A Quick What and Why of SEO

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of improving the visibility of a company’s website in search engines results organically via algorithms set forth by Google. It’s a never-ending competition to stay on the first page of Google and keeping relevant content and optimizing your website and blogs with the right keywords and keyword phrases are key. While Google continues to update their algorithms and keeps us on our toes, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. Here are a few commonly asked questions on the topic of SEO:

  1. Are internal links a waste of time?
    No way. Internal links play a few key roles. First, it helps Google understand your content. Google has web crawlers that index your site and look at the anchoring text you use in internal links. They also help the user navigate your website.
  2. Is off-page SEO worth the time and effort?
    Absolutely—and Google loves it. Off-page SEO is accomplished by using things like blogs and backlinks. But what’s a backlink? When a webpage links to any other website, it’s called a backlink. Pages with backlinks tend to rank higher on search engines.
  3. Once I’ve optimized my site, I’m done, right?
    Wrong. SEO is a living and breathing process that is ongoing. It needs to be nourished on a regular basis for it to continue to rank well. It’s like going to the gym—you’ve got to keep going to see results.
  4. How quickly should I see results from my SEO efforts?
    We’d love to tell you it will happen overnight, but that’s just not true. In fact, it can take months to see results.

While this all sounds daunting, there is some good news. Thankfully there are tools out there that can help you get started. If your site is built on a WordPress platform, one free tool that you can download today is Yoast. It’s a free WordPress plug-in that serves as a guide for each page of your website. You can take it a step further with Yoast Premium where you can add multiple focus keywords and their synonyms to further help those Google crawlers understand your site’s content and relevance. While this doesn’t help with your internal and external links, it’s a good start on those keywords.

At this point, you may be asking yourself, why all the focus on Google? In the scheme of worldwide market share for the leading search engines, here’s how they rank.

Google: 86.02%
Bing: 6.55%
Yahoo!: 3.27%
Baidu: 1.08%

*Statistics as of July 2018 from Statista

People search for highly specific topics on search engines every day, and, likely, topics directly related to your business. Prospects are also searching for things that can be loosely related to your business. These are all opportunities to connect with them and help answer their questions or solve their problems. You want to be a trusted resource for them. So keep your content fresh; write relevant blogs, be deliberate with your keywords and make use of internal and external links and you’ll be well on your way to improving your site’s SEO and helping those solution-seekers.