How Does SEO Work?

SEO sign imageThe lines that connect the world through the Internet are far more extensive than many people may have imagined. With search engines like Google and Bing leading the pack, you have a host of websites, blogs, and social media messaging laid right at your fingertips. To the consumer it is probably the best time in history to be connected to the world but to the businessman it opens up a whole host of challenges that need to be overcome.

With billions of people now using the Internet, one would think that getting attention would be easy but there are other businesses online that are also trying to take a bigger piece of the market. Yes, when it comes to the Internet you have some pretty fierce competition. In the past, simply having a website was all that was needed to get noticed but with more and more people jumping on the digital bandwagon, you need to be a bit more aggressive in driving people to your site.

You Need SEO to Get the Attention of Potential Customers

The number of tricks many businesses use to move up in the ranks is literally endless. One company would recommend one thing while another will suggest something entirely different. Then a third company will tell you to completely disregard this or that but work on some other thing. At the same time, the lengthy algorithms used to determine ranking are constantly changing. There is so much to it that it’s no wonder people cannot fully grasp the ins and outs of search engine optimization (SEO), which is the process used to enhance the rank of your website in the search results list shown to a particular person who is searching for a particular keyword.

How Search Engines Work

It helps to understand what’s going on behind the scenes of your desktop computer, laptop or mobile device when you do a search.

Many people believe that when they enter their parameters in the search bar that they are actually searching through the web. In actuality, you’re not in the web yet, but are in what is called the index of the web; sort of like looking through the index of a large textbook. The sites listed in these indexes are examined by what are called spiders or crawlers that follow links that may be connected to your search query. These will follow links to other sites, which will link to even more sites. This process is continued until there is an extensive list of related search results that apply to what you’re looking for.

Now, the search engine needs to decide which of the many thousands of sites will match your specific needs. This is called ranking and is determined by a number of questions you won’t ever know about. Questions like how many times does your search query appear on the page, are your words in the title of the site, where are the words, are there synonyms used on the page, is it spam, and so forth.

They even have a formula or algorithm that combines all of those factors together to determine a specific score for each page and then ranks them from the most likely to match your needs at the top of the page and progressively lesser rankings below. All of this takes about a half a second of your time.

How You Can Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

There are several ways you can improve your ranking on search engines. When you consider the different programs and algorithms these sites use to rank the billions of websites, it is important that your site can provide a positive answer to each of the questions to relate to the search parameters.

You Need Quality Content

One of the primary aspects of your web page that these algorithms look for is quality content. The content on each page should first and foremost contain the necessary keywords that the spiders are looking for so knowing the right keywords to use is crucial. Keywords are the words someone would use to find what they are looking for online. Having these words in the title, subheadings, and repeated a number of times throughout the page can make a huge difference in helping your site much easier to be found.

Set Yourself Up as an Authority

It also helps to be recognized as an authoritative site. In other words, writing content that shows you’re an authority in your field can be invaluable in helping you move up in the rankings but it also helps if other sites are linking or connecting to your page. This shows that others also consider you an expert in your niche market. The more links you have the easier it will be to be found.

Another way to improve your ranking is when other people are talking about you online. So, people who share your link with others can make a huge difference in how you are viewed by the search engines. The more your content is shared by others the higher up in the ranks you can go.

While all of it sounds very easy, there is a lot involved in improving your ranking on search engines. SEO requires that your site is first made visible to the spiders then if it can meet the extensive criteria laid out in the formulas used to move up in the rankings. Each search engine has its own set of requirements that must be met and because these are often kept secret, it can become a bit of a guessing game for the individual who may not be thoroughly knowledgeable about the digital world. Still, there are definitely things that can improve your chances.

Having a High Search Engine Ranking Is a Continuous Job

Keep in mind that search engine ranking is a continuous job and not a one-time deal. Once you’ve boosted your ranking to where your customers can find you, you’ll have to work just as hard to keep it there. There are billions upon billions of pages on the Internet so the competition can be pretty fierce but once you know how search engine optimization works, it won’t feel so overwhelming.

Many have chosen to use SEO companies to help them with the ranking. For those who are not really knowledgeable about this market, it is a beneficial choice, but always remember that decisions they make may work for a while but they must be progressive enough to keep up with the ever changing tide of the global marketplace.

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