What Is SEO? And How Can It Help Your Business?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. If a site is search engine optimized, it will show up higher in the rankings of SERPs (search engine results pages) than sites that don’t have good SEO. In the early days of the Internet, SEO was almost exclusively concerned with keywords. If you had the right keywords and phrases in the content of your site, it would appear in the search results on early engines like Excite, AltaVista, WebCrawler, and Yahoo.
At that time, a lot of sites were cheating their SEO by stuffing their content with keywords and completely sacrificing quality. They’d also embed hundreds or thousands of repetitions of keywords in invisible text in the background of their pages. Unfortunately for users, these tactics were generally employed by low-quality sites, and finding what you were looking for could be a serious endeavor as you waded through seemingly countless bogus sites to find some quality content.
Then along came Google, and everything began to change. First, Google factored backlinks into their search algorithms, as well as citations on other websites, and then they began to work more factors into their searches, all to provide more accurate search results and to cut out unrelated sites from their SERPs. As a result, SEO today is much more complex and nuanced than it once was, and it’s still changing as we speak.
Keyword Stuffing and Fake Backlinks Will Get You Kicked to the Curb
So what’s involved in modern SEO? And how can you move your site to the top of Google and Bing SERPs? First of all, don’t try to cheat. Keyword stuffing will automatically exclude your site from SERPs because Google and Bing are cracking down hard on sites that sacrifice quality for search results rankings. Basically, if you want to climb the ranks, write good content and use keywords naturally throughout. If it doesn’t read naturally, don’t use it.
Likewise, while backlinks to your site from other websites will help your search rankings, don’t buy fake backlinks. Even if you have a great site with really high-quality content that your audience wants to see, if you try to cheat by buying fake backlinks, Google won’t think twice about completely banning your site from search results. It happened to a popular rap lyrics site (Rap Genius), and it could happen to you, too. So don’t try to cheat.
Pictures and Videos Are SEO Gold
So what can you do, other than include keywords naturally in your content? Add a lot of quality pictures and videos to your site. Viewers report that pictures and videos are more engaging than text alone. So, if two sites are otherwise similarly optimized and one has more picture and video content, it’s going to get the boost in Google and Bing’s ranking systems.
List Your Business with Other Sites
Local citations on business listing sites, through search engines, and on review sites will also do wonders for your SEO. Google still searches for these citations to gauge businesses’ credibility and to determine whether they should be included in search results. So, if you’re careful to ensure that all of your data is correct and that your business is properly categorized, you should notice a jump in your SERP rankings.
SEO is about more than just keywords and citations, though. And, with Google constantly upgrading its search algorithms to better serve its users, it’s getting more and more nuanced every day. To learn more about improving your business’ SEO, call us at Gauge Digital Media today at 410-376-7709.