A proven way to boost the number of visitors to your website is to improve your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You may have heard of businesses spending a fortune on consultants and strategies, but there are a number of simple and better ways to improve your SEO and website’s usability.
The Way We Search
When an average Internet user accesses the Internet they are often seeking to gain information on a specific subject. Yet we don’t always know exactly where to find the information we’re seeking. Although social media services are becoming a vital resource for finding individuals, businesses and authoritative sources online, most of us use a search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo! to seek out what we need. These search engines utilize specialized programs called Crawlers, which “crawl” over websites and index content that is publicly accessible.
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing websites and web content to make it more relevant and accessible to crawlers and, by extension, to search engines. Search engines and the websites they index share an almost symbiotic relationship – websites rely on high rankings in search results to boost their traffic while search engines yield relevant results in order to satisfy their users. If either side fails in their respective endeavor, they quickly risk losing website traffic, market share, advertising and referral revenue, and most importantly, the authority they built up in their industry.
You Must Be Adaptive
Search engines have been continuously evolving their algorithms over the past two decades, forcing webmasters and marketers to adapt and sometimes abandon existing SEO techniques and develop new ones. SEO tactics that worked ten years ago are now ineffective and even damaging to your search rankings, as reputable SEO tactics and techniques continuously out of fashion. Attempting to “trick” web crawlers into artificially inflating your search ranking can backfire, sometimes disastrously.
Quality Is Key
It is important to understand that Google, Bing and Yahoo! are interested in producing the best search results possible for their users. Although the algorithms they use to formulate search results are confidential, it is known that well-organized websites that produce high-quality content are favored over websites that produce low-quality and irrelevant content in a poor and disorganized fashion. Therefore, the best SEO techniques are the ones that don’t really focus on search engines and search results at all!
The most effective SEO techniques focuses on improving the overall user experience of your website –the quality and organization of content, usability, and overall site layout and design. If your SEO techniques are primarily focused on creating the best possible experience for the robotic web crawlers, chances are the human users that visit your website may be less than thrilled with it.
Personalized Search Results
One final thing to note is the emergence of personalized search results. What this means is that everyone’s search engine results are slightly different. Personalized search results rely on a number of different factors, such as geographic location, social connections, and search history. For example, if you live in Colorado, a quick search for the Boulder Flatirons will most likely yield different results than someone searching the exact same phrase in Florida. While major authoritative sources will still appear as the first results in the search engine, there will be small differences in local sources.
In our next blog post, we will present easy, cost- and resource-effective ways to improve your on-site SEO.