Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, can a very highly involved, complicated creature. One that sometimes takes an entire department or even multiple departments to tame into a successful strategy. As it quickly evolves, it’s becoming more and more apparent that SEO is something everyone needs to know about, at least on a basic level.

The fact is that SEO doesn’t just affect the way your website is ranked in search engine results. As a business owner, it helps users find you, your business, and the information you provide about your products and services in the form of content marketing. As a searcher, it helps you find the most relevant information to you and your current location. With even the slightest bit of SEO knowledge, most marketers, business owners, and users can not only understand it painlessly, but can also take advantage of the benefits it offers as well.

  • SEO stands for “search engine optimization”
  • There are two types of search results: organic search results and paid search results. You can usually tell the difference between these two types.
  • Organic search results have naturally “earned” their space in rankings and can be seen below the paid results.
  • Paid search results can be identified by the word “Ad” labeled at the bottom of each result. Paid search results are also known as pay-per-click ads or PPC (here’s an example below): The SEO Bare Essentials That Everyone Must Know | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston
  • When a user types in a search query in the search box, a Google algorithm is what will determine the results the user receives.
  • Google algorithms will also “crawl” a website, which means it will analyze the content on your site, based on several factors, to determine if your website is relevant to the user searching.
  • What are these algorithms looking for?
    • Content: What is the theme of the page given the text, titles, and descriptions?
    • Performance: How fast is your website and does it work properly?
    • Authority: Does your site link with other authoritative sites? Do other sites reference or cite your information?
    • User Experience: Is the website easy to navigate? Does it look safe? Or does it have a high bounce rate (the bounce rate is the rate of which a person lands on your website and leaves within the first several seconds)?
  • Keywords and links are the two most important components that get a pages ranked organically in search engine results.
  • Keywords: When Google algorithms see a word mentioned repeatedly on your page, especially in the title, this will help Google determine what the article is about and place it in search results.
  • Linking: If people are linking back to your site, it lets Google know that you’re a reputable source. The more variety of sites that link back to your site, the better it is in Google’s eyes. However, these linking sites should not be spammy sites.
  • On-page SEO refers to search engine optimization on your website page. Off-page SEO refers activities outside the boundaries of your website that help you rank better in search. This includes business directory sites, social media sites, news aggregator sites.
  • Again, the more your business name and contact information is listed on other reputable sites, the more it lets Google know that you have a quality website and active presence. This is what will help boost your site’s rankings.
  • The role of an SEO agency or an in-house marketing department is to determine the pages that are most frequently visited by users and how long they’re staying. This department can also determine how they can make these pages more relevant to searchers.
  • SEO is an ongoing process that is continues to evolve. As a result, any change or update to an SEO strategy will take time before seeing any results.