on your website (i.e. retention rate).
- How many people visit your site each day (i.e. traffic rate).
Content marketing improves both of these things by creating well-written content that keeps people reading (improving your retention rate).
Regularly releasing content such as blog posts that answer the questions your ideal customers are asking (driving more traffic to your site).
What Does SEO Stand For In Your Marketing?
SEO will look slightly different for each website. Some companies may need to focus more on building a roster of high-quality backlinks, while others are better off working on their site’s content.
How do you know which SEO strategies are best for your company?
The trick is to invest in solid competitor and audience research so that you can tailor your SEO strategy to the niche of the internet that you hope to rank in. You could try to do this research yourself, but we would recommend partnering with an experienced SEO agency that has access to the tools and knowledge required to build a dependable SEO strategy. If you have any questions contact us and we can help you with your sites SEO.