What is SEO and Why Should You Care?

September 21, 2015

If you own a website, you've probably heard of search engine optimization or SEO. You wouldn't, however, be the first person to admit that they have no idea what it is, or more importantly, why it might be something worthy of consideration.

The definition of SEO is pretty straightforward: the process through which you drive organic traffic from the search results to your website. What's not so straightforward is all of the factors that make up the SEO pie - there are more than 200 factors - or staying up to date with what it is that the search engines are rewarding or penalizing today.

Today's post is meant to give you a very basic understanding of what SEO is and why anyone who owns a website and who wants more than their closest relatives to know it exists, should consider investing in search engine optimization.

How Search Engines Rank Websites

Search engines like Google consider hundreds of different factors when deciding where to rank your website in their search results for certain keyword terms. There isn't enough space here for me to tell you what all of the SEO factors are, but I'm going to highlight the most important ones for you.

On-Page SEO Factors  

  • The content, images, title tags, meta descriptions, site architecture and page URLs are all examples of on-page SEO factors. The ultimate goal for on-page SEO is to present a clear theme to search engines, which they then use to determine your site's relevancy for specific keyword searches.
  • The good news is that you have control over these factors. The bad news? Knowing how they should be written or structured in order to win favour with Google.

Off-Page SEO Factors

  • The search engines started considering off-page factors when they realized that some people were making their sites appear much more relevant to specific keyword searches than they actually were. This being the case, Google and others weigh off-page factors that include the number and quality of links to your site, the anchor text that's used, and the rate at which links are being built.
  • The bad news? Unless you're someone who eats, sleeps and breathes SEO, it's not a good idea to take up link-building in your spare time. The search engines consider shoddy link-building to be spam and will penalize your web pages with poor rankings or even block them entirely.

Why Search Engine Optimization Matters

While today's post is really just skimming the surface of what SEO is, it's important to stress that it's absolutely vital for anyone who owns a website to do SEO. Without it, your site will be lost in the abyss that is the search results, and for businesses, that means losing prospective customers to those with websites that are visible.

To be successful with SEO takes much more than building a few links and sticking a few keyword terms in your copy. Search engines change the algorithms or how it is that they weigh the various SEO factors when awarding rankings, daily. If you don't have your finger on the pulse of the SEO world, you'll never keep up.

Instead, entrust a reputable SEO team with the important task of making your website visible to the people you need and want as your customers. Ready to experience true success online? Saltmedia is a Grande Prairie web design firm with an in-house team of SEO experts. Call us to learn more: (780) 539-7258.  

About Angie Saltman

I'm President and Visionary Lead at Saltmedia.  Hi! I’m a big ideas person with an extensive technical and creative background. Together with my fantastic team, we bring great ideas to life. Let’s put our heads together and create some success!
We love building great websites and creating effective marketing strategies. Let’s spice up your online presence today!
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Saltmedia Inc operates on the traditional territory of Treaty 8 in what is now known as Grande Prairie. We value the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who lived and cared for this land long before Canada was founded, and we recognize that it is a privilege to operate our business here.

Our Prince George site operates on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh.

We are grateful to the Elders and Knowledge Keepers who are with us today, and those who’ve gone before us.