What Is SEO?

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The Definition

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of growing the quality and quantity website traffic for search engine users. The number of organic visits you get to your page as well as the quality of those visits is built through techniques that increase visibility of a website search listing. SEO excludes any direct traffic or paid advertisement placement like Google’s Pay Per Click Advertising.

When a user inputs their search terms, they return a search engine results page (SERP), and it is those results that drive organic traffic to sites. Organic traffic ultimately means people that come to site naturally and have not paid been paid to visit through your advertising or marketing.

When we say the quality of traffic, we mean getting the right people to visit your page for the right reasons. The quantity relates directly to how many potential users click on your page when the SERP is shown on screen.

However, rather than aiming to get a lot of random clicks on your page, you should be aiming for high-quality visitors. This means that the people who choose to come to your site actually want to read what you have to offer and engage with the services you have on sale.

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How Does SEO Actually Work?

Search engines are made to look simple; you just put your search term into the box, hit enter and then scroll through the results until you find what you are looking for. However, the science behind that process is complex and involves ‘crawlers’ locating as much information as possible about a specific subject before bringing it back to be indexed and used in search results.

When you consider the amount of knowledge, these crawlers find you can begin to understand the mammoth task that is undertaken to create a complete search index. SEO plays a massive role in this as the search engine portion of SEO is supported by the Optimization process. Optimization is when web copy authors create content that includes specific key terms you use can be converted into SEO keywords to help direct the crawlers to your website so that it can be indexed with all the other results.

Optimization also takes a wide range of other roles with the view to get the organic clicks on the increase. Some of the other forms of Optimization include using meta tags and descriptions, including the right type of links and using social media posts to gather interest.

 
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How To Use SEO Effectively

If you are building a website or looking to overhaul your current site, then it is a good idea to find out how to use SEO to your advantage. Mastering this tool will improve your SERP rating as well as increasing the number of visitors to your site that can be converted to engage with your information in a way that benefits you. Using the following hints will help you become a pro at SEO in no time at all!

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Build An Accessible Site

The building blocks of any SEO styled website is to have pages that crawlers can access so your content can be reached. Some website builders stop crawlers, thus reducing your ability to rank highly without paying for sponsorship. Before you even begin to create a website, you must ensure that the end product will be accessible by all search engine crawlers.

When you have a site that can be accessed, you must consider how to share your content so that it can be navigated and understood by the crawlers. Working with a web designer is a great way to ensure that your site is ready to climb the search engine results pages and divert more and more organic traffic to you.

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Use SEO Friendly Content

The next step in optimizing your site is to ensure that your content is written in a way that shows the crawlers that you are an excellent selection for the SERP. The best way to do this is to make sure your content is compelling, focused and answers the specific search terms that are linked to the site you have.

It is extremely easy to fall into the habit of writing content with crawlers in mind, but this does not yield the results you may expect. Instead, you should focus on producing high-quality content that will interest your target audience and get them to stay on your site after they click through to it. It is those sites with the most compelling content that achieve the best SERP listings.

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Include A Strong Use Of Appropriate Keywords

Undertaking keyword research will help you to learn what you can use to pull in your target audience as well as the crawlers. However, do not fall for the idea that using the same words repeatedly is the best way to do this.

When it comes to keywords, it is wise to undertake proper keyword research to find the right terms to include on your site. There are primary, secondary, and tertiary words to consider and utilizing a keyword research program will help you to get access to the words you really need. Be warned; if you overuse keywords then crawlers will pick up on this and reduce the rank of your site; therefore opt for a strategic smattering rather than stuffing them in everywhere!

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Give Your Users A Great Experience

If you have your content right, keywords right and have a site that can be listed in search results, then you would be forgiven for believing this is where your SEO journey ends. It is not! Getting traffic to your site is the first step, keeping them is the next, and this is where user experience plays a vital role!

If you can provide a site that offers a fast page load speed and that translates across different device types, then you are more likely to offer a better user experience. It is also essential to make your site as easy to navigate as possible, focusing on intuitive navigation rather than making it hard work for visitors to find what they need. A positive user experience is crucial to getting more visitors to your site and keeping them.

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Offer Content That Pops

When you are creating content for your website, you need to aim for it to really pop off the page and make people want to read and share it over and over again. The best way to do this is to ensure that your content is highly relevant to the site, and that is not copied from other sources.

