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  • Alise Talley

SEO: What is it and how to use it to improve your rankings

Updated: Feb 18, 2022

SEO + Digital Marketing

If you’re new to digital marketing, you’ve probably come across the term SEO a couple of times.

There are thousands of posts on how to improve SEO, but what is it exactly?

SEO, standing for search engine optimization, is a series of methods that web page owners can use to increase their rankings on search engines, like Google.

How Did SEO Start?

When search engines like Google were first getting started, they would calculate the rankings by how many times a keyword or phrase was used. The webpage that used it most often would show up higher on the SERP’s (search engine results page). This led to a practice called keyword stuffing, where people would put as many keywords on a web page as possible to gain better results.

Now, the search engine algorithms have changed, and methods like keyword stuffing are no longer effective. But before we look at what SEO methods are best, let’s break down how the algorithms work, specifically Google’s.

The algorithm begins with a process called crawling. The program will crawl through the information offered on the web. It is then “indexed” according to the type of content the web page contains.

It does this by looking at your on-page and off-page content. On-page content includes, but isn’t limited to, titles, metadata, images, videos, and blog posts. Off-page content refers to the links to content off of your site as well as reviews and directories.

Once it’s indexed, it’s filed away until a user makes a search. After a search is made, it will rank the pages in the index in the order it believes will best satisfy the user. This is calculated through the user’s location, web page upload date, keywords, and the trustworthiness of the content.

How You Can Get Higher Rankings

There are many ways you can improve your SEO.

In general, your site should be updated regularly, contain accurate and well-researched information, offer a good user experience, be functional on mobile devices, and have fast loading speeds.

To improve your off-page SEO, you can register your company on review sites, like Yelp, and ask your customers to leave reviews. You should also try to increase the number of backlinks used.

Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are external links used by other sites that link their content to yours. In the eyes of search engine algorithms, increasing the number of backlinks means the information you put out is more trustworthy.

However, don’t try to cheat the system. People in the past have tried to buy backlinks on sites, and when caught, it reflected badly on their SEO rankings. You can spread your influence ethically by creating shareable content, whether it’s informational graphics, talking about a new trend, or reposting your own engaging content on platforms like Youtube.

When it comes to having visible content, learning about SEO is essential. By incorporating SEO into your platform, not only will your website gain more views, but your business can get more attention as well.

For more in-depth tips, check out Sugoi’s latest article on improving SEO.

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