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SEO: Summarizing Search Engine Optimization

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

When it comes to digital marketing it's easy to get overwhelmed with the terms and factors that drive qualified traffic to websites. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of having your website come up top in search engines such as Google and Bing. And because of how complex and ever-changing the landscape of SEO is, it's easy for beginners and experts to lose sight of what really matters: the audience. Since many brands out there are vying for that same attention, understanding the need to provide customers with products or services they need and making sure to add value to them (and ultimately yourselves) as well!

An SEO company can help make sure that your website content needs to be seen by lots of first-time potential customers or clients! From improving your Search Engine Ranking to adding additional links back to your website from other sites, working with an SEO company will ensure that you get noticed when potential clients or customers are searching for businesses like yours on the Internet.

The world of SEO is a strong thing to not be overlooked or taken for granted. For example, if you know what key terms and phrases will generate qualified traffic on your site, you can often find ways to reach that traffic without spending time or unnecessary amounts of money. However, it is considered one of the more difficult things to master as we are continuously finding our keywords becoming obsolete or new "tricks" being introduced. But keep in mind that with such a constantly changing environment, you have room to play around with SEO and make it work to your advantage! It might seem complicated at first but people who dive into SEO fully learn the basics more efficiently than others who try implementing SEO periodically but are only able to focus on a narrow scope of what is important when doing so.

One clever approach to learning SEO is following the “Mozlow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Figure 1: Moz Hierarchy of Needs

The guide provides 7 steps for search engine optimization (SEO):

  1. Crawl accessibility so engines can read your website

  2. Compelling content that answers the searcher’s query

  3. Keyword optimized to attract searchers & engines

  4. Great user experience including a fast load speed and compelling UX

  5. Share-worthy content that earns links, citations, and amplification

  6. Title, URL, & description to draw high CTR in the rankings

  7. Snippet/schema markup to stand out in SERPs

Knowing what customers are searching for online is a great way to attract new customers and to continue building long-lasting relationships. When marketing your business online, you should be prepared to give people what they want in order to come across as trustworthy. You must keep their best interests at heart, which will allow them to feel confident in you and your brand.

Before we talk about how to get organic traffic, first let's make sure that we understand what organic traffic optimization is. It's the practice of improving search engine results page rankings by acquiring relevant backlinks (or "votes") from other relevant websites. This type of website promotion comes with its own set of rules and techniques, and it's an art, so it also takes some time to learn.

Search engines are like little research assistants that follow your every mouse click to ensure they’re helping you find the right information at exactly the right time. These helpful bots go out into the world and gather all of this wonderful content together, indexing it so they can sort through it in seconds and find the information you need – like where to buy a cat video costume on Halloween or how to tie a bow tie. We’ll look more closely at search engine optimization in a later chapter.

Search engine results pages — often referred to as “SERPs” — are filled with both more advertising and more dynamic organic results formats (called “SERP features”) than we've ever seen before. For example, if you search for “Asheville weather,” you’ll see a forecast for the city of Asheville directly in the SERP instead of a link to a site that might have that forecast. And, if you search for “pizza Asheville," you’ll see a local pack featuring Asheville pizza places at or near the top of the search results instead of pages that include your keyword phrase but won't be as useful when looking for pizza in our city. Today’s search engine result pages (SERP) aren’t necessarily dominated by 10 blue links anymore. It’s likely that you’ll see several rich organic and paid search results in addition to three to five Knowledge Graph results. Use this newfound real estate to your advantage!

While paid advertisements and social media posts can generate a lot of traffic to your website, the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines. The organic search results cover more digital real estate and appear more credible to savvy online searchers. These are typically what receive the most hits from people all over the world. This is because so many searches are done daily on Google and other platforms because people like to know what's going on in the world. Search engines are getting smarter, but they still need help. Optimizing your website using search engine optimization practices will help deliver better information to search engines so that your content can be properly indexed and displayed within search results.

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