SEO has been around for some time, but many people still don’t know that there is such a thing, and if they do, they are, at best, mystified by it. Shawn Byrne, Founder and CEO, of SEOPhoenix.net talks about what SEO is and see what it’s about.
It’s easy to think that search engine optimization or SEO would be a household phrase by now. After all, SEO has been around for at least two decades, so everyone already knows and fully understands what it’s about, right?
The problem is, SEO remains a mystery to many. Never mind that it has spawned an entire industry employing so many people all over the world. For all the impact it has made on the lives of people and business in general, SEO is still as alien to lots of Internet users as it was when it first started all those years ago.
Even worse is that despite clear proof of the positive results it has delivered over the years, many individuals and businesses still refuse to use SEO to further their goals. To them, SEO might as well be sorcery.
What sorcery is SEO?
Sorry to disappoint, but there is nothing remotely magical about SEO. It stands for search engine optimization, and it’s all about the processes and strategies people use to rank higher in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. with a mind toward driving more organic traffic to a website.
How does your business benefit from SEO?
When optimizing a website, SEOs fill it with signals like title tags, meta descriptions, and high-traffic keywords within the content that are meant to catch the attention of search engine bots—also referred to as spiders or crawlers—that crawl websites for these very signals.
Once the bots get the signals they seek, they report the information back to the search engine, which will then process all of it to determine which website will rank for the queries that users make.
Higher ranking means better visibility in Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs, and therefore better chances of users clicking on your link and checking out what your website has to offer.
Therefore, ranking high in the SERPs will ultimately mean more organic traffic, which, in turn, increases the likelihood of your website getting leads and conversions that your business can surely use.
So SEO is that simple?
Not in the slightest. It may sound simple, but with Google—the biggest search engine of them all—listing more than 200 factors that you have to consider to better your chances of snagging that high ranking, optimizing your website can get a bit more complex.
If anything, doing SEO well requires a ton of time, effort, and patience from you. You are going to need all that when you’re boosting your site speed, creating title tags, making your site mobile-friendly, acquiring quality backlinks, developing useful and engaging content, and fulfilling many other ranking factors.
No such thing as instant SEO results
There are many SEO companies that love promising to potential clients that they can provide optimization services that will make their websites rank high in the SERPs in just a week. For businesses that know little to nothing about SEO, they would either reject such an offer out of incredulity or engage their services hoping for quick results.
Sorry to burst their bubble, but companies that hired SEO services because of the promise of practically instant results have been had. Organic SEO takes about four to six months to yield any results, and those results will most likely be not that significant yet. Considerable results will start coming in after a few more months with sustained SEO efforts. SEO works, but you need to understand that it’s a process that is slow, deliberate, and for the long term.
Quality content for great SEO
In the past, SEO was all about stuffing keywords and didn’t pay much attention to the quality of content. But when Google implemented massive algorithm changes, content was pushed to the forefront and is now considered the top ranking factor in SEO today.
Among the types of content that will be good for SEO are:
- How-to articles within your niche
- Authoritative blog posts featuring developments within your industry and your opinions about them
- List articles that are well-written and engaging have always been popular among audiences who will likely share them.
- Highly-shareable infographics that provide readers very informative snapshots of any given topic in relatively fewer words.
- Videos, which are predicted to make up 80% of all web traffic by 2020.
SEO can be confusing and overwhelming, but anyone can learn it with committed study and practice. It might take some time, but you’ll get there, as have many people before you.