When you have content that is high quality, you are more likely to see it being shared with other uses online, quoted on other sites and links to your page being shared. This is SEO gold as the number of links and citations you get show the crawlers that what you have on offer is high quality and then your SERP rank will increase without you having to lift a finger.

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Take Time Over Titles

Many people believe that top-notch quality is the most important thing, and while it is highly significant, it is not the only SEO strategy you should consider. When a search engine delivers their results, you can see the web address, title, and a small piece of information from the site to help you work out if you want to visit or not.

Meta tags and titles are a significant part of getting a high click through rate (CTR) and showing that your site is the one that should be clicked. The best way to do this is to use a keyword in your tag or description and ensuring that you stick to the recommended character length (including spaces). This will help to direct the right traffic to your site and means that you will have high-quality traffic driven to your site.

 
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Use Social Media

Another excellent way to increase the traffic to your site is to use your social media channels to share links to your content. When you share a link, it is more likely to get a wider reach, and this should then convert into traffic to your website. Search engines also monitor your social media usage, and an increased social media presence results in a stronger SEO influence.

When you share links on your social media, be sure to give a genuine overview of what people will be clicking through to so that you focus on quality views over quantity views. When you get the right audience to your site, you are more likely to keep them there so that they browse through what else is on offer.

 
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Keep Up To Date & Share Reviews

It is important to keep all your details accurate on your website, and all other online business directories as search engines consider these factors to be an essential part of SEO. You need to keep names, addresses and phone numbers up to date and consistent across each page and update them as soon as they change on all sites that you are listed on.

In addition, it is good SEO practice to have a range of good reviews from clients who have engaged with your product or service. The better the reviews, the better the site ranking and so you focus on keeping people happy and getting them to review your hard work whenever possible. Independent review sites are a great way to manage feedback so that it is verifiable and trustworthy.

 

What SEO Cannot Do

While SEO is a powerful tool for any website, it is also important to remember that it is not everything you need to get visitors to your site. We have broken down some of the key things SEO cannot do so that you understand its limits.

 

SEO is Not A Quick Fix

SEO is not a way to quickly get lots of traffic to your site because it has evolved into a strategy that should be sustained over time. It is true that years ago there were SEO tricks you could use to increase the flow to your site rapidly, but it has moved away from this and become something that requires strong building blocks instead.

It is essential not to be sucked into using tactics that claim to produce quick results as these methods may do more harm than good. Instead, take the time to develop a strong SEO strategy, and you will reap the rewards over time.

 

SEO Keywords Are Not A Cure-All

Many people fall into the trap of believing that by including a lot of keywords, then you are more likely to rank higher. Unfortunately, the crawlers that are sent out to retrieve information are highly adept and can recognise keyword stuffing when they come across it, leaving your site out in the cold.

Rather than using a ton of keywords, you should instead focus on using a few, high-value, keywords that will help garner interest while keeping your content authentic and easy to read. There are many online tools available to help you check the value of your keywords and to ensure that you have not overused and specific words.

 

SEO is Not a Marketing Replacement

SEO should be used in conjunction with your other marketing tools rather than in replacement. Your goal should always be to provide the best experience for your target audience rather than focusing on becoming a top-ranked page.

When web creators lose focus on their audience, then they are more likely to produce content that lacks authenticity. Instead, see SEO as one tool in your toolbox and use it alongside other great marketing tools to drive the right traffic to your site.

 

SEO is Not a One Time Trick

SEO is not a one time fix that you implement. It is a continually evolving process that changes direction regularly. The reason that SEO changes so much is so that search engine providers can keep the right content on their results pages so that people continue to trust them and use them.

When you implement an SEO strategy, you also need to factor in future-proofing so that your site and your knowledge is kept up to date so that you continue to attract a broad audience. Focus on keeping up to date with SEO requirements and tweak your strategy regularly for the best results.

SEO is not quick to do and does not produce immediate results. Instead, it helps you to focus on creating a high quality, audience-focused site that will interest and engage your target audience. Building an SEO strategy is an integral part of any website development and will play a large part in your ranking success.

 

Janszen Media designs and develops beautifully responsive websites, optimized for SEO and user experience. If you need a new website contact us at info@janszenmedia.com for a free quote.

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