INSIGHTS | SEO

The ABCs of SEO

People in digital marketing tend to throw around terms, like "SEO", that ordinary folks think is a foreign language. So, let us explain what they’re talking about.

SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. 

That, too, may sound like Swahili to most of us. But what it means is helping (“optimizing”) the world’s internet search engines operated by Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go and many others sift through the billions and billions of websites in the world and provide a nearly instantaneous delivery of suggested websites to visit whenever anyone types in a search request.

So if you own a business, say a marina located in Anytown, USA, and a prospective customer goes onto Google and types in a search for “marinas in Anytown”, you hope and expect that Google will list your company’s website in the pages of results they provide.

Now, Google may well list your website… down on Page 237 of the search results it will present in 0.21 seconds. That’s not good; you want your company’s website to show up on the first page of the search results. You don’t want your customers to have to scroll, and scroll, and scroll to find you.

So, how do you do that?

Search Engine Optimization, that’s how. That’s why upwards of 80 percent of businesses today utilize email marketing in one form or another. But there are rules of the road for email marketing, and every business owner should know and follow them.

How does search work?

Google, Bing and all the others send out electronic crawlers, or spiders, or bots to examine every published website on the planet. These electronic detectives, which are at work behind the scenes 24/7/365, examine your website, and every other website, and collect data: What is your website doing? What are you selling? What other websites are linked to yours? What other websites does yours link to? What is your content? Do you publish videos, audio or beautiful images? And about ten thousand other data points.

Then, using Google’s own proprietary algorithms, or formulas, Google uses all those data points to rank the pages of your website, in terms of content, relevance, quality and more. So when someone types in “marinas in Anytown”, Google can instantly match that search request with your website, and deliver your website link to the Google results page.

So, SEO is the process by which you try to make your website more attractive, interesting and relevant to the search engine bots, so your pages will show up higher in search requests. Most of the time, this is done organically, by constructing your website with appropriate SEO keywords in your content, and in the meta headings of your website, which the customer never sees (but those little bots do). You can also advertise your website on Google, which will improve search results. But that can be expensive.

Now all that sounds horribly complicated, but luckily there are firms, like Fuel Media, that have entire staffs of SEO experts. Whenever we design and build a website for a customer, our SEO crew is involved, making keyword recommendations and doing whatever we can to increase the results when a customer searches for a company or product like yours.

And SEO is not static: you can’t just build a website and think “done and dusted.” SEO is a fluid, constantly changing process. New search terms, new keywords, new content added to your website should always be optimized, examined, tested and improved. Again, having a staff of SEO experts to do the heavy lifting is a lifesaver. And you can usually track results, almost on a daily basis.

If you have questions about SEO and how Fuel Media can make it work for your website and company, please contact us at fuelm.com. We’d be happy to explain to you how SEO works and how we can make it deliver results for your company.

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