Search engine optimization has been a solid set of guidelines for website success and visibility. As with all areas of technology, it keeps going through frequent changes and refinements to improve overall performance. SEO by definition is the practice of structuring and promoting a website so that it will receive a steady increase in the number of organic visitors each day. Web search engines are designed to provide targeted traffic to websites based on topic-specific queries that people enter in the search box. The most prominent search engine that places the most emphasis on SEO is Google, though good SEO practices are also essential for successful site visibility in other search engines. The next ones familiar to the most people are Yahoo and Bing.
Keywords have always been the vital building blocks of search marketing when you have a business website and want to attract large numbers of interested customers. When each person in your target audience performs a search with keywords directly related to your business, he or she will ideally find your site listed at or near the top of the search results page. More specific keywords give your site better chances of ranking higher because there tends to be less competition for those keywords.
Google has implemented a number of changes and updates over the years. Each of these refinements has been engineered to improve the quality of search results for people looking for specific information. The better and more accurate the information that’s linked to certain products and services, the more reputable the sellers of those products and services are in the minds of potential online buyers. According to the Google Algorithm Change History web page, the most significant change was the Google Panda algorithm in 2011. This change penalized thin content, spun content and sites with a high ratio of ads versus substantial content. Since this change was implemented, much more importance has been placed on high quality content as part of good SEO for your website.
Even with the many changes to Google’s algorithms, SEO is still a vital key to your website’s success for five main reasons. These reasons are tied to keyword research, SEO-friendly page design, link authority, link building and the growing importance of mobile website marketing for your business.
1. Keyword Research Brings Results
Keyword research has become one of the most valuable and potentially lucrative areas of SEO. Finding and choosing the best possible keywords for your niche takes careful research, planning and knowledge of current keyword trends. The positive results are well worth the effort. A fundamental question to ask when considering different keywords is whether searchers will find the information they seek if they land on your business’s website after entering those keywords in the search box.
2. Optimized Page Design Means More Visibility
If you properly optimize your website’s pages with the recommended design and layout practices, you have better chances of attracting your competitors’ potential customers away from those sites that may not be optimized for SEO. Keywords are best included in each page’s title, link, body text and metadata attributes. For easy indexing in search engine results pages, your best and most important text content should be formatting with HTML tags. Search engine crawlers still largely ignore other types of content, such as images, videos or Java applets. The technology for better detecting this non-text content is expecting to keep improving in the coming years.
3. The Democracy of Link Authority
Ever since the web moved into mainstream life during the 1990s, search engines have considered links to a website votes of confidence in the site’s quality and credibility. The more links point to your website from other sources, the better the search engines can analyze the site’s popularity. The key to success is to encourage and generate links from quality, trusted sites.
4. The Science of Link Building
The three major forms of link building are known as natural editorial links, manual outreach links and self-created non-editorial links. It’s ideal to generate natural editorial links, since these links originate from other trustworthy sites that want to link to your company’s site. Manual outreach links originate from paid listings and submissions to reputable site directories. Self-created non-editorial links are generated through various sources, including blog comments, guestbook postings and forum signatures.
5. Mobile Website Marketing
Your desktop-based website is an excellent place to start for SEO, but you also need to optimize any related mobile apps you make available for your target customers. Mobile browsing, shopping and gaming have exploded in popularity during the past few years. Developing at least one app directly related to your customers’ experience with your business is highly recommended, and app web performance optimization has become a separate category of SEO all on its own. App store optimization (ASO) combines the factors of app download numbers, user reviews and app performance with more traditional SEO practices. Keyword use in app titles and descriptions is factored in, along with app performance, download speeds and links to an app’s page in the app store from credible sources.
Implementing SEO for your website is still relevant and one of the most essential ways to rank well in search engines. The better your search engine rank, the more likely interested searchers are to view your business as a trustworthy, credible source in your niche. Page design, well-researched keywords, reputable link building and mobile optimization are all valid reasons for keeping up with the latest recommended SEO practices.