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What is Search Engine Optimization? Part Three

In our last two blogs we began exploring SEO and today I’d like to continue the adventure with a little more information about how it works.

Good SEO involves specific off- and on-site behaviours that work together to convince the search engines that you are credible, reliable and relevant to your customers. The goal is to rank ever higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).  A lot of SEO has traditionally revolved around the effective use of “keywords ” — terms your desired clients use when they are searching for what you offer. Finding the right keywords can take quite a bit of research, but they are important to successful SEO—a lot less so than they used to be, but even that may change over the next few months and years.

From an off-site perspective, at this point in time, you need as many links to your website as possible from other credible websites, and ideally, the description of your organization on those off-site links will include language built around your keywords.

Your on-site strategy is a little more complicated as it involves much more finesse around such issues as the architecture of your site, the coding, the use of title tags (the words that show up in the bar running across the top of a web page) and last but not least, the content of your website itself.

The most important thing to remember is to use your keywords consistently in everything you write. It’s probably a good idea to use them in your headlines and in the text of every page. They’re there for one purpose only: to signal to the search engine “crawlers” the fact that your website is a perfect match for the keywords your ideal client just used to call up information from the internet.

The challenge is to write your content around your keywords in a way that engages the people reading it. While good SEO will generate visitor traffic, what happens when people get to your website is entirely up to you. If their experience is marred by ugly visuals, lack of contextual cues, poor writing or insufficient information, or if they’re turned off by a ham-fisted display of nothing but keywords, then you’ve lost the chance to draw them more deeply into your marketing funnel. No engagement, no conversation, no sale.

As SEO evolves, we’re finding that engagement is by no means limited to the words you use, either: in fact, information content that makes use of images is 40% more likely to get shared on social media than content that does not. More shares mean more traffic to your website, and a greater possibility of converting those folks into customers and supporters.

If you’d like to discuss how this all might relate to your online efforts, drop us a line!


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