SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It draws more traffic to your website. More specifically, it draws quality traffic to your website – meaning visitors who look for the goods, services or information your website provides
These website visitor are important for several reasons:
- They are the most likely to become customers, if your website sells goods or services.
- They might share your website or even link to it in their online content if you provide credible, quality information or content.
- They’re the most likely to stick around. This tells Google that people find what they need on your website. This increases your online credibility and may lead to a higher search ranking.
Google doesn’t say how it ranks websites. Their methods abruptly change without explanation. Although Google isn’t the only search engine, it’s the most popular – it’s estimated 70% of all online searches are conducted via Google.
What is known, however, is SEO alongside quality content is a consistent, effective method not only to increase website traffic, but to put your website closer to the top of search results.
An evolving online tactic
SEO has evolved, just as the Internet has. A decade ago, SEO was conducted in a profoundly different way than it is today. So anyone who claim to be savvy in SEO, yet bases this on knowledge from before 2011, uses strategies that may actually limit your website traffic.
Why 2011? That’s when Google released the Panda algorithm change. This effectively dropped so-called “content farms” from high-ranking spots in search results. Up to that point, websites padded their content with keywords and calling it “SEO.”
Keywords are phrases people search with. Before 2011, people ended up at websites stuffed with keywords but that didn’t offer quality content.
After the Panda update, SEO specialists had to change how they operated. Not only did popular keywords have to appear in their content, the websites had to provide what people sought.
It was no longer enough to stuff, “game cheats for Sims,” 12 times into an article that didn’t offer any cheats. The websites had to actually provide the information.
In other words, Google decided its users should find what they sought in the first few results of a search.
How SEO works
Although Google doesn’t give details of its internal procedures, here is a broad idea of how SEO works:
- An Internet user inputs words or phrases into the search engine.
- Google or another search engine like DuckDuckGo finds websites containing those words.
- The results are returned in the order the search engine estimates the most credible information will be found.
- Users typically click on the results that appear at or near the top.
Google ranks websites beyond SEO. Credibility is important, and is largely influenced by a particular website’s contributors. For example, a car advice website filled with contributors who are mechanics will rank higher than a similar website written by content writers with no mechanical experience.
SEO is still important
SEO isn’t a magic wand to get more traffic to a website that doesn’t offer real value. But done correctly, SEO increases traffic to quality websites that translates into increased revenue and makes SEO an important online tool.