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search engine optimization

What is Search Engine Optimization?

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It’s probably one of the most common questions that we get: “What is SEO?” Search engine optimization (or SEO for short) is the process of making your website and business more visible to search engine users. This process can improve your placement within search results that are displayed by search engines.

Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. That’s 3.8 million searches per minute, 228 million searches per hour, and 5.6 billion searches per day. 75% of those people will never scroll past the first page of search engines. Read More

A higher (or more visible) placement within search results will usually result in more visitors and potential leads. Studies show that 67% of search engine users will click on one of the top five first page results.  Search Engine Optimization also increases your overall credibility as a business. It’s not unknown that users nowadays are ‘trained’ that the most trust-worthy results are placed within the top five results of any search.

So how exactly can a business improve their SEO to accomplish this?

It might sound simple, but it’s very important: Be relevant.  Telling search engines that your website has good information is a complex, constantly evolving task and it’s a process that takes time. Good SEO starts with a solid foundation that you can continue as your business and website grows.

Basic terms that you should know and will hear often:

While a lot of Search Engine Optimization terms won’t make any sense without further background knowledge, there are some that will come up regularly. Understanding what each one of these refers to will help you in the long run:

Keywords for Search Engine Optimization:

These are the terms or phrases that a user will type into search engines like Google or Bing. For a business, these will be phrases/keywords that you want to show up first for in the results. If you use website analytics, then you will be able to track your traffic from different keyword sources. If you’re a business, then it’s also important to make sure to attach a location. This will make sure that your business will show up for local results and will help with your search rankings. Terms like ‘Divorce Lawyer New York City” and “Jacksonville Plumbing”  are great example of keywords.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

An optimized website is one that follows the ‘rules’ created by search engines, so that it can show up in the search results. Ultimately for businesses, this means companies with websites that have useful content, a well-structured and easy to use website, as well as positive user reviews will show up in the rankings. If done right, then search engine optimization can be a powerful tool to increase your customer engagement, while following the best practices for a good user experience.

Organic Search Results

Organic search traffic is the traffic that will find your website / business without any kind of paid services. This happens when Google (or similar search engines) considers your website / business as the best result for the keywords that are being searched for. Organic traffic is one of the best traffic sources that you can have when it comes to relevant traffic. You can track this traffic through tools like Googles Webmaster Tools, which can be a great way to find new variations of keywords to use in your content.

URL/ Domain Name

This is the website address that is used by users to reach your page (like ImprovingSeo.com). Keywords in domains don’t impact search engine rankings anymore, but they can increase overall click through rates. Having specific keywords in your domain will help with branding and making it easy for users to return. Also when you publish content, then it’s best practice to name your links according to the relevant content. For example, www.page.com/new-york-divorce-lawyers.

Duplicate Content

It’s important that the information on your website is unique and not simply copied off of another website. A recent study by Michigan Tech shows that content is still one of the most deciding factors when it comes search engine optimization. Your overall ranking will be penalized if search engines pick up on duplicate content. Again, the idea of reaching a higher search engine rank correlates directly to being relevant to the searched topic.

So that’s the basics, but what are the next steps?

There are a lot of “SEO Specialists” out there that will try to sell you on an out of the box marketing package without ever thinking twice about how your business operates (including needs, limitations or other factors). The truth is that having some basic knowledge about search engine optimization will help you with hiring the right person or company to do SEO for your business.

Now that you know some of the basic SEO terms, we recommend that you just try to learn some more about it. We try to make it easy to understand as possible, but everybody learns at their own pace. Feel free to explore our site more for knowledge that will help you with improving your SEO and growing your overall business.

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