SEO Demystified

SEO Demystified
SEO Demystified

If you run a business with any sort of online presence, then you’ve probably heard about search engine optimization or SEO. It’s an essential aspect of marketing in the modern world, and it’s something that your peers and competitors (and, perhaps, your own business) have invested heavily in. Below in this article, we will cover the SEO Demystified.

But as ubiquitous as SEO is these days, it’s not always that well understood. It’s a lot easier to say that you should get “higher up on Google” than to understand what it takes to get there, or why that’s so important.

With that in mind, let’s tackle the tricky subject of SEO. From the deceptively simple goals to its ever-changing best practices, here’s what you need to know about the art and the science of wooing Google, Bing, and the rest of the search engine gang.

Why SEO matters

SEO is all about moving up the rankings in Google’s search engine results page (SERP) — or Bing’s, for that matter. But why does this matter? Simply put, because Google drives a ton of traffic — traffic that, for your business, could mean customers.

Google processes a staggering 40,000 queries per second, and its whims can make or break the traffic on a website. Adding to the importance of SEO is the fact that users overwhelmingly click the first few links on any SERP.

Corporations have long coveted top spots on Google’s SERP. Thanks to the rise of mobile devices and local search, local businesses have to care about this stuff, too.

How search engines work

Search engines drive a lot of web traffic because they work so well. But how do they work?

Search engines use computer programs called “spiders” to “crawl” the web and examine websites. These programs travel from link to link, mapping out the internet and recording the sites within it. They find out how many links go to your site, what those links say, what your site says, and how your site is organized, among other things.

The other vital part of the search engine equation is the algorithm. With all of this information in hand, the algorithm calculates the best answers to user queries. It does so very fast and presents a list of links to the user.

How SEO works

We know more or less how search engines work, but we don’t know exactly how they work, because the guts of a search engine comprise its top-secret algorithm.

The algorithm is the secret sauce, and it’s why you’ll get different results on Google than you do on Bing. Google doesn’t want everyone to know what’s in its algorithm, both because competitors would copy it and because SEO professionals could exploit it.

But SEO pros aren’t foiled so easily. The experts at SEO firms like LinkGraph track the tendencies of Google’s ever-changing algorithm by doing loads of A/B testing and other experiments. Then they apply those lessons to their clients’ websites.

SEO pros know about all kinds of factors that matter to search engines, from keyword density to backlinks, and they know more than Google is willing to admit about how those factors come together. SEO is simply about using that knowledge to present Google’s emotionless algorithm with a site that it will consider being the perfect fit for a given query.

How to make SEO a part of your business strategy

When it comes to managing your business’ SEO needs, you have two primary options. First, you could study up on SEO techniques, take certification courses, and dedicate eight hours a day to mastering the latest and greatest SEO techniques and applying them to your business’ mobile and desktop websites.

Or, second, you could just hire a great digital marketing team. One of these things is much easier than the other, of course. SEO may not be as mysterious as it was before you started reading this piece, but it’s still a very tricky thing. To get the best results, you should outsource your SEO needs to a team that specializes in SEO.

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