What is search engine optimization?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an analytical, technical, and creative process to enhance the visibility of a website in search engines. Its basic function is to encourage more visits to a website.
If you’ve ever searched for anything online, you most likely already know more about SEO than you think. The first thing you do is put a word or a phrase into a search engine that describes generally what you’re looking for.
Then you choose which website to look at depending on what seems most related to your search.
With every search you do there are a few different agendas. For example:
- You want to find the information you’re looking for
- The search engine wants to make sure you get the best and most useful results
- Any business that has a website would want to be the first result you see when you search
Basically, making all those “wants” match up is the responsibility of search engines. SEO professionals use a variety of strategies to make websites appear higher in the list of results. This will make it more likely that you’ll click on their website.
Why is SEO important?
Search engines are often the largest source of traffic for most websites. SEO is important for many health & wellness businesses because if people find your website this can help increase your sales. If people can’t find you, you miss an opportunity and they might find your competitor instead.
If your content isn’t optimized, the search engines won’t know how to rank it. Your website won’t appear in the search results when people search for topics related to your business and you’ll miss out on all the traffic. For that reason it’s important to make your website seach engine friendly..
SEO is usually part of an overall online marketing strategy. It should complement other channels like social media marketing and paid advertising, etc.
What is a good search engine?
People want a single search engine that delivers the following key features:
- Relevant results that interest you
- Organized, easy to read interface
- Useful options to widen or narrow down a search
Google is the single most used search engine in the world. It’s fast, relevant and the largest single directory of websites.
What factors affect a search?
There’s a lot going on under the hood when we type words or phrases in the search box. There are many different paths to optimization. To help determine the results of each query, search engines like Google take into account over 200 different factors.
Google and other search engines use advanced algorithms to understand how to rank pages properly in their results. That being said the algorithms aren’t perfect so they need your help to understand what your content is about.
Algorithms get to work by looking for clues to better figure out what you mean. Let’s look more closely at the major factors Google takes into account when processing a search:
1. Your Query
Google uses a technology called Knowledge Graph to help it better understand what you’re looking for, and whether it can best satisfy you with a definition, a map, a list, etc.
It also works well in other ways to give you what you need. For instance, if a customer needs to know the schedule for a workout class in the gym, she can get the information quickly by typing “Fitness First timetable” in the search box.
Or while working out, the coach needs to time a client’s reps, Google will create a timer right from the search results without having to click through to a website.
Search engines are constantly working on new and improved ways to predict what people are looking for and what they need faster and more accurately.
2. Your Location
A search engine not only takes into account the nature of your question, but also takes into consideration where it’s being asked from. For example, when someone puts a query like “health food stores” in the Google search box, it assumes that they would rather have a list of health food stores near them than a Wikipedia write up about the history of health food stores.
This is why health & wellness businesses have to put extra effort into maximizing their SEO efforts for local visibility.
Your device. Your needs change from one device to another. On a laptop, you may be searching for content to read at leisure. On your phone, you might need a quick way to compare a price or need a phone number right away. It’s important for a search engine to understand the type of device you’re using before it gives you search results.
3. What does SEO actually do?
It optimizes your website
The first part of a good SEO strategy focuses on the technical aspects of a website. Because Google finds information by crawling a website, it’s the job of someone doing SEO to ensure that the site is easy for Google to find and crawl.
It optimizes keywords
Words that you enter into a search engine to find what you are looking for are called keywords. A health food company might want to be known for health related keywords like “herbal health supplements,” or “natural foods.”
People who do SEO perform keyword research to find out which keywords would be best to target for a given site. They make sure that the site uses those keywords often enough and in the right manner in a process called keyword optimization.
It builds links
When a trusted website links to your site, it sends a signal to Google that you’re good company. If this happens often enough, Google gets the idea that you’re a trusted quality website, which eventually improves your ranking and makes it more likely that searchers will see your site.
Someone performing SEO on a website can spend a lot of time working on getting links. This is a process called link building where tactics can range from writing a guest post, to blogging reviews, to directory submissions, etc.
It helps create content that builds links
Creating great content is one of the best ways to get links. Whether it’s a video, a tool, or a blog post, great content naturally attracts links as people visit it, share it and talk about it.
Search Engine Optimization is a term given to a strategy that attempts to improve search engine rankings.
In search results, a search engine displays links to pages it considers relevant to your search query. The search results in a search engine displays links to pages it considers relevant to your search query.
When you build up a great health & wellness business site that is optimized for the search engines your business will get more visibility and ultimately more customers.
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