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What Exactly is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Does My Website Need It?

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

Search engines like Google and Bing are answer machines. They exist to discover, understand and organize the internet’s content to provide the most relevant results to the questions searchers are asking. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the art and science of driving targeted traffic to a website from search engines. In today's highly competitive digital world, customers choose businesses that come up in their web searches. Therefore, in order to be competitive, every business needs to be concerned with SEO.

To understand how to address SEO, it’s important to understand how SEO works

SEO has a great deal of technical components, but there are two large overarching categories to successful SEO. They include optimization done directly to the site (On-Page SEO), as well as activities on other sites that link back to the website (Off-Page SEO).

On-Page SEO

This is the practice of optimizing both the HTML source code/architecture as well as the content (text and photos) of a website’s pages in order to rank higher in search engines.

Site Architecture/Coding: In order to show up favorably in search results, your website needs to built in a way that makes it easy for search engines to easily “crawl” (scour), “index” (store), and “rank” (prioritize) it. If your site can’t be found, there’s no way you’ll show up high in search results. Elements such as meta data (title, keywords, description, image alt tag, image title), content ratio (the % of content relative to the % of coding on the page), content length (the amount of content found on each page), and other elements make a site easy for search engines to crawl, index and rank.

Content Production: As the saying goes, content is king. The more relevant content added to a website, the more search engines deem a site relevant and active. Therefore, adding fresh new content on a regular basis is important for SEO. The most common way new content is added is through blogs.

Off-Page SEO

This refers to actions taken outside of your own website to develop trustworthiness, authority and relevance for your website. The more trustworthy, authoritative and relevant a search engine thinks your site is, the higher it will serve it in the rankings. This includes activities like building backlinks (other sites having links back to your website), social media marketing and earning high customer ratings on Google and others.

Each year, search engines make hundreds of changes to their algorithms in an effort to constantly improve and offer the most relevant results to users. Therefore, making a website SEO optimized at a given time does not ensure its optimized going forward. Successful SEO is really an ongoing process.

Thompson Marketing Partners can create and execute a customized SEO plan that achieves your business goals. Whether your goal is lead generation, increased website traffic, or simply to have your website rank higher in search engine rankings, we can help!

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