Search engine optimization (“SEO” for short) is one of the most important things that modern businesses can invest in. In our modern connected world, more people have smartphones than ever before and virtually everyone has access to a computer.
And the people who use these devices (including your customers) often turn to search engines like Google to direct their traffic and help them find the things that they’re looking for. If they’re looking for a business like yours, then you want to make sure your websites and other online assets show up early and often in the search results for relevant queries. This is true for all businesses, not just (though perhaps especially) for ecommerce businesses.
A lot goes into SEO, but not all aspects of it are equally important. Let’s learn a bit more about how all of this works.
What goes into SEO?
SEO is all about making your web presence more appealing to the algorithms that search engines use to find the best results to each query. This task is even more complicated than it sounds, because the algorithms that SEO experts are trying to cater to are top secret.
Figuring out what Google cares about takes a lot of thinking, theorizing, and testing. And figuring out how much Google cares about each factor takes a lot of A/B testing and a whole lot of trial and error. But while Google doesn’t share their secrets, experts have learned what works and what doesn’t.
What we know at this point is that Google cares about the words on the page that visitors will see. Google cares about “keywords” (the words that line up with popular queries) and “keyword density” (how often the keyword pops up compared to how many total words there are on the page).
Google and the rest of the search engine gang also care about image tags, metadata, “bounce rate” (how many Google users hit the “back” button on their browser as soon as they land on your page), and a whole lot more. But we haven’t yet talked about the factor that may be most important of all: links.
Links and SEO
Links are important to search engines, and not just as a way to rank search results. Links are actually vital to the existence of search engines in the first place. Links are how search engine programs (called “spiders”) are able to “crawl” the web, moving from page to page and collecting all of the data that the search engine needs in order to evaluate a page against a query and the search engine’s own algorithm.
As the search engine tracks down all of these links, it also uses them to figure out what a site is all about and how good that site is at what it does. After all, links can be pretty informative! If a lot of websites are linking to another website, that means the latter site is very popular and widely referenced. If a lot of the links say things like “auto repair” or “fixing cars,” then the search engine can be reasonably confident that the website being linked to is in some way related to auto repair.
So search engines take all of this into account. Lots of links make sites reputable; links from reputable sites are worth more than links from lousy ones. And all of this makes it hard for new sites to gain link “equity” and compete in SEO.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go out there and get links on your own. The best link building company for you is out there somewhere. When you outsource SEO services and link building services, you’ll be free to focus on what you do best and rest easy knowing that your SEO needs (including those all-important links) are being addressed.