Search Engine Optimization has become such a buzzword that its meaning and significance is often misunderstood. The typical understanding of SEO is that it involves buying ads or trying to somehow game the system in order to get to the top of Google. There is a cloud of ambiguity surrounding it, such that the typical business is left in the dark about how it actually works. So, here’s a basic rundown:

1)    Backlinks

Contrary to popular belief, having the best keywords isn’t going to bring you to the top of search engines. Keywords may have at one time been chiefly important, but today they are not nearly as valuable. People often ask Google how they rank their sites and the number one answer Google always gives is backlinks. What is a backlink? A backlink is essentially any link from another site that points to your site. For example, if you have your site URL on Facebook or LinkedIn, that would be considered a backlink. Another example is if a local newspaper writes a story about you and links to your site. That link would be another backlink. The more backlinks you get, the higher you go.

2)    Content

Backlinks are great, but in order to get those backlinks and boost your coverage, you’re going to need a lot of content. You may have noticed, but most companies have begun to blog and are pushing out new content every week. This helps keep your customers engaged and increases your online footprint. It also gives Google more resources to map and more avenues in which someone can reach your site.

3)    Speed

As web technologies have been rapidly developed over the last five years, so has the amount of resources needed to run these new sites. Pages are becoming much larger than they used to be and this is easily evident if you are ever on a phone connection without Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, very few software development agencies take speed into account because it hasn’t been an issue in the past. Google, however, has begun factoring speed more and more into the equation as a result of the recent revolution around web technologies. They released their PageSpeed site and have said it will continue to impact SEO in the future. Regardless of SEO, it is common sense to have a fast web site in the first place. If a site has trouble loading, chances are the user is going to have little patience to wait on it to load.

What everyone should know:

Now that they have been around for a while, everyone should know about responsive web sites and should be utilizing them. If you’re site still isn’t ready for mobile phones and tablets, you need to look into changing that as soon as possible. Today, more people are accessing websites using their smartphones and tablets than via laptops and desktops. As a user, it can be frustrating trying to use a site that hasn’t been configured for mobile devices. What most people don’t know, however, is that it can take quite a hit on your SEO. Google has actually started putting “Mobile-friendly” on its mobile search results. You can be put at an extreme disadvantage if you site is not yet developed for smaller screens.    

On the horizon:

Something on the horizon that we will likely have a full blog post in the future about is Google’s Rich Answers. If you have ever googled something to find it give you the answer on the first page, this is a Google Rich Answer. Essentially, Google will grab data from your site like questions or explanations and put them as the first result in the search query. This helps tremendously for SEO since you get your content in before anyone else. Stay on the lookout for a new blog post on utilizing this in the future!

SEO Here at Halieo:

Every web project we work on here at Halieo takes SEO into account and we do our best to ensure all three of these areas are focused on throughout development. We never release a site with a poor PageSpeed score and we have multiple resources that help us gauge the SEO friendliness of our sites. Contact us today!