What is Search Engine Optimization?
The SEO Process
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing web traffic by improving search engine rankings. Search Engine Optimization companies, internal marketing teams, and web masters can direct a specific audience to your site targeting a broad spectrum of keywords in their content and link-building strategy. Google has developed a complex algorithm for calculating the value of content on websites to provide the most relevant results to searchers.
How the Algorithm Works
Google’s algorithm uses lines of code called “crawlers” that explore websites on the internet. They gather information from sites based on the content and coding contained within those domains. The information is fed to Google’s vast index of data, which the algorithm sifts through to find the best match to your query.
Types of Search Engine Optimization
There are two general approaches to Search Engine Optimization. The first is called “black hat,” a deceptive strategy that takes advantage of the algorithm in inorganic ways. The provider may employ methods such as link spamming (farming links from websites with nothing but links), keyword stuffing, and cloaking (a different set of text appears on the front-end than in the back).
“White hat” techniques uses the algorithm appropriately by improving search engine results in an organic way. This approach includes high quality content creation, back-end site optimization, and link building (mostly editorial) through manual research and outreach.
Most SEO companies operate in a gray area between the two, appropriately named “Gray Hat” techniques.
In order to provide constructive SEO, digital marketing providers employ the following services:
- Link building: the process of reaching out to potential partners that can provide links in exchange for content
- SEO friendly web design and development: properly optimizing HTML and onsite content to target the appropriate keywords for the client
- SEO friendly content writing: ongoing content creation (e.g. weekly blog entries)
SEO and Your Business
Google is the number one way people search for businesses online. This means there’s potential for any market to generate leads by optimizing their search engine approach. Whether it’s in-house optimization or hiring a third party agency, it’s important to build a steadily-increasing flow of traffic toward your website. What’s the point in having a beautiful site if no one ever sees it? Read our next SEO blog post if you want to find out more