What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization is the process of making a website more readable and appealing to search engines so that the website appears in organic search results. Organic search results are areas of the search results page that the search engine has determined is the best result for the particular search that the user entered. Search engines like Google have automated software programs called spiders (or robots or bots) that continuously scan the entire internet. They catalog the content of the webpages they scan. When an internet user goes to a search engine and searches for specific keywords, the search engine shows the results of the database that they are constantly creating. The sites are ranked based on an algorithm, or a formula of criteria that the programmers of the software have deemed important.
Unlike PPC advertising, a business cannot pay the search engines to appear in areas of organic search results. The business can hire a professional who understands the system to do work that will help them appear in organic results. However, nothing is guaranteed. The competition is extremely high, and the algorithms that search engines use to determine search rank are always changing.
Most internet users do not click past the first page of search engine results. Those who do click past the first page usually will not click past the third page. That’s why search engine optimization is important in marketing. If you want your business to be seen then you want it to show up on the first page.
SEO vs SEM
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of three ways that your website can appear on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. The other two ways are via pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and local search. The phrase “search engine marketing” or “SEM” is often used synonymously with SEO and with PPC advertising. However, when discussing search engine marketing with professionals at Mirex Marketing, it includes all three ways that a website can appear on search engines: SEO, PPC and Local Search. SEO is part of SEM, but SEM is not only comprised of SEO.
What is the algorithm or the formula?
The actual algorithm that is used by Google is not used by other search engines, although they are all similar. Some search engines just copy Google results directly. The only people that actually know what Google’s algorithm is, are the people who programed it and no one else. Yet, there are many hints that Google extends to the internet community and SEO professionals have figured out quite a few effective strategies based on experience and collaboration. There are two common phrases within the industry: “white hat” and “black hat”. SEO professionals who apply white hat techniques are trying to work with the system for the best long-term results. SEO professionals who apply black hat techniques are trying to cheat the system to get quick results which can easily lead to disciplinary action from the search engine (i.e. the search engine may ban the site). Some SEO professionals argue that theoretically any attempt to make your website appear higher in search results, beyond just publishing your content, is black hat. Because theoretically the job of the search engine is not to be biased. However, it doesn’t always work unbiasedly.
What is actually done for SEO?
There is a simplified formula that is often displayed for Mirex Marketing clients to help explain what search engines are looking for: quality + authority. For the most part, search engines have always been looking for indicators of quality and authority and the more a website has of both, the higher that website’s search rank will be. The way search engines have changed over time is in what they actually deem to be quality or authority. For instance, search engines used to simply count the number of links coming into a website and the number of links leading away from that website. If there were substantially more links coming in than going out, then the search engine would deem that authoritative. However, a bunch of black hat SEO professionals and webmasters cheated the system by artificially creating more links going into their sites (backlinking). These links weren’t created by people sharing information and creating legitimate, organic buzz as the search engine programmers initially intended. So now, it’s not just a matter of how many links go into a site, but where those links come from, how often they’re shared and how long they are shared.
A couple of really good ways to improve your search engine results is to create and update quality content frequently, and participate in social media marketing and reputation marketing. If your website was created using WordPress, which is often recommended by Mirex Marketing, then you can also download and use the plugin “SEO by Yoast”. Yet, there are many other tasks and strategies that a hired SEO professional can do for you. Such as placing back links in the right places where search engines consider it to be authoritative (offsite optimization) and optimizing the actual webpages themselves so that they are spider bot-friendly (onsite optimization).
Mirex Marketing SEO Solutions:
A major part of the internet marketing team is an SEO expert. Your Mirex Marketing manager will help you determine how search engine optimization can fit into your overall marketing plan and you can rest assured that your SEO work will be handled by an SEO expert.
Call (480) 744-5919 or use the form below to set up a free consultation.