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Understand The Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

What is SEO, and How is it Related to the Importance of SERP?

If you own or manage a business, your company probably has a website. But do you actively try to drive traffic to your website? Do you manage your website in a manner designed to ensure that it ranks highly on the SERP? Are you using SEO to maintain or boost its SERP ranking? Do you even know what SERP and SEO are?

If not, then read on because if you ignore SEO and your website fails to gain traction with SERP, you might as well not even have a website. Understanding these two acronyms is the first step you should take to ensure that your company’s online presence adds value to your business.

What are SERP and SEO?

Simply put, SERP is the acronym for search engine results page, and SEO stands for search engine optimization. SERP is the page you see when you type in a search query on Google or other search engines. Because you undoubtedly want your website to be discovered by potential customers, getting on the SERP through relevant queries is essential. And not just any SERP but, if at all possible, the first page of SERP.

Studies have demonstrated that anywhere from between 75% to 95% of Google searches never go past the first page of SERP. Additionally, the SERP’s top-listed result receives about 18% of subsequent website visits, the second-listed result receives 10%, and the third 7%. If your website ends up on page three or four of search results, you’re probably not going to get many click throughs. Page 10 or 11? Forget it!

SEO represents actions you can take to optimize your web pages to move them into higher positions in SERP. It should be noted that SEO works for organic search results. Pay-per-click ads—which typically appear with the word “Ad” on the result snippet—often rank highest on the first page of SERP. Thus, you don’t have to use SEO to gain a high SERP ranking, but ads will cost you.

Understanding Search Engine Algorithms

Search engine results and SERP rankings are determined by algorithms that constantly examine web pages to judge their worthiness based on numerous ranking factors. Google and other search engines are somewhat secretive about their algorithms and ranking factors but generally provide enough guidance to allow website managers to fine-tune their SEO efforts.

Know that Google and other search engines also periodically adjust their algorithms and ranking scores to account for the ever-changing Internet landscape and to improve the website search reliability. For example, the mobile-friendliness of a website has become far more critical to the rankings in recent years.

The Most Important SEO Ranking Factors

While algorithms examine and score 100s of ranking factors on every web page, Google and SEO experts have broadly identified the most important ones. They include:

  • An accessible and secure website—a search engine has to be able to access a website to rank it. Roughly speaking, this means that the web pages have to be constructed with good code and be easily navigated. In recent years Google has also put more emphasis on website security.
  • Compelling Content—This essentially means that the content needs to clearly express its meaning and intent. If a reader has a hard time understanding website text, there will be no impressing the Google algorithm.
  • Optimized Keywords—As the most recognized SEO ranking factor, keywords are relatively simple. If you run a Yoga studio, the word “yoga” is an obvious keyword. In fact, it should be in headlines and should include the name of your location to boost local SEO. Algorithms have grown much more sophisticated over the years, and keyword SEO has become something of an art.
  • Share-Worthy Content—The World Wide Web—WWW—is interconnected. Thus, your website’s connection to other websites lets algorithms know that your website’s information is worth sharing. Inbound, outbound, and internal links can all help signal that your website is worthy.
  • Page Loading Speed—This has become consistently more important to the rankings in recent years. • Mobile Friendliness—This ranking factor has become significantly more important because mobile devices now conduct more searches than desktop computers.
  • Social Signals—While Google states that the sharing of web content on social media is not a direct ranking factor, social media sharing can help SEO by generating more traffic to your website and indirectly contributing to rankings due to backlinks.

Learn More About SEO with Moxxi Marketing

We have introduced you to the bare basics of SERP and SEO. If you want to learn more about SEO, you can start with Google’s “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide.” If you would like to significantly boost your digital marketing efforts with expert SEO strategizing, consult with Moxxi Marketing by contacting us today at 239.330.6236. We keep abreast of all SEO developments and Google initiatives to maintain the highest success with our client’s online marketing initiatives.

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