What is SEO?If you've ever searched for something online (and most of us have), you already know more about SEO than you think you do.
But there are a few different agendas under the surface of any search. Let's say your search is for sneakers.
Making all those "wants" match up is the job of search engine optimization. SEO professionals employ a variety of different strategies to make websites appear higher in your list of results and make it more likely that you'll click on them to find what you're looking for.
SEO is often part of an overall online marketing strategy and complements other tactics like social media marketing, content marketing and more.
What factors affect a search?When we type something into the Google search box, there's a lot going on under the hood. Google takes into account to help it determine the results for each query. No one knows all of the factors, but there are a - meaning there are many different paths to optimization.
1. Your question
The first thing Google tries to do is understand what you're getting at with your query. It uses a technology called to help it better understand the nature of what you might be looking for, and whether it can best satisfy you with a definition, a list, a map or something else.
Search engines are continually working on new and better ways to predict what we're looking for and what we need faster and more accurately.
2. Your location
A search engine not only takes into account the nature of your question but also where you're asking it from. For instance, when I put a query like "pizza" into Google, it does some thinking for me and assumes I'd rather have a list of pizza places near me than a Wikipedia entry about the history of pizza.
3. Who created it
Google likes rewarding real people who write great content. One way it accomplishes this is through , which gives a special designation to authors who are verified through Google+. You can identify a verified author by the small photo next to their content in search results.
4. Your friendsAnother factor search engines are increasingly banking on is each individual's social network. "Social search" allows you to easily find content - like restaurant reviews, blog posts, photos and more - created by your friends and the contacts in your "social circle."
5. How it got shared
More that using your individual social network to serve you personalized results, search engines also use social sharing as a signal to determine the quality level of a piece of content.
6. Your device
Finally it's important for a search engine to understand whether you're on a computer, a tablet or a mobile phone as it prepares to give you search results.All these factors combined mean that my search engine results for a specific question might look totally different from yours, depending on things like who we know, where we are and what type of device we're searching on.
But what does an SEO do?
So beyond understanding and studying the many factors that affect search results, what does an SEO actually do?But there are some common practices that you'll hear about when it comes to search engine optimization. An SEO:
Optimizes the siteThe first part of a solid SEO strategy focuses on the technical side of a website. Since Google finds information about a website , it's often the job of an SEO to make sure the site is easy for Google to find and crawl. This focuses on site architecture.
That means doing lots of different things to like assuring the site has a Google can find, making sure it loads quickly and analyzing the site's design and architecture to make sure it works well for users. Lots of SEOs will perform a to determine a list of issues with a site.
Researches and optimizes keywords
Keywords are the words you enter into a search engine to find what you're looking for. If we go back to our sneakers example, a shoe company might want to be known for shoe-related keywords like "tennis shoes," "sneakers" and "athletic shoes" as well as specific brands like Nike or Reebok.
Before search engines like Google had fancy ways to personalize your search results based on your friends and your location, they used one main element to figure out which stuff was the best on the web: links.
Helps creates content (that builds links)
One of the best ways to get links these days is by creating great content. Whether it's a video, a blog post, a tool, a comic or another resource, great content naturally attracts links as people visit it, share it and talk about it.
This explains it well.