Essentially, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) determines how website behaviors impact search engine results. When certain words and phrases are searched knowing SEO will help improve your sites ranking in the search results. For businesses that don’t want to pay for their sites to appear first (paid results) using SEO will boost the site visibility in organic or unpaid results. This post will discuss the theory behind SEO and then recommend different strategies to improve a site’s optimization or its visibility.
According to Michael Martinez, president of a web marketing and consulting company, SEO has four laws:
- For every searchable ecosystem, there are three sets of arbitrary criteria that determine the outcome of any search operation.
- The result of any search function is determined by the inseparable union of the three perspectives.
- Search engines seek or tend towards optimum use.
- A search ecosystem transits through states of diminishing conflict towards perfect agreement.
At first these laws seem like a bunch of nonsense, but essentially what you need to know is that there are three perspectives to what Martinez calls the “Searchable Web Ecosystem”. Any of the three members or perspectives, Publishers, Indexers, and Searchers, can influence the content, quality, and outcome of search engine results.
We can master SEO by understanding the algorithm search engines use to sort through all of the different webpages that exist. The algorithm focuses on five different aspects of websites: words, title, links, words in links, and reputation. The algorithm analyzes the words and title of your site and connects with similar search queries. Search engines use the official title or the coded title of your page and not the public title. Links help with optimization by driving traffic to your site because they usually exist as a recommendation. Search engines notice when other sites have links to your page so the more links you have to your page the higher your ranking. The algorithm also uses words in links to connect pages with search queries. For example, linking the word “Pittsburgh” on a website will contribute to the site appearing when a search query includes that word. A site with a good reputation will have a higher ranking. To have a good reputation a site needs new and engaging content regularly.
Social media is essential to improving a sites SEO because it functions to promote content. In her article for HootSuite, Kristina Cisnero describes five ways that social media contributes to optimization:
- Search engines use Twitter stats to organize sites. For example, Google uses content from Twitter that generated a lot of traction when indexing all of the new content that appears hourly online.
- Just as links to your site that appear on other sites improves your SEO do does social sharing. Every time someone shares a link to your site, they contribute to your sites SEO.
- You can boost your authority and establish credibility for your site with a strong social media presence.
- Although no one really uses Google+ (check out the infographic to the right), Google loves people who do. Spend some time improving your Google+ page and Google will reward you.
- Search engines don’t just focus on keywords on websites anymore. Google is looking at the content you share instead of the number of keywords you can include into a post.
And here’s a fun infographic with tips for improving SEO in 2015: