When Jay Leno was the host of “The Tonight Show,” one of his most popular segments was “Jay Walking.” He would ask random pedestrians questions about current events, politics, and a host of other topics. It was renowned for respondents’ hilarious – and often very incorrect – answers. Ask most people what SEO is, and the answers are often equally hilarious and inaccurate. Some people think it has to do with Google maps; others just think you misspoke and meant CEO. So we’re going to break down what SEO is, precisely, and why it matters to business owners.
To start, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. At its most basic, it means optimizing a website for search engines. Back in the day, when there were more search engines than Oreo flavors (anybody else remember Ask, Jeeves?), this could be a bit complicated. Today, it means optimizing for Google (you could throw in Bing if you’re really committed, but frankly, it’s overkill). Google operates on an algorithm that tells it which search results to populate. The primary goal of optimizing a website is to ensure that a business or product comes up in relevant search results.
The Google algorithm changes frequently, and they’re very hush-hush about it. In our industry, web specialists are paying attention to it to be able to give a pretty in-depth list of what matters when it comes to your website. If a business is just delving into SEO, here are some key areas to pay attention to:
Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that, or the top Google search results for a particular keyword would constantly be changing. The principle is still important: if what’s on a website is “fluff” or unhelpful content for the keyword(s) being targeted, Google will “punish” the website by ranking it lower in search results.
We recommend using a service if your business is looking to go more in-depth than just the bare minimum of search engine optimization or you’re already overwhelmed by the steps outlined above. Subscription services such as Yoast and SEMrush are great if you have a dedicated employee that manages your website. If not, hiring an agency is usually your best bet. We’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you that Engaged Marketing Co can help you with your SEO needs!