Trillions of searches are conducted every year, and good SEO work can drive business — especially when it’s done well. It’s also one of the few marketing channels that isn’t dependent on fickle social media algorithms and can remain relevant even when other digital advertising options have fizzled out or become ineffective.
SEO is all about ensuring your website has the best possible chance of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant queries. It involves optimizing a variety of elements on your site and its individual web pages to improve their relevance and authority for specific keywords.
The goal of search engines like Google is to provide their users with the most relevant answers or information for a query. They do this by assessing the content on each page and then using complex equations to order them by relevance to a search query. This largely involves determining how relevant your content is to the terms being searched, its quality, the authority of the website it belongs to, and more.
Each web page is seen differently by a search engine than it is by a human — for example, the structure of the code, the graphics with their colors and formatting, and so on. This makes duplicate content a major issue for search engines, which may penalize sites for it or at least place them lower in the results pages for a given query. Having unique URLs for each piece of content on your site is therefore important.
Title and meta-description tags are another way to signal a page’s relevancy to search engines. By including a keyword in these elements, you help search engines understand what your page is about. You can further improve your relevancy signals by adding synonyms or related words to your keywords, as well as including them in image file names and ALT tags (which describe the text browsers display instead of an image for visually impaired visitors).
In addition to optimizing these page-level elements, you need to ensure your entire website is properly structured. This means using a consistent navigation structure, using canonical links when necessary to prevent duplicate content, and making sure each page has the correct structured data for its role on your site. Correct structured data also helps search engines determine if your page is eligible for special features in the search results page such as review stars or fancy decorated results. search engine optimization