The term SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s a technique used by marketers and business owners to help their overall website and individual webpages rank high in the search engines. The higher these things rank in popular search engines like Google, the more people who will likely find their company. Obviously, this increases the total number of leads, which in turn increases the total number of sales.
The most common thing people think about when it comes to SEO is keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that are inserted into the written content to help pages rank on appropriate searches. If, for example, you have written a page with the keyword “digital marketing agency,” and a person types this phrase into the search bar at the top of Google, you will rank somewhere in the search results.
It is a common misconception that this is the only thing important in SEO, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, there are a lot of things which go into getting a webpage to rank high in the search engines. Many marketers have found that, while still relevant, keywords are no longer even the most important thing in SEO.
In the dark ages of the internet, keywords really were one of the only things attributed to search results. Over time, however, Google’s algorithm shifted to one that values user experience over words on a page. That doesn’t mean those words don’t contribute to user experience, but we aren’t talking about keywords here.
Nobody knows the exact algorithm used by Google. It’s a giant mystery that SEO specialists are constantly trying to solve. Google feeds marketers small bits of information on what is relevant, and we have a pretty solid idea of the most important aspects of how a webpage gets ranked – but nobody (not even Google, actually) knows everything.
What we do know is that Google ranks a lot of page aspects that can only be described as user experience, commonly referred to as U/X. This includes important items like page bounce rate, page loading speed, layout, ease of page navigation, and mobile optimization.
The most important thing to take away from this information is that content is still king. You still need high-quality content to rank high, and (of course) to keep customers on your website long enough to think about purchasing from you.
Content does not only revolve around blogs, articles, and on-page copy that is crammed with a certain percentage of keywords, however. It means you want to create high-quality written materials that are easy to skim through, interesting, and relevant. Easy to skim through means using H2 headers, short paragraphs, bullets, and numbered lists.
Content also refers to other format types. Video is more in-demand than ever, and it can really keep people on your webpage. High-quality images are equally vital. Not only will they draw in people’s attention, but they can make written content both more readable and add significant value to blog posts or articles if used properly.