Many will have heard of SEO, even if they don’t yet have their own website. It’s one of the most powerful tools online today, as it’s benefits far extend simply appealing to search algorithms. While the main goal of search engine optimization is, ultimately, to rank more highly on a search engine’s SERPs, the changes that Google has made to its algorithm mean that the benefits of your SEO investment go so much further.
Google looks for indicators of quality and value. By making your website optimized for search engines, you also work on making it easier and more enjoyable to use for your human site visitors.
What to Keep in Mind with SEO
A perfectly optimized website won’t likely get to the first page of Google. There are millions of active websites out there, with bigger brand names than yours. This does not, however, mean that it’s impossible. If you focus on your local area, or on a very specific niche, you’ll find it far easier to get to the top. If you have a unique name, chances are you’ve already experienced this. Type in said unique name, and you get results that actually belong to you. Type in your profession, however, and you’ll be buried.
This doesn’t mean that SEO is pointless. Optimizing your website helps improve the quality of your website and helps increase traffic, even if you don’t get to that top result. An optimized site is also a better starting point for any PPC campaign.
Understand the Ranking Factors
To understand what SEO does, you need to first understand what factors Google ranks for. Click Intelligence, an SEO agency, has put together a helpful guide that goes into depth on the various ranking factors and how to improve them. In general, however, your site needs to be secure, the page structure needs to be effective (no missing or broken links) and you need robust, optimized content. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to content alone, so getting into the habit of creating pages or blog posts that hit all the target recommendations like word count is a good place to begin.
Why Rankings Change
Even if you use the best white-hat practices of the day, your ranking may suddenly drop. This drop occurs because Google frequently updates its algorithm. In fact, sometimes its algorithm is updated several times per day. The big upgrades, however, are advertised. Google does give users the chance to make the big chances necessary to their websites even before the update. The recommendations are not trade secrets into what specifically the algorithm will now look for. Instead, they’re basic updates that help improve user experience.
Accessibility and SEO
Making your website accessible actually helps improve your website’s SEO efforts. Say, for example, you have a video. Creating a full transcript that not only outlines what goes on in the video, but all the dialogue, is a great way to make your site more accessible to those Hard of Hearing and the visually impaired. That same transcription will also be useful for search engines, since they can parse through written content faster and more reliably than trying to analyze a whole video.
The Difference Between Onsite and Offsite SEO
You have control over your website, and as a result you can make the on-site updates that will impact your website’s domain authority and its ranking. Ensuring your site is fast to use, flawlessly executed, and optimized using headers and tags, you can help algorithms understand what your content is and what keywords you should rank on better.
Offsite SEO can feel a bit wild. Every time your business is named (and linked) that plays a role in your ranking. Don’t think that a million links are enough. In the old days, yes, a link was a link. Today where your link appears matters. Having a few low-quality sites or blogs talk about your site is fine, but you should be proactive. There are offsite SEO strategies that include guest posting, PR marketing, and so on that aim specifically to get your name out there to increasingly larger audiences. Investing in this multi-pronged approach is a great way to build up a healthy backlink profile while also getting your name out there to real people.