What is Search Engine Optimization and why does it matter?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential to get your online content to appear in searches.
Search engines have algorithms for sorting content and placing it within search results. When content follows the rules of the algorithm, that content is much more likely to show up closer to the top of the list of search results.
When content is not optimized for search engines, it may not be seen by people using key words in a search engine (such as Google) to find information they are looking for.
This is why optimizing your content for search engines is critical. And to optimize your content, this means enhancing the writing, the design, and the relevance.
Search engine optimization doesn’t just increase your content’s priority on search results. Enhancing your content to follow the rules of search engine algorithms increases the user experience, making your content more readable, manageable, and visually pleasing.
Essentially, to reach SEO means to focus on your audience.
How to obtain SEO
It may take a few hours to write new content for your website, but the minutes you spend optimizing will be the difference between people finding your content or not.
Search engines, like Google, don’t publicize the rules of their algorithms, and these rules change routinely. Determining these rules comes through looking at trends in content that does make its way to the first page on a list of search results.
Again, the best way to reach search engine optimization, even with changing rules, is to focus on your audience. Create valuable content that your audience wants to read, is easy to scan and read, is assessable for many audiences, and is clear and specific.
Six Simple SEO strategies to focus on:
1. Write quality content.
Since Google wants to give its users a great experience, your content must do this too. Your content should feed an audience’s need—answer questions, entertain, provide action items, etc.
2. Focus your content.
To make your content relevant for a searcher, your content should be focused. This means sticking to the point and making your point clear and understood. Don’t ramble on to different topics.
3. Format is important.
Your content should be direct and concise. It should include a title, section headers, bullets, bolded font, or other strategies that make your content easier to scan. Your content should include images or videos that help to illustrate your focus. Images should be well labeled.
4. Re-stating key words alone isn’t enough.
There was a time when Google search engine optimization produced search results by simply finding content with the key words the user typed. Search engines have become more sophisticated than this and try to determine why a user wants to see that content. Therefore, frequently placing the key words in your content might be a good start, but it won’t be enough.
When you hyperlink to other relevant content, search engines have an easier time understanding what your content is about. The better a search engine understands your content, the easier it is to prioritize that content. Pages you link to should be relevant to your topic, credible, and of high quality.
6. Grammar. Spelling. Complete sentences.
These basics of good writing count. Again, search engines want to provide their users with a good experience, so your writing needs to do this too. Make sure your writing is clear and easy to understand by anyone.
Search engine optimization takes some time to learn and time to apply. But without SEO, you risk your content being essentially hidden from your audience.
Making a commitment to better understand and apply SEO strategies puts you on the path to getting your content noticed and shared. Begin using these simple strategies today and commit to learning more strategies.
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