What is SEO?

Mastering the art of search engine optimization is essential for any website manager to improve their digital marketing for strong online traffic.

SEO refers to marketing methods used to raise the amount of Web users to one’s website through organic search results on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, AOL, and other engines. Marketers must craft effective SEO strategies to get noticed on search engine results pages (SERPs) and draw visitors seeking the company’s products or services. SEO involves writing useful, branded content on blogs or web pages with keywords and phrases that Internet users will search for. Optimized content then attracts crawlers from Google and its fellow engines to gather information on the business and index it with a complex algorithm. Making your website popular for clicks is all about getting high rankings through good SEO tactics.

Goals for Using SEO

According to Conductor, 64 percent of Web traffic comes from organic search compared to 6 percent from paid advertising. Google accounts for over 90 percent of this search traffic globally. SEO campaigns have the goal of making websites appear in the top five results for certain search criteria. Marketers achieve this by playing to internal algorithms with content that’s relevant, local, and injected with keywords naturally. Google heavily weighs user experience in their rankings, so SEO specialists seek to boost internal linking, hasten website speeds, make content mobile-friendly, and add helpful visual media. SEO methods assist businesses or blogs in becoming online authorities in their niche for quality leads.

Best SEO Practices

Search engine optimization requires using title tags to highlight keywords for every web page and increase your online visibility. Writing persuasive meta descriptions of around 150 characters will help compel searchers to click your website on Google. Since the Google Penguin update, it’s even more vital to keep content unique and natural with functional links to avoid penalties. Integrating header tags into posts can signal to Google crawlers what your content is conveying easily. Using anchor text also lets these robots better navigate your website than links saying “click here.” Make images SEO-friendly by creating alt tags that describe what is depicted in the picture.

Free Tools to Improve SEO

Google Analytics is perhaps the most important tool for receiving dashboard-style data about your SEO performance. This includes AdWords, which studies cookies to help marketers determine which keywords would be the most effective. Google Analytics also tracks where your online visitors are from for targeting with location demographics. Google PageSpeed Insights will test your website speed and usability across devices to find any glitches for repair. QuickSprout Website Analyzer is another tool that will comprehensively score your SEO, traffic quality, links, social shares, and even competitors. Browseo offers unique insight for viewing your website like a search engine and noticing what the crawlers might misinterpret too.

Globally, the amount of Web traffic has skyrocketed from 738 million users in 2000 to 3.2 billion users in 2015. Skipping SEO efforts is extremely disadvantageous because websites will lose search results visibility to their competition. To ensure you won’t miss potential new customers or subscribers, learn from resources like the Moz Beginner’s Guide to SEO or Google SEO Starter Guide. Following the right search engine optimization tips can cultivate your website into a recognizable, viral brand for better traffic and profits.