Imagine you are a consumer in the 80s/early 90s and you need to buy new running shoes - you would schlep to the mall and/or several shoe stores and hunt until you find what you want. Now fast forward a few decades, and while you might still end up at the mall, your sneaker quest is more likely to begin with you at your preferred search engine.
How would you look for shoes? Maybe “best running shoes” or “cheap running shoes” or “purple running shoes” or “fastest running shoes” perhaps? Type in your search combination, hit “enter,” and wait for the stream of websites to pop up for you to check out. What makes all that happen? In short, SEO.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” and a simple description is that it’s the “thing” that centers around increasing non-paid/organic search results. SEO makes up both the creative aspects and the tech-related stuff that has to do with moving more traffic to your company’s website by improving awareness of the business through improved search rankings. The proverbial haystack still exists, but SEO helps make your “needle” really stand out.
Organic is All the Rage
When it comes to search engine advertisement, there are two kinds of results that business owners are focused on - the paid search ranking and the “organic” search ranking. “Organic” refers to non-paid search engine results, and while both are important, the focus of SEO is to optimize/improve the organic position.
SEO of Yester Years
So how did the mystery and magic of SEO work in the past? Once upon a time, websites relied on keywords to score higher ranking in search results. If your business sold running shoes, you might use “jogging shoes” or “running shoes” or even “fast shoes” and litter your website content with those words or phrases.
Example of old SEO content (keyword - yoga position): “Unlike activities like jogging or most sports, your main focus for your yoga position warm-up would be the eyes, neck, and shoulders. Now you are ready to begin. If you are taking a class, your instructor will more than likely have a prepared sequence of yoga positions for you to do. If you are rolling your mat out at home, go ahead and create your own sequence or use video instruction. There are many basic yoga positions that are used in most classes; the Corpse Pose is relatively easy and very relaxing. It can be done in between other yoga positions, and also during the final relaxation period.”
And because there was so much focus on the keywords, the content of most websites was geared around the number of the keywords to increase search rank. It was all about quantity and not so much about quality. Old SEO was basically a numbers game, and no one (including the search engine gatekeepers) cared too much about how they got results.
Dawn of a New Era
The new SEO rules have re-shifted the focus of search engine ranking from quantity to quality. Think of it as a “customer first” approach - content is more about what people actually want and need and not just filler to get the right keyword percentage.
The redesigned SEO approach is to attract consumers by understanding how they interact with certain brands and products. The customer is no longer a drone that will click on the top link because that page has the most keywords - people are looking and reading and figuring out what they want, and search engine functionality has adapted to this updated mindset.
A Few Good Tips
If you are still relatively new to search engine advertisement and overall mechanics, you are not alone. More and more businesses are setting up virtual shops and using SEO to help the millions of online consumers find what they are looking for.
Here are a few simple tips for getting the most out of the search engines:
- Take care with your headlines - there’s a reason for the concept of “attention-grabbing headline.”
- Take care with your meta description and give it a more “call to action” feel.
- Take care with your content. Choose your words with purpose because it’s the words on the page that will bring people to your site.
- Take care with your links - keep on top of the URLs in your pages to ensure that everything is working properly.
SEO is only one side of the coin - SEM (search engine management) deals with paid search advertisement. Acquisio specializes in optimized SEM techniques to help you get the most from your search engine ad campaign.