Nowadays, one of the first places people go to seek out information, services, products, or anything else is a search engine.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the art of creating a website that stands out to search engines, allowing them to direct more quality traffic to that website.
But before we go into more depth about SEO, let’s take a step back and look at exactly what a search engine does.
Using an algorithm, or a sort of checklist, a search engine sifts through a massive amount of information from numerous websites to provide the best search results.
When you utilize SEO, you ensure that your website meets all the requirements on the search engine’s checklist for a specific search, which increases the chances of your website being a top search result.
This can lead to greater traffic on your website, increased sales, and more!
1. Crawlers, what are they?
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of SEO, it is crucial to understand how to build a website that is visible and easily interpreted by search engines.
Let’s think about search engines as the librarians of the Internet.
If you went to a library to find a book for a peach cobbler recipe, the librarian would reference an index of all the books in the library related to baking, recipes, and peach cobblers.
Crawlers are programs that create this index for search engines, allowing them to provide the best search results.
However, crawlers can typically only process the HTML text on a website.
This means that if your website features primarily images, videos, and other non-HTML content, it may be almost invisible to search engines!
To ensure that’s not the case for your website you should put important text in HTML.
2. The art of link building
When crawlers index webpages, one of the main things they look at are the links leading to that webpage. They are also known as inbound links.
Think of these as popularity votes.
The more inbound links your webpage has, the more popularity votes it gets.
However, since crawlers also use this information to gauge a webpage’s trustworthiness, some votes have greater value than others.
For example, if you wanted finance advice, would you trust the opinion of 30 random people on the street or three accredited financial advisors?
It’s the same with crawlers!
They put more value on inbound links coming from trustworthy websites, so invest time in earning these types of links.
Therefore, there are many aspects of link building to consider.
For starters, the anchor text, or the clickable text of a link, matters.
If you run a fitness blog, you want inbound links to include anchor text related to fitness, such as workouts, healthy eating, and so on.
Link building is one of the most important aspects of SEO. That being said, it is also one of the most challenging parts of becoming a master of SEO.
Despite that, don’t let it stop you from learning the art of link building!
3. Keywords to success
Keywords are where all searches start and each market has different keywords associated with them.
Quality traffic means getting the right kind of visitors who are looking for the services or content your online business provides.
You will also want to look into popular long-tail keywords associated with your industry.
A long-tail keyword is any search that contains a phrase of three or more keywords and, oftentimes, is very specific to what the searcher wants.
Improving your website’s long-tail keywords will help direct people to it who aren’t just browsing, but ready to make commitments.
For instance, someone searching the keyword “hoodie” may not be as ready to purchase something as someone searching the long-tail keyword “small black crop-top hoodie.”
Understanding which long-tail keywords are popular in your line of business will allow you to tailor your website to attract more high-quality traffic.
4. The user experience
In the past, addressing the above elements was enough to help your website’s search result ranking. Now it is crucial to consider the user experience of your website.
So what is “the user experience”?
Imagine walking into your favorite store. How does it make you feel?
Sometimes I walk into Bath & Body Works simply because I love the experience of it.
The store is bright and inviting, the products are neatly arranged on the shelves, and the air always smells faintly of fresh perfume.
It’s the same for websites! Of course, minus the smells.
The user experience is how a visitor can interact with a website and whether they enjoy it or not is important.
When you engage visitors with your website, they’re likely to spend more time browsing your content, services, and products.
This signals to search engines that people enjoyed your website’s experience.
You want your visitors to have an exquisite user experience so that they spend more time on your website and feel compelled to share it with all of their friends.
How can you do this?
To start, make sure the design draws people in. Make it look neat and easy to navigate.
Along with that, you need fresh, quality content that will satisfy your target audience’s needs.
5. Tracking your growth
It is important to measure and track your progress and growth.
This is especially significant for SEO because it allows you to see which areas of your website are doing well versus those that still need work.
It will also help you determine which strategies work best for your business.
Keeping track of metrics and determining which are important to your specific online business will require some research. Be sure to check out resources to get you started with tracking your success.
And that’s it! You’re a master at SEO. Well, at least in terms of knowledge. Now it’s time to turn that knowledge into action!
As you address and refine the elements above, your website will definitely start to climb the search result ranks.
Remember that SEO takes time to master, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the fruits of your labor right away. Just keep at it and continually improve your website!
Additional articles you might be interested in:
- 5 Proven Steps That Will Increase Your Organic Search Traffic In 2020
- 7 Smart Strategies For Selling Products Online
- 5 Things You Need To Know About SEO
- 5 SEO Tools Every Online Business Owner Should Have
- 11 Reasons SEO Is Crucial For Business Growth
- 6 SEO Tips For Launching An E-commerce Site
- How To Position Yourself As A Trustworthy Expert Online
- How To Discover And Engage Your Target Audience
- 6 Common Mistakes Blocking Your Blog Traffic (And How To Get It Right)
- 12 Most Profitable Niches For Making Money Online
- 5 Ways To Successfully Get Traffic To Your Online Store
- 5 Ways To Create A Tailor-Made Customer Experience
- How To Immediately Capture Interest To Make People Stay On Your Website
- 5 Powerful Principles To Expedite Your Business Growth
Sarai Lopez is a senior at Wheaton College (IL) studying Spanish and Communications with a focus in rhetoric & culture. She loves learning, sharing her knowledge, eating just about any sort of chocolate dessert, and listening to all genres of music. One day she hopes to open her very own bakery.