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SEO is an acronym that stands for search engine optimization, which is the process of optimizing your website to get organic, or un-paid, traffic from the search engine results page.
In other words, SEO involves making certain changes to your website design and content that make your site more attractive to a search engine. You do this in hopes that the search engine will display your website as a top result on the search engine results page.
How SEO Marketing Works
Though SEO marketing can seem complex due to the different factors that can impact your ranking, the process for search engine optimization is easier than it appears to be.
Search engines want to provide the best service for their users. This means delivering results on the search engine pages that are not only high quality but also relevant to what the searcher is looking for.
Factors That Impact SEO
Now that you know what is SEO and how it works, but you may be wondering “how do I do SEO marketing?” or “does SEO optimization work?” The truth of the matter is that SEO marketing actually works, and proper implementation can help anyone generate greats results.
Let’s take a look at some of the factors that can impact your search engine optimization ranking. Search engine giant, Google will never give away the exact algorithm they use to rank sites. However, we do have a pretty good understanding of some of the factors that impact search engine results page (SERP) rankings. These factors include both on-page and off-page factors, which we will discuss below.
Factors that Affect On-page and Off-page SEO
1. Content Marketing
Content is effective in both attracting the search engines and helping your organization make connections with site visitors.
The more quality, relevant content pieces that you have on your site, the more likely search engines will be to rank your pages higher on the search engine results page.
Similarly, the more engaging and effective content you have on your site, the more likely your visitors will be to spend some quality time on your website and maybe even make a purchase.
2. On-Page SEO
The on-page SEO factors are those elements that happen on your website. These are the things that you have complete control over, meaning that you can work to improve these factors over time by following best practices for SEO. This goes beyond just your content marketing to the deeper levels of your site’s HTML.
2. Off-Page SEO
In addition to the on-page SEO elements that your organization has control over, there are also off-page SEO factors that can impact your ranking. Though you do not have direct control over these off-page factors, there are ways that you can improve your chances of having these factors work out in your favor. (But more about that later!)
Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO
When it comes to SEO, there are two different approaches that organizations take to optimizing their sites for the search engines – black hat vs. white hat SEO.
Some organizations are only interested in SEO so that they can rank their content quickly and make some money in the short-term. Black hat SEO involves tactics that focus on optimizing content only for the search engines.
This means that organizations are not considering the human visitors that will read and navigate their site content. These organizations will bend or break the rules in order to improve their site rankings to make a quick buck.
In the end, this approach to SEO produces pages that are often difficult for people to read and look a whole lot like spam. Though the sites may rank more quickly than those that are optimized properly, these sites are often penalized or banned by search engines rather quickly.
Overall, this get-rich-quick approach to SEO ruins the organization’s chance of building a site that is sustainable and able to bring in new leads for years to come.
On the other hand, white hat SEO is an effective approach to optimizing your website for search engines and building a sustainable business online. This approach to search engine optimization involves focusing on the human audience that will be clicking on and reading the site’s content.
The goal of this type of SEO is to produce the best content possible on a site that’s easy to read and navigate while also following the search engine’s rules for optimization.
It’s important to note that though black hat SEO tactics might help you rank quickly, it is inevitable that the search engines will eventually figure out what you are doing and penalize your site.
Depending on the severity of the offense, your site may not be able to come back from the penalties. The only way to build a sustainable online business that will bring in more organic traffic over time is to follow SEO best practices and create effective content that your visitors will find valuable.