If you have been around the marketing or business world for any length of time then you have probably heard of SEO. But what is SEO and why does it matter? Well, we are going to break it down for you and give you a better understanding.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Effectively, it is the act of optimizing a single page or an entire website to get found in search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Being found in search engines gets your website in front of more people that are relevant to your target audience and drives traffic to your website, products or services.
For Google alone, there are 200+ ranking factors. These are items either on the website page (on-page SEO) or off of the page (off-page SEO) that are used together to determine if your page is ranked and how high it is ranking in the search engine results pages.
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
The search engine results pages are what shows up when you do a search in Google, Bing or Yahoo. For example, if we did a search in Google for “atlanta veterinarian”, what Google returns is the search engine results for that keyword phrase. Google would return ads, local results and organic results. Below is an example of the search engine results page for the keyword phrase “atlanta veterinarian”. This particular keyword did not bring up ads, however it did bring up the number of total results, local results, and organic (SEO) results.
The local results in the above example would also be considered as search engine optimization. However, this would be considered as Off-Page SEO because this would be done on Google Maps and not directly on the website itself.
If you owned a vet’s office in the Atlanta or metro Atlanta area, you can optimize your website for this keyword phrase. Optimizing your website would increase the changes of ranking higher in the search engine result pages (SERPs) and possibly bring in more business for your office.
Items that Affect Search Engine Optimization
We will go into more detail about this later, but a few items that affect your search engine optimization rankings are:
- Domain age – This includes how long the domain has been active and how long it is registered for.
- Meta Title – The meta title is what shows up on the browser tab of the web page. This will default to the page title/H1 for most WordPress sites unless otherwise changed. The metal title is also used to make users want to click on your website if they find it relevant to what they are searching for. For Horde Marketing’s home page, it looks like this:
- Meta Description – The meta description is put into the code of the website (or into the field of a plugin like Yoast). By setting this you are telling the search engines what you would like displayed as the description in the search engine result pages. Going back to the example of the organic result used above for “atlanta veterans”, the blue text is the Meta Title and the gray text is the Meta Description.
- Content – Having quality content that has not been duplicated from another site, and adding content on a regular, consistent basis. This is one of the most important ranking factors because it allows you to add different topics to rank for various keywords. Adding content on a regular basis also tells the search engines that your site is up-to-date and is current. Search engines do not like stagnant websites.
Though there are many other factors that play into on-page and off-page search engine optimization, the ones mentioned above are some of the most important places to start. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, there are over 200 ranking factors for Google and they are constantly being updated. Backlinco has a complete list here if you are interested in reading through them.
Get Help with Your SEO Campaign
You now have a pretty good start into understanding what SEO is. If you are interested in learning more, feel free to reach out! There is a lot that goes into optimizing a website’s pages. For that reason, many companies or business owners choose to hire someone or a marketing agency to handle it for them. This is a great idea because business owners can focus their time on what they do best – running their business!
If you are ready to get a customized plan to improve your organic search rankings, contact us online or by phone (678-961-9435) to learn more about how the Horde Marketing team can help increase your online visibility.