SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” All businesses should have a basic understanding of what SEO is and why it matters to your business. Essentially, search engines like Google and Bing! are expert “librarians” of the internet. They are responsible for determining what is inside every webpage and how each webpage relates to one another. The search engines take all that information from each website and use a special formula called an algorithm to put it all together. The algorithm allows people like us to search for anything in real time, and have the most relevant web pages listed first. Why does this matter for your business? Because when people search for a business similar to yours, you want your website listed as close to the top of the page as possible.
An algorithm can be thought of as a recipe. The recipes/algorithms that Google, Yahoo, and Bing! use are always changing. That is often why it makes sense to hire an expert in the field. However, in order to get higher rankings, there are some basic rules to follow.
Rule 1: Words Matter. What you write on your website matters. Each search engine reads each webpage and helps deliver the best content to the person searching.
Rule 2: Titles Matter. What your website has in its meta title often summarizes the page.
Rule 3: Links between websites. The more other people reference your website the more likely it is to appear higher in search results. Also, the more often you reference other people’s websites, the more likely you are to be found as well.
Rule 4: Reputation. Websites that update often with fresh content are ranked higher than those who are stagnant.
In summary, SEO is how you are found on the web. Your business could be found on page one of Google, or page twenty. SEO is the science behind getting the major search engines to rank your page higher, leading to more clicks, and ultimately more business.