Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the ongoing process of ensuring that a website is ranked highly on a search engine. This high-ranking status creates a higher flow of traffic to the website and consequently increased popularity or patronage of a business.
How Does Search Engine Optimization Work?
During the website development process, various creative and tactical processes are used to improve the visibility of a website to search engines. These processes focus on three main components – website structure, website content, and website linking.
Search engines rank websites based on “indexable content”. Indexable content is content that can be read by the search engine when it visits a website. Unlike human website visitors who can see images, fonts, and video content, etc. Search engines are limited in how they see and interpret your site. This means that to see and index your website properly, your website must be built using a structure that is understandable to search engine robots so that it can be indexed.
In addition to building a website using a structure that is readable by search engines, the content that the search engine finds when it visits your website must be optimized. What does this mean? It means that when the search engine looks through your website, you must have content that clearly states (using keywords, titles, meta tags, alt tags, etc.) what your company does, what services your company offers, and show that your website is relevant to your specific niche.
Once your website has been structured appropriately and optimized to focus on keyword content, the next order of business is website linking. There are several factors that go in to determining the “weight” of an outgoing or incoming link to a website.
When websites link to other websites, search engines look at those links to assess the value of your content using a series of algorithms. During this process, search engine robots can determine whether the content on the linking sites are relevant to the same niche, quality content worth being linked, and trustworthy enough to be linked by other authority websites.
Why Does Search Engine Optimization Matter?
Incorporating the framework of search engine optimization is an important step in website development and one that should be considered from the very beginning. SEO is ultimately what will determine the success or failure of your website content and consequently, your business.
Is SEO Something You Can Do Yourself?
Unfortunately, many business owners believe that they can optimize their own websites for search engines after reading an article or two about the SEO process. While SEO is something that you can learn, it is a constantly evolving approach to marketing that requires full time dedication. To get the best results from search engine optimization, skip the “do-it-yourself” and hire a web development specialist whose job it is to stay on top of the continuously advancing SEO field.