SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Essentially, your goal as someone with a website or blog is to rank as highly as you can in search engines (such as Google and Bing) when a person types in searches relating to your post.
The higher your ranking is, the better. Think how often you click on any result past the first few sites when you search something on Google – the answer will be rarely. It’s the same with everyone else, and so having your site in the first results will mean a huge amount of traffic.
According to Wikipedia, SEO is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results”
Alright, let’s translate that to English. Here’s my go at it:
SEO is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.
Let me break that down even further:
There’s you, doing the SEO, the search engine, and the searcher. If you have an article about how to make vegan lasagna, you want the search engine (which, in 90% of all cases, is Google), to show it as a top result to anyone who searches for the phrase “vegan lasagna”.
SEO is the magic you have to work on your article, in order to make Google very likely to include your article as one of the top results whenever someone searches for that keyword.
As you may realize, having effective SEO is vital for a website to get traffic. There are lots of aspects to SEO, some of which include how mobile-friendly your site is, the page load speed, the uniqueness and reading level of content on a page, and the overall design (from moz.com search engine ranking factors).
To get a clearer idea of how SEO works, you’ll need a basic understanding of how Google searches themselves work. This short video from Google’s official YouTube account explains what happens when you enter a search online:
Christine Birkner explains this in the following excerpt from ama.org:
You no longer need an exact keyword to offer a relevant search result, says Cyrus Shepard, director of audience development at Moz.
“In the old days, it was about getting the click. Now search engines are seeing how people are interacting with your website: Are they going back and clicking on results, or are they finding the answers they’re looking for when they’re on your site? Today it’s about the post-click activity. Not only do you have to get the clicks, but you have to satisfy user intent.”
Having an effective SEO for your blog/website is vital to getting traffic to your content. And the best way to become top-ranked is by providing useful and relevant information in well-designed and smooth-running web pages that keep consumers coming back for more.