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What is SEO? And How Does it work?

Understanding Search engine optimization ( SEO) is an intimidating sounding term for an idea that’s relatively simple. It is true that some of the best strategies for optimizing your website change over time but, the basics of SEO remain the same at their core.

Once these ideas are broken down into their most straightforward ideas, you’ll be surprised this ever intimidated you in the first place.

But What is it?

The term search engine optimization means optimizing your website so that search engines will like it. When search engines view your website positively, they list your website higher on the search engine results page (known as SERP). By ranking higher, more users searching the web will see your page and click through.

This means steady traffic to your website from the search engines.

What do the search engines want? They want to please their users. They want to provide the best results on their search pages so that their users stay happy and continue to choose that search engine as their favorite for all of their searches.

While we often think of search engine optimization as doing things like finding keywords or building links so that the search engine will bring us traffic, what’s happening is that we are making web pages users will find more friends.


Understanding Keywords

People perform searches using keyword phrases. For example, they might search for “red shoes 4.5-inch heels”.

Notice how many words are in that example?  Now, someone may just search “red shoes.” If you perform a search on Google for “red shoes,” you will get many more results than if you search for “red shoes 4.5-inch heels”.  If you only searched for “shoes,” you’d get a lot more results still.

This is the first thing to understand about keywords. While it would be great to appear in the top results for “shoes,” the competition to do so makes it difficult. When you can find keyword phrases that are more specific and target your audience, you’ll have a better chance of ranking.

Make a Keyword List

First, make a list of keywords you feel are relevant to your website. If you had an ideal user coming to your site, what do you think they might type in? Don’t stress about this. Imagine yourself searching for the type of content on your website and write down as many searches you want to perform.

Second, use a tool like Google Keyword Planner. Put in some of your keywords and see what more phrases they might give you to understand better what people are searching for.

Develop a list rich with keywords you want people to use to find your website.

Create content rich with keywords – but don’t overdo It.

When you put keywords in your headers, your URL, and in the titles of your images, search engines notice, this says to them that these are some of the more critical words on your page and that they are what the content is about. Bolding your keyword phrases, where appropriate, can also be useful.

Again, this is also helpful to users. Users will likely scan your content before deciding to read it. Your viewers will be looking for these keywords to ensure your content is relevant to what they’re looking for.

Is that simple? Yes. While there is more you can do to improve your optimization, the truth is very few people are taking the time to understand how optimization works or how to properly use their keywords that even these simple steps will put you ahead of the game.

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