Today’s world is increasingly online. More and more people, 93% of adults in the United States in fact, use the internet for anything from browsing to education to work. The only limit to the growth of the online market is the number of people on earth, which means there is a lot of untapped potential in the digital world.
Between home PCs and smartphones, everybody nowadays has some device designed to help them with their daily life. And the most frequently used, essential piece of anyone’s digital wardrobe is the search engine.
Google, Safari, Bing, there is plenty of them out there. Search engines are too convenient not to use. Anything you want to find, you can, which makes them an overwhelmingly important part of your life. Cooking tutorials, study tips, advanced astrophysics… Nothing is out of reach anymore, which can seem daunting at times.
Search engines themselves function somewhat uniquely, yet the process as a whole is very intuitive. Unlike what some might expect, content on the internet does not just automatically appear on Google. No, engines like Google or Bing use “crawlers”, advanced algorithms that dig through the internet to find keywords in websites that then translate to that website being pulled into the database.
Let us say you – a Sacramento-based small business owner – make a webpage to promote your wonderful little flower shop. You make it simple to start, and you know what you are selling, and you want people in your area to find your store, so you title it “Sacramento Flowers.” Wonderful, you have just created a website that the crawlers will find so that anyone who searches the words “Sacramento” and “flowers” together will find it.
Except that is not quite how it is working out for you. Despite having a snappy title and an (in your opinion) lovely design, your front page is seeing only tumbleweeds. And why wouldn’t it? The internet is full of websites, and as you can plainly see here, there are over twenty-six MILLION results for the search “Sacramento Flowers” on Google alone!
This is a major problem for you. You want your website to be seen by as many people as possible, or else your business might fail.
You decide that adding features and services to your page might do you some good. Online ordering and delivery, an on-page catalog, plenty of pretty pictures of your products… nothing at all seems to work. Oh, you have seen a marginal increase in traffic, but nowhere near the numbers, you are looking for.
SEO and How It Works
At this point, you are probably wondering what you could do to increase your notoriety. Your business is well-organized at this point and adding anything more to it will simply increase costs for no payoff. What do you do?
You use “Search Engine Optimization,” or SEO. What does it do? The answer is less complicated than you might expect, at least on the surface.
As with any automated system, search engine crawlers can be gamed and manipulated. That sounds evil, but you have already done part of the work. Simply using the keyword of “Sacramento Flowers” has already given your site a slight bump in the algorithm’s favor. But it takes more than relevant word usage to get you to the front page of Google.
SEO is a process, a profession, and a product. The process comes from the optimization of your website; using specific keywords and links, altering your content ever-so-slightly to make it more appealing to the crawlers, and changing your URL into something clickable, all of that is part of the process.
And while you can do all of this yourself, SEO experts exist in all forms that can help you. For example, if you wanted to hire someone in Sacramento, you could use a site like https://searchific.com/sacramento-seo/ to do so. After all, Google’s results are altered based on location, so you want to use local SEO services to suit your need.
Finally, despite being called “Search Engine Optimization,” which implies a verb, SEO is a product that can be sold. SEO campaigns, local lead finding, and pay-per-click ads are all sold as a part of SEO. This makes it an extremely versatile field, though you probably want to do plenty of research before jumping in.
The way people use Search Engine Optimization is based heavily on what people want. If your goal is to reach the first page of search results, that is possible. SEO can bump your searchability to new heights, but how does it really work?
A few terms you might have noticed thrown into the earlier description of SEO are “keywords” and “links.” These are major components to SEO, though they are nowhere near the only ones. These are simply the pair you might see most often when searching for your own SEO expert to help.
Keywords are the most common piece of the SEO puzzle. Using frequently searched phrases to increase how often your page comes up may seem easy, but you have to keep consumer habits in mind. Many people may search for “Sacramento flowers” but many more could search for “florist near me.” Optimizing this is essential to your optimization.
Links to your website are also important. Your URL should be pretty, and if you can have it appear in other places, which is all the better. Blogs on other websites and social media platforms are the most familiar places to put these links.
These are simply the most simple, easy-to-understand parts of SEO, but they are also the most important. These services are what you should look for if you want to increase your searchability, so keep a sharp eye out when you are looking.
With all of this said, you now have a general understanding of SEO and its process. If you are considering starting and/or optimizing your own website, you should look further into it.
I have not even touched on the more complicated pieces like metadata manipulation or lead hunting, so find as much information as you can before you start. I promise, there is plenty to the world of Search Engine Optimization you can use to jumpstart your online presence.