What is SEO? There are countless definitions for the term “search engine optimization” out there, but sometimes the simplest explanation is best. SEO is the method of enhancing a website to boost its visibility for applicable web searches. Still confused? Here is a bare bones analogy: if you put a bright red hat on a child, the child’s teacher will be more likely to notice that child in a large classroom.
What's Search Engine Optimization?
To better understand how SEO works, one needs to know how search engines like Google and Yahoo! use bots to crawl webpages on the Internet. According to Cloudfare, bots are actually software applications that are programmed to do certain things, like operate on social media platforms, chat with users and, as mentioned, scan webpages.
Bots move from site to site, collecting data about webpages and indexing them. From there, algorithms analyze the indexed pages, using many different factors and signals for ranking. This information determines the order that the webpages show up in when queries are entered into the search engines’ query boxes.
So what do those bots search for? Search Engine Land describes some of the most important factors, emphasizing that they all work in conjunction with one another, rather than separately. They break these down into different categories, starting with content quality. Here are some more details about what bots look for on webpages.
The Importance of Quality Content
Quality content captures and engages audiences, who are becoming more and more sophisticated every day. They seek out valuable, fresh, authentic content that is useful and compelling. Fluff and hard sell articles are not as likely to rank as high as informative, well-written content. Today’s users need to trust what they read, and they will develop loyalty to websites providing that.
Building quality content starts with keyword research. This helps writers create content that has answers to the questions that users search for. The keywords are then entered into the content, where they flow naturally and should not appear stuck in or awkward.
The main goal of quality content is to answer the reader’s questions. Users generally go online when they have problems that need to be solved, such as a gardener who wants to save their dying rose bushes. In a perfect world, that user would enter “my rosebush is dying” into Google, and your gardening website would be at the top of the search results.
SEO encompasses all the steps that it took to get you to the top of those results. The user would read your article about which fertilizers are best for saving rose bushes, and they would then click on the link to your fertilizer and buy it. Boom – you made a sale.