In order to understand SEO, search engine optimization, you must understand how a search engine, or an algorithm works.
In short, the order in which search engines’ ‘robots’, ‘crawlers’, or ‘spiders’ process a website is as follows:
Discovers a new website, analyzes the content and data on each page of the website, indexes the content and data, receives a query, determines the relevance of content and data on website versus the search query and returns results to the search query.
A search engine’s goal (think Google) is to provide the most relevant, useful, and timely information as possible to a person’s search query.
And a search engine can do this by analyzing the data and content on your website in order to rank it for the most useful and relevant information.
This is accomplished using digital ‘robots’, ‘crawlers’, or ‘spiders’. These robots crawl the web using digital maps in order to find new websites and pages.
Once a robot discovers a new page, it then analyzes the content on each page of the website and determines the quality of that website, the theme of it or how to categorize it, and what types of search queries the website should show up for in organic search results.
However, now days there's a lot more than simply placing keywords throughout your website that search engines rank a website for. Search engines have gotten a lot smarter over the years, and they continuously experience hundreds of updates.
Search Engine Optimization:
In order to rank high in search results, or to be number one on Google, there are various factors to keep in mind, including on-page optimization, off-page optimization, technical optimization, and user experience (UX).
Keep in mind:
your goal is to always enhance user experience
majority of tactics take place off site
And this includes places like social media. Using social media can be a great way to increase brand awareness, overall online presence, and enhance SEO. What to keep in mind regarding social media and SEO:
There is a correlation between social media and higher ranking in search results; however, correlation does not mean causation.
But there does seem to be an indirect influence on SEO by an engaged audience or with a strong social media strategy, as this will increase online presence, and overall brand visibility. It has been stated that tweets on Twitter are crawled and indexed, as are pins on Pinterest (both platforms are great for SEO). Google hasn’t stated anything specifically regarding platforms like Instagram or TikTok, however, it has been stated that if it is accessible to Google and if it contains a link, then the link has the potential to be crawled.
Content is king when you have quality content and a well-thought-out strategy.
The thing that Google does not like to see is an overpopulated website with generic content. Generic content is deemed invaluable and not useful or relevant to a searcher, and an overpopulated website can hinder or negatively impact UX.
And so, you might be thinking, “okay, but what does quality content even mean?”
First and foremost, when it comes to creating quality content, this means creating unique content that is your own. Not plagiarizing or copying someone else’s content.
Why is this?
Well, most obvious is because you always want to give credit where credit is due.
Next, original and unique content are much more likely to receive shares, engagement, and interest in your business. Which are all fantastic for SEO. The more times that a person shares the link to your website, means more opportunities for robots to discover and crawl your website. The more that a person shares an engaging piece of content on, for example, Instagram or TikTok, the more chances that you have to grow interest in you and your business, drive traffic to your website, and increase conversions. In addition, the more time that a person spends on your website, the more that Google will deem your website as useful, relevant, or valuable (all are fantastic for enhancing SEO).
Finally, if you are going to copy and paste someone else’s work onto your website, for example, if you quote research or information, you must ensure to properly cite them, and include your own perspective or some sort of VALUE ADD. If there is no value added, Google will see this as duplicate content, and this will potentially hurt your ranking.
Google also gives ranking credit to whoever posted the content first. Therefore, the best way to avoid this is to always link back to the original source and again add your own value. Additionally, Google likes to see when you link to other websites (if they are relevant/useful/credible) because this generally will enhance UX by having their questions answered or providing further detailed information on a topic they are interested in (remember, your goal is to always enhance UX).
To further understand the basics of SEO, including, keywords, title-tags, meta-descriptions, and other ways in which you can continue to optimize your own content by creating quality content, be sure to check out our free mini-webinar, SEO Made Simple, here.
Chief Creative Officer