Search engine optimization makes websites more relevant to what people are looking for. An integrated effort, SEO requires a few different skill sets to make your website more relevant to search engine queries. In fact, we prefer a vocabulary here at Plan Left of building “search engine relevancy,” because this is the core focus of what SEO is meant to achieve.
Modern Search Engines
Modern search engines are smarter than you (probably) think. A search engine uses focused algorithms to help find what it “feels” are the best search results for the user’s search query. These algorithms are constantly changed and updated by some of the most brilliant people on Earth.
Although search engines use hundreds of elements in their algorithm, they look at a few key elements when determining a website’s value and where it should show up in the search results. SEO is all about keeping up with what those elements are and putting practices into place to best accommodate them.
Building Your Approach
Search engine relevancy should be a holistic process. Many factors—like load times on websites and the quality of your code markup and content—affect your SEO. The concept of SEO is two-pronged: on-site SEO and off-site SEO. To build your approach, you need to include both.
Under the hood, a webpage looks a lot like any other document. There are page titles, sub-titles, and content to tie all of the concepts together. Great on-site SEO optimizes that document structure, utilizes high-impact subjects with great stories, and talks to people, not to search engines. Search engines are built to match people with pages. You need the document structure set so search engines can understand the semantics and importance of different elements on your page. Great writing is important so that 1)search engines can match the content to the people’s searches, 2)search engines recognize the quality of your page due to excellent grammar and spelling, and 3)people will stay on the page once they get to it.
Your key components are a solid technology infrastructure, a modern document structure, compelling content, and a firm understanding of on-site SEO practices.
Off-site SEO is probably the more popular of the two-pronged SEO approach. This is the practice of building links from other high-value websites back to your own. And we’re not talking about those old ‘Links’ pages from the ‘90s either. These links need to be contextual and carefully placed by hand.
As these links accumulate, search engines see your website as an authority on whatever subject those links refer to. The search engines’ logic is that if people are talking about and pointing to your website, you are obviously doing something worthwhile there. More inbound links = more activity = more authority = higher relevancy.
When building a website’s search engine relevancy, a solid foundation is necessary. Much like a good recipe needs a base, your SEO needs a solid website. Build a solid plan of action by first taking inventory of your current assets and their value, assessing business objectives, and building a marketing strategy to achieve your goals. Get started with a free consultation to start building your strategy.