The Basics: SEO Is How Websites Rank Higher In Search Results
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing websites so that their content and structure align with the latest search engine (Google) algorithms.
How Does Google Choose Who Ranks Higher?
Google’s mission is to connect their customers (searchers) with the most relevant, up-to-date search results. They do this by “crawling” websites – looking at a website’s content and structure – to figure out what the website is about. Google then “indexes” the website’s information so that it can connect it to search terms that someone might use.
For example, if someone wants to find a law firm that specializes in real estate, Google will list the most relevant law firms on the first search result page based on a variety of factors.
Search Engines Prioritize Websites that
• Have Useful Content
• Use Targeted Keywords
• Are Updated Regularly
• Are User Friendly
• Are Trustworthy
• Have Appropriate Metadata
Can Websites Pay to Be At The Top?
Websites can use Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising to have their websites listed at the top of a search result page for a particular search term. However, there is still competition among websites to be listed in the paid spots. Purchasing these spots works like an auction – the more demand, the higher the price goes. That can quickly get expensive, and it is only a short term solution for a narrow cluster of keywords.
For example, if an organic pasture-raised egg company wanted to use PPC to be listed at the top of a search result page, they would pay to be listed for eggs, pasture raised eggs, organic eggs, organic pasture raised eggs, etc. And they would be competing against other egg companies for those spots.
It is wise to have a strategy that isn’t dependent on PPC, but incorporates a wide variety of digital marketing tools.