A Non-Geek Explanation of Search Engine Optimization

The “Holy Grail” of attracting business to your website is still targeted, organic search traffic via effective search engine optimization (SEO). The arbiters of this organic search traffic process are the search engines and their bots, the web crawlers. Understanding the search engines, their bots, keyword ranking, page rank (PR), and other metrics is key to effective search engine optimization and increased organic search traffic.

effective search engine optimization

Any search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo or others) is a complex conglomeration of advanced computer code and mathematical algorithms. An algorithm is basically a rule, and the rule of search engine optimization is this: be relevant, current and have quality, focused content and the web crawler bot will find you and rank you.

Search engines use software programs called “bots” that index the web. That metaphor precisely matches the notion that a search engine is a relentless and untiring machine that collects billions of bits of information, periodically returning for more (updates and changes). Although search engines are insatiable, they need the correct diet.

The most critical aspect of the technology used by search engines is the act of ranking and the determination of your page rank (PR). Ranking is the method by which a search engine determines what the most relevant results are to a particular search query (keyword or key phrase). The process is accomplished by a proprietary (secret) and highly complex set of the aforementioned search engine algorithms. As your content competes with other relevant websites that match up to web searches, your page rank will help determine where your stand.

Which brings us to what you need to do most to attract traffic to your website – practice the best SEO. In its early years, SEO was mostly about keywords and phrases located in meta tags, which appeared throughout website. People began to notice that sites with bad design and thin content were attracting more hits than the higher quality, but less keyword-stocked, reputable ones. Web crawlers consequently got wise to the practice of “keyword stuffing,” and nowadays actually penalize those practitioners with lower rankings, or ban them altogether.

The emphasis now is on quality content, intelligent linking, an active social media footprint, and constant relevancy to what end users are searching for.

A seemingly counterintuitive caveat to the latter: you should create your content as if the search engine did not exist – well, almost. The search engine is now somewhat of a “ghost in the machine” that recognizes great design and good writing with words that customers are most likely to use when looking for you. Ironically, the foregoing approach is just what the search engine encourages and rewards. Avoid over-optimization and use a light touch. Focus on creating compelling content in order to appear on page one.

So the takeaway is that website design with the best search engine optimization combines technological know-how, the right tools, experience, and attention to detail while producing great content. To achieve your goal of effective search engine optimization, get high-value content focused on your business goals. We would love to help you focus your online presence with effective search engine optimization that reflects your goals and vision. Any questions? Please contact us for effective search engine optimization today.

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