SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is a method of making your website more attractive to search engines so you show up as close to the top spot as you can. This strategy has been touted for years as the best way to get more traffic, and while that’s still largely true, SEO has changed dramatically over the past few years.
Think of SEO as the rules of fashion; what was “in” five years ago is woefully dated now. For example, old-fashioned SEO was focused on using a single keyword a certain number of times on your website. You’d put that keyword in your title, in your content, in your tags, and everywhere else you could shoehorn it in. The concern wasn’t with creating useful content, but in making sure it repeated that one word often enough to get noticed. On top of that you’d build as many backlinks (links to your content from other webpages) as you could, because those backlinks directly translated into popularity; the more you had, the better your results.
Times have changed, though, and as you can see from this infographic at Quick Sprout, these old methods will work about as well as a lime green suit with a polka dot tie. They might get you noticed, but they’re more likely to get you labeled as spam than as a top contributor who belongs on the front page of search results.
So what is SEO now? Well, it’s a lot more focused on the market, and on your readers. SEO now rewards quality content that provides information customers want, and it only rewards backlinks that come from sources deemed to be proper quality. Put another way, SEO is less stuffing the ballot box and more interacting with the audience. The more useful content is, and the more it interacts with the audience, the closer to the top of the heap your website is going to get.
While the new SEO is organic, flexible, and geared toward helping good content find the right audience, it is far from easy to know which methods will work, and which methods will fail. That’s why if you need help with your website’s SEO, you should contact us today!