What is Search Engine Optimization, and How Does it Work?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a method of increasing the number of visitors to a website. The term ‘SEO’ has a number of different meanings, including increasing visibility, improving rankings, and driving traffic. Regardless of the context, SEO involves optimizing a site for search engines, either through on-site techniques or through the use of off-site tactics.
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There are hundreds of ranking signals that search engines employ to determine how relevant a web page is to a search. These include things such as the page’s content, links and HTML code structure. A good rule of thumb is to focus on keywords and topic relevance. For example, if you sell tennis shoes online, it’s likely that you’ll want to optimize your pages for both product and informational keywords. This way, you’ll be able to draw both types of users to your site.
Although not a direct measure of how effective your SEO efforts are, a link is a sign of quality from other sites. Search engines also look at the number of backlinks a website receives. Sites with a lot of backlinks are considered to be authoritative and have a higher rank in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Using an SEO tool such as Google’s PageRank algorithm, you can see how important a page is to Google. In addition, you can learn how your competition ranks for a given keyword. With that information in hand, you can tweak your own page to improve its chances of being ranked higher.
One of the best ways to increase your website’s rankings is to do on-page optimization. Among other things, on-page SEO can include slugs, title tags, meta tags and URLs. You can also optimize your content for relevant words in the body copy. It’s also a good idea to use the alt attribute to describe images.
Some of the other on-page factors that can affect your site’s rankings are the number of outbound links to your website, the length of your site’s content, the number of pages on your site, the quality of your content and the overall user experience. On-page optimization is an important and often overlooked component of SEO, and a good SEO strategy can lead to increased site traffic.
While there is no one definitive way to achieve a high search engine ranking, a small improvement can yield big results. If you’re able to improve your page’s SEO, you’ll find that your traffic and conversions will increase, as will the number of visitors to your website.
It’s no secret that SEO is a key component of any digital marketing plan. Successful marketers know that traffic is only half the battle. They also know that conversion rate optimization is important. That’s why they conduct A/B testing and make sure that the best performing pages are linked to.
As with any other form of marketing, SEO isn’t an overnight process. It takes time to make your site rank well, but in the long run, the benefits are huge.