What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial to your website's success -- mainly because 70% of web traffic comes from Google. Is your website showing up where it should in search results? How can you improve your search engine ranking?
There are many factors that effect how Google ranks you. The exact algorithms are closely guarded (and immensely valuable intellectual property) and constantly evolving. Google has to constantly tweak and improve its search algorithms to provide the most useful results to users.
SEO Is All About Quality Content
Google values original, helpful content. If it's worth reading, the web will find it eventually. The more links pointing to your content, the better your content is judged to be. If those linking website are deemed to be quality, high page rank sites... the higher your website will rank.
In order to rank highly for specific searches, your content needs to be about that specific content. Let's say you want to target the Google search: low carb brownies. First, your content should be about low carb brownies and little else. The better this on-page content is optimized, the better.
Optimally, social media networks (Facebook and Twitter) and well-regarded websites (or blogs) focused on low carb deserts / brownie recipes to link to your page. Of course this isn't always so easy. But it is an important part of the equation. Links back to your site (backlinks) tell the search engines how valuable your content is on the web.
Define Your SEO Targets Before You Hit Them
How do you decide which search words or phrases to target for search engine optimization? Back to the brownies. We use a keyword analysis toosl to mine data for a "starter target" and related terms. From these tools, we see that there are 2,740.00 global searches for "brownies" each month. Broken down, we see that "homemade brownies" gets 22,200 global searches and "fudge brownies" gets 49,500.
But when we get specific, "low carb brownies" only registers 2,400 global monthly searches. "Low carb brownie recipe" only gets 480. Meanwhile, "low carb recipes" gets you back up to 246,000. So what should you target?
Just "brownies" gets the most searches but also has the most competition. You are less likely to rank high for "brownies" and a savvy searcher is going to modify their search to narrow down what they are looking for. Deciding exactly what to target is a science and and art -- and ultimately a marketing decision.