What is SEO and How Does It Work?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy aimed at putting your website on top of the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). The ultimate goal of SEO is to drive organic traffic to your website by providing value to visitors and improving your online presence.

SEO is an intricate combination of tactics that make your website attractive to the users and the search engine algorithms simultaneously. It involves several aspects, including technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO.

Let's take a closer look at this valuable strategy and explore its multiple nuances.

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Keyword Research

All SEO strategies begin with keyword research. It involves identifying keywords and key phrases that your target audience uses when searching for products or services related to your offer. The main types of keywords include:

  • Informational – users want to find information
  • Navigational – users are looking for a specific website
  • Commercial – users want to explore brands, products, or services.
  • Transactional – users want to take action (make a purchase, order a service)

Once you identify keywords, you can use them in website content so search engines identify it as relevant to the user's search.

On-Page Optimization

On-page SEO focuses on optimizing the website directly to make sure search engines notice and rank it correctly. The key on-page SEO elements include:

  • Metadata optimization – creating unique title tags, designing attractive and informative meta descriptions, using proper heading tags (H1, H2, etc.), and crafting descriptive URLs
  • High-quality content – creating and posting valuable content that's relevant to your audience's pain points
  • Keyword usage – taking a professional approach to using keywords in the content, meta descriptions, and title tags naturally
  • Image optimization – posting relevant images with appropriate metadata and keywords
Today, top 5 websites on the SERPs receive 70.4% of the clicks. The tenth position on Google only gets 2.5% clicks. That's why all efforts are directed at appearing as close to the five top spots as possible.

Off-Page Optimization

Off-page SEO is a set of tactics marketers implement outside the website to improve its authority, reputation, and rankings on the SERPs. The main off-page SEO technique is link building. It involves getting other authority websites to include links to your website in their content.

When an authority website points to yours, it endorses your content as valuable, authoritative, and trustworthy. This causes search engines to consider your website "worthy" of staying high on the SERPs.

Other off-page SEO tactics include review management, social media marketing, and content marketing.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is a set of tactics that help search engines index and crawl your website effectively. The key elements include:

  • Loading speed optimization (loading speed is a Google ranking factor)
  • Structured data
  • Mobile friendliness
  • Secure HTTPS connection
  • XML sitemaps
  • Canonicalization

While technical SEO aims to make your website appealing to search engines, it also turns it into an easy-to-use resource for visitors.

Content Creation

High-quality, valuable content is the backbone of all digital marketing tactics. SEO isn't an exception. Top-notch content that brings value to your target audience is what attracts visitors to your website.

All SEO tactics revolve around content. You need content to place keywords organically, organize metadata, encourage backlinks, and more.

Even the most exceptional content works only if you use it the right way. Strategic content placement is the key to achieving higher rankings.

User Experience

To make your website appealing to search engines, you need to focus on user experience. Improving user experience is an integral part of SEO. For example, you must:

  • Ensure easy website navigation
  • Provide valuable and relevant content
  • Increase page loading time
  • Make sure the website is mobile-friendly

Anything that brings the right visitors to the website and helps them stay there for a long time is a signal that your website deserves to be in the top spots of the SERPs.

Search Engine Crawling and Indexing

Search engines use automated bots (crawlers) to browse websites and find new and updated content. These bots provide the information for adding the website or changes to it to the search engine's database (indexing). Only after that, can websites appear in search results.

A big part of SEO is making websites easy to crawl by search engines and providing information about updates as fast as possible.

Algorithm Updates

Google and other search engines continuously update their ranking algorithms to make themselves more valuable to searchers. Staying up to date with these changes is key to keeping your SEO tactics in top shape.

Mostly, algorithm updates are small and require minor tweaks to your marketing tactics. However, sometimes, big updates can have a significant impact on the website's rankings. To prevent your website from being kicked from the first SERP (Search Engine Results Page), you need to monitor changes closely.

Designing an Effective SEO Strategy

SEO is an ongoing process that helps you achieve top marketing goals. Maintaining high rankings requires consistent effort and top SEO expertise. While you focus on providing value to users, you need to keep search engine requirements in mind.

Mid-West Family Springfield, MO can be the SEO "hero" for your website along with our own website company, Webstix. Together we can help you design and implement the most effective SEO strategy that helps keep your website on top of the SERPs and ahead of the competition.

For more information, please contact our team at any convenient time.

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