seo foundation

Many business owners have heard the word “SEO”, but few understand what it really means aside from just having it constantly included in the onslaught of spam email and phone calls. What is SEO really and why is it important?

The SEO Breakdown

SEO is Search Engine Optimization, and it’s the process of ranking a particular web listing on Google and other search engines higher in the results. This means that when someone Googles for a keyword, let’s say “hotels in chennai”, we want our website to be on the first page and, ideally, the very first listing that shows up in their search results. This is because 33-40% of all traffic will go to the first rank, and the rest will go to ranks 2-3, while only fractions go to the rest of the first page. Most users never go beyond the first page simply because they’ve already found what they’re looking for by that point.

With potentially thousands of sites for the same niche and location, how can some “choose” to be on the first page? Can we just pay for it? The answer is no. While you can pay to show up at the top of Google with AdWords, it’s not an organic listing. Many users have trained themselves to skip ads, so they go to the first organic listing, and getting ranked in that position takes a lot of work, strategy, and technique. Google recommends certain criteria to help sites make it to that point, but it doesn’t make sense for all sites to do exactly what Google says because then everyone would be rank 1 — and that obviously isn’t possible.

The Key To Getting Position 1 (or position zer0)

In order to achieve position 1 in Google, it’s important to have on-page optimization totally filled out. That means matching criteria that Google has set for what they deem to be a perfectly set up website. While that will certainly help, it only makes the site reach “acceptance”, not excellence. The real SEO work has to do with the backlinks profile, the references from other websites to your own, as described in this SEO Tips blog. The more of these you have which comes from credible and high authority sources, the better your site looks to Google’s algorithm. That’s why it’s important to get links from sites that are legitimately considering to be an authority of your niche. For example, if your business operates in the aerospace industry, then getting a link from NASA is extremely powerful, whereas getting a link from a pet store has zero relevance. Likewise, if you receive hundreds of submissions from blog comments or directories, that looks unnatural and is considered pure spam, so Google tends to slap websites for it.

Focus Where It Counts

To make your SEO really work, it’s important to focus on where it really matters– high quality backlinks. It’s easy to follow the guidelines for your website’s on-page optimization, but you really want to build out the backlinks portfolio in a strong way. Doing this will help the overall domain rank for several hundred or thousand keywords and bring in lots of organic traffic for which¬† you otherwise would have to be several dollars per click. This is why SEO is so important, yet so difficult to accomplish.

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