SEO – also called search engine optimization – has been around since the dats of Alta Vista and Lycos. In broad terms, SEO is the process used to optimize the content and structure of your website in such a way that you’re sending all the right signals to Google, Bing or Yahoo, and none of the wrong signals.
SEO is important becauseso much of the research we do before we go anywhere or buy anything is done online using one of the major search engines.
In 2018, a study by the eCommerce Foundation found that 88 percent of consumers do pre-purchase research online before making a purchase either online or in-store. Another study by Bazaarvoice found that 82 percent of users do their research on their smartphone and 45 percent read online reviews before making a purchase.
If you’re not optimzing your website content for the search engines, you won’t be part of the consideration set.
Yes you can. Basic search engine optimization is not terribly difficult and most websites today are built using content management systems like WordPress or Drupal that do a good job with the basics. The question isn’t can you do it yourself. The question is should you do it yourself.
You should hire an outside firm because while you can do it yourself, it’s not easy.
How long did it take you to learn your business? To get good at it? Probably more than a few days, weeks, or months. Probably years.
Google releases several major updates to it’s core search algorithm a year and hundreds and hundreds of minor updates. With all those updates come new challenges and new opportunities. Staying up to day on all of those updates is a full time job.
Link building a the term associated with the process of proactively contacting other websites and asking them for a link back to your website. Text links are more valuable than links from images because search engines can’t see or read the image they way they can with text. Links that mention a specific keyword or the name of your brand are more valuable than a link that only contains the URL of your website because they help the search engine to understand context and how the link might relate to your website.
Links to your website are like votes in an election. The more you have, the better. At least that’s how it used to be.
All of the major search engines have long since stopped looking at just the number of links you have to your website. Today, search engines look at the quality of the link – specifically, is the link coming from a website that’s topically related to your web site, and is that website itself considered authoritative.
Quality, authority and reputation matter more than raw numbers.
It is but not in the way you might think.
These two things are true. First, search engines pay attention too high-quality content. And second, people generally don’t share content that they don’t find funny or informative. They don’t share junk. And they certainly don’t want to share junk with their family and friends. So it stands to reason that if your content is high enough quality that it’s shareable, it’s highly likely that the search engines will be interested in it as well
In a word no.
What does happen is that search engines take notice of content that is shared frequently. When a search engine sees a piece of content getting a lot of attention on social media it thinks, in layman’s terms, “Hmmm…maybe this is something we should look at more closely.”
In technical terms, it has to do with a concept called virality. The more virality your content has, the more shareable your content is, the better your chances are of having your content offered up as an option for relevant searches.
Doing search engine optimization right requires an understanding of technology as well as an understanding of how people and search engines interact with the content you’ve produced. Like everything else, continued success requires the ability to question what you know and adapt.
This isn’t something we just started doing because it sounded cool. We have been doing digital marketing since 1995, and search engine optimization since Alta Vista released the very first web crawler in the late 1990s and we’re not going away anytime soon.