Understanding SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a complex and rapidly changing field, but it boils down to producing good, informative content. The marketing maxim that states “Content Is King!” has never been more true.

The business of search engines is to list websites with current content that is relevant to the searcher’s request.  Google and other search engines use hundreds of criteria to determine what is relevant and current in producing their rankings.

And it’s important for your business to get up high on that list. Read on to learn about the right and wrong way to go about it.

Read more: Doing SEO the right way

Doing SEO the right waysearch engine optimization

The best kind of SEO focuses on great content and links to great content. The kind of content that is up-to-date, concise, and informative. Good SEO is:

  • Crisp, descriptive headlines
  • Concise, informative text
  • Links to related, authoritative content
  • Descriptive SEO title and meta description

Lots of SEO involves the correct use of keywords. Using keywords or key phrases in your content informs the search engine and readers of what the content is about. Good writing naturally contains lots of words related to the subject of the writing.

For example, if your small business marketing is for a house painting business in Cincinnati, there will be lots of words and phrases related to houses, painting, Cincinnati, and so on. The keywords are not just used in the text, but also in the headlines and the meta description, the piece of code that often drives the description of the site in search results.

Good content also has links to sites that have related information that adds support and authority to the writing.

Read more: The wrong approach to SEO

The wrong approach to SEO

As long as there have been search engines, there have been people trying to fool them. They do this for a lot of reasons, but basically they are trying to “hijack” the search. They want their website displayed in the search results, even though its content is black hat representing bad SEO techniquesnot relevant to the search.

Bad SEO, also called “Black Hat” SEO, revolves around several techniques:

  • keyword stuffingthe insertion of a large number of keywords throughout the content in an effort to score well in search results for those keywords. In this approach, good content takes a back seat to content loaded with keywords.
  • link farms… including many, many links to external content that may or may not be relevant to the search. Early versions of search engines just assumed that links were to good content, and rewarded pages with lots of links.
  • invisible text and page swaps…text that is hidden from the user, but is included to help the page score better; and the exchanging of a page with different content, after the page has already been indexed by the search engine.

Use of Black Hat SEO techniques can cause the site to drop drastically in search rankings and, in extreme cases, can get the site banned from search rankings altogether.

Read more: What the professionals know about SEO

What the professionals know about SEO

The truth of the matter is that Google doesn’t disclose the exact criteria its search engines uses to rank pages. When you read the endless studies about it, know that what you are reading is, after all, speculation.

Google’s whole business is based on giving you exactly what you expect every time you search. So they do tell developers things google logothat generally drive higher rankings, like relevancy, currency, and authority. Why? Because these things make for good, engaging content and a good user experience.

So fill your site with well-written, informative content, relevant images and other graphics, and a few pertinent links to good material on authoritative sites. Remember? Content is King.

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