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So, you spent all that time and energy getting your website built and launched, but now what? How do you get people to actually visit your website? That is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into play. But what is SEO, and how does it actually work? First, we need to understand how search engines work. Let’s focus on the most popular search engine today, Google.

Google returns results in a number of different ways, but almost all results can be broken down into three categories: Paid ads, Local Results, and Organic Results.

Google Search
Paid Adwords

Paid Google Ads.

Can achieve these spots through paid Google AdWord campaigns.

AdWord results are based on specific keywords purchased along with the spending limit associated to each keyword and your quality score (how relevant your site is to the search term).
Local Pack

Local Pack.

Presents results local to you, based on Google My Business profile.

Google My Business is arguably one of the most valuable resources at your disposal when it comes to Local SEO. By adding valuable meta-data (such as address, phone number, business hours, review ratings, etc), your site is more likely to pop up as a map result, which can bypass much of the national competition that can have a stranglehold on relavent results.
Organic Results

Organic Results.

Can be basic links, or enriched content (knowledge graphs, product listing ads, carousels, answer boxes, images, videos etc…). This is where your SEO is hard at work.

There are many factors that contribute to your site’s search engine ranking, too many to list in detail, so let’s address some of the main players.

First, we have on-page SEO vs. off-page SEO. On-page SEO refers to elements on your own website that contribute to your overall ranking (H-tags, alt-tags, etc). Off-page SEO refers to elements that exist on other websites, which link back to your site. Search engines will crawl those pages similar to how they crawl your site, pulling in relevant data and either boosting or dropping your ranking as a result.

Next, are basic usability elements (things that will affect the user). These can include site security (https), page load speed (as well as mobile load speed), and overall mobile friendliness.

Finally, you have your content. This is where much of the research and analytics of SEO come into play. You want to be sure to use keywords that rank best for your needs.

As you can see, SEO is an ever-evolving process that utilizes many elements to create an overall search result. This is why it is crucial to find a company that devotes the man hours to staying current on all the changes to Google’s algorithms and ranking systems. It ensures your site doesn’t lose all the hard earned ranking points over night, setting you back months.

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