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What Is SEO?

A brief explanation of Search Engine Optimization and how it can affect your ability to get more business.

Categories:  Questions & Answers
5 min read
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When you hear the words “search engine optimization,” we’re talking about helping a website rank high in organic search engine results. The goal is to get your page seen by the most people and ahead of the competition. Many factors come into play, but content strategy is king if you want a successful SEO campaign. 

Besides a killer content strategy, you’re going to want to pay attention to several other factors and techniques if you want your website to rank higher. Many of these will be done over time as your website grows.

At TheeDigital, we start with a search engine-friendly foundation when creating your site. If you already have an existing site that can be optimized, we will take a look and see what can be done to boost its ranking. If you’re new to the game, we’ll get you started from the ground up.

When you choose to work with TheeDigital you can count on us being transparent and following best practices when it comes to our methods for gaining traffic and ranking. We don’t use questionable methods that would run the risk of your site getting banned from search results. In search marketing, reputation is everything, and we are not willing to risk ours or our clients’ for a limited reign of the top spot in search engine results.

How Does SEO Work?

An easy way to explain how SEO works is to look at it as a map. Search engines have code called “crawlers” that are constantly following links on the internet from one site to another. As the crawlers browse the internet they gather data that can be used to form an imaginative map.

A website that has many other websites linking to it would be like a city with many roads leading into it from all over the world. A less popular website might be like a small town with just one or two roads leading in.

When both sites write about a topic, (if all things are equal except the number of links going to the website), then the web page written by the site that is like a city will have a better chance of ranking higher in the search results. The new article would be found by the search engine crawlers sooner.

Nope! In reality, each search engine has its own criteria for what it looks for when ranking a website in its results. Many factors play into a search engine’s algorithm.

With Google, these ranking systems are made up of a whole series of algorithms. The algorithms look at factors like:

  • The words of your query
  •  Relevance and usability of pages
  •  The expertise of sources 
  •  Your location
  •  Your settings

Search engines are also constantly refining their algorithms to deliver users the best results. What worked one year may not work the next.

When working on improving a site’s SEO, optimization will include:

  • Title Tag and Meta Description optimization
  • Internal Link optimization
  • Earning external links (backlinks) to the website
  • Site Speed
  • Measuring user experience to improve the time they spend on your website
  • Producing content to fulfill a user’s search intent.

When you fulfill your audience’s search intent, you drive more traffic to your page.

When you fulfill your audience’s search intent, you drive more traffic to your page. Ranking well for terms that are seldomly searched for or that have nothing to do with your business would be a waste of time and server resources. So when working on improving the SEO of a page, we always want to keep the user’s intent in mind.

Why is SEO important?

The two goals with SEO are to attract quality traffic and to appear at the top of search engine results for terms that potential customers would search. This is done to increase the organic website traffic rather than paying for ad space to appear at the top of search results.

Usually, organic search results can cover more user searches and generate more clicks than paid ads. Paid advertising can work together with other marketing efforts and get you quick leads on a new website. But, in the long run, you want to appear organically in search engines because it will give you a better return on your investment.

Features like rich results and knowledge panels can help enforce your company’s branding and image. These work together with other SEO practices to achieve the common goal.

What is SEO? Knowledge Panel Example

Trust, Authority, Expertise & Search Rankings

When working on a website’s SEO, trust, authority, and expertise are considered by the search engines as part of the ranking algorithm. Trust factors include technical aspects such as:

  • Use of SSL certificates (especially for e-commerce websites)
  • Content on a website (like having a privacy policy page)

Here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to establish your website’s authority:

  • Is your website an authority in your field or business sector? 
  • Do reputable websites within the same field link to pages on your website? 
  • Does your business have reviews in Google My Business or Yelp? 

If you answered no to any of these, it’s time to do some work!

At TheeDigital, we can help your website become an authority. We monitor Google’s guidelines when it comes to how a page’s expertise, authority, and trust are decided as well as feedback from its more than 10,000 Search Quality Evaluators. This helps us to stay on top of what Google wants in a quality website.

Link Building & Ranking In Search Engines

The company your website keeps is important. You don’t want low-quality websites or any spam linking to your site.

When working on link building, we focus on three things:

  • Inbound Links (backlinks)
  • Producing Content
  • Internal Links

Google’s algorithm is smart and ever-changing. When working on getting inbound links, Google specifically does not want you to pay for links from a website or try to spam its algorithm by artificially generating links to your website.

A safe and helpful technique when generating backlinks is to register your website in relevant trade organizations, or business directories. This will help customers find you.

Does your business appear in Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, Yelp, and your local business of commerce? If not, they should. These are all helpful backlinks that can be built without worrying about being penalized by the search algorithms.

  • Don’t purchase links
  • Don’t engage in a link exchange
  • Don’t add yourself to low-quality directories
  • Links should be earned
  • Links should come from authoritative pages
  • Links should come from topically relevant sources

Producing Content

The best way to produce backlinks to your website is by producing content that people want to see. This includes relevant blog posts, useful internal pages, and social media content. You need to give people something of value for them to not only come back to your site but also see you as an authority.

If you produce the best post that answers a difficult question that comes up often in your industry, then over time, as people find your content, it will naturally attract backlinks from other websites. This is a natural, organic way to produce backlinks that offer people value.

The links you have within your website to other internal pages are also very important and help users find what they need. They also give search engines a better idea of the structure of your website, establish a hierarchy, and give an understanding of what a page is about.

Get Help Request a Free Website Audit

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of SEO

If you want to improve your website performance or want to fix all of your technical SEO issues, request a free website audit with us.

Infographic that explains what is SEO

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