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The Basics of SEO
First of all, what is SEO? For those of you unaware, SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. This a process heavily intertwined with how search engines, such as Google, prepare their results for your viewing pleasure.
To put it simply, engines like Google use “crawlers” to hunt for keywords and data that link to whatever you just searched for. If you search for “cake”, Google will pull results from bakeries, grocery stores, and certain obnoxious memes. As long as “cake” is mentioned and the link is deemed sufficiently popular, your website might find its way to the front page of Google search results.
This process is, like anything regulated by an algorithm, exploitable. Search Engine Optimization is how we do that. It revolves around using keywords, metadata, and even the URL of your website to satisfy the crawler’s algorithms, promoting your content beyond what it might have gotten otherwise.
Does this sound evil and manipulative? It shouldn’t. Search Engine Optimization is not just a scheme or scam, it’s a whole profession with qualifications and regulations. There are companies that focus exclusively on SEO and its functions. No, far from being a simple trend, it’s a marketing strategy tailor-made for today’s online world.
There are many types of SEO, but the most prominent are “on-page” and “off-page”. Keywords, tags… altering the content itself of your webpage to increase searchability and traffic is all a part of on-page SEO. Relevantly-worded, good-looking URLs and links that will be seen outside of your content is what “off-page” refers to. And these are simply two of the forms SEO can take.
With so much to do, how can anyone choose whether or not they want to use SEO? Thankfully, there are companies who exclusively work on SEO who can help, with professionals ready to assist. But I’m getting ahead of myself; who would use SEO anyway?
Who Uses SEO?
Technically speaking, everyone who posts something online uses SEO. Me mentioning SEO is technically an application of SEO in order optimize this article for the search of “SEO”. More specifically and more deliberately, however, businesses use it to promote their content as much as possible.
From industrial pages to charity organizations to school fundraisers, there are as many different uses for SEO as there are stores on the street, and probably more with internet-exclusive jobs like YouTube or blogging. Learning SEO is also relatively easy thanks to websites like https://learningseo.io/, which introduce users to the concepts and theories inherent to the process.
For more detailed examples of usage, consider the article you’re reading right now. The usage of specific keywords and links in strategic places makes it easier for crawlers to find this article when it searches for things like “SEO” or “cake”, promoting the content and creating valuable and desirable traffic.
Do not mistake this for simple advertising. General marketing relies on bright colors and catchy phrases to attract the eye or ear and keep attention. Search Engine Optimization is (usually) a lot subtler and baked into the content itself. Clickable ads on the side of the website may be SEO, but odds are that’s just intrusive advertising.
Why use SEO in the first place? Simple: You want online traffic, but you don’t want to waste money on horrible, invasive ads that ruin the browsing experience.
Isn’t it just terrible when you want to read through a blog, and then half the screen is taken up by a pop-up advert that directs you to something completely unrelated to what you were looking for? Thankfully, SEO is all about avoiding that kind of nonsense. It might not be terribly pretty to look at, but it’s leagues above other forms of marketing.
There is also another reason to use SEO above regular advertising: it is a way to make targeted strikes while not revealing your hand. Say I have a company based in Texas, and I want to promote my content to fellow Texans without having to overtly advertise that I’m Texan myself. Proper optimization can make it so those who live in Texas will find my company when they search for its service, while those outside of Texas more likely won’t see it. This is how you keep away undesirable traffic, by focusing your site to the relevant parties.
It is with great skill and precision that one can truly optimize their content for others’ browsing experience. You want your content to be the top of the search engine, right? Let’s take a look at an example of how localized SEO can work to do just that.
Houston, Texas SEO
That being said, what are some of the SEO services you can find in Houston, Texas, and which are the right ones for you?
SEO services linked to a specific location are usually centered around establishing your website’s relevance at that location. This primarily pertains to optimizing results on Google Maps or other location-based search engines, but it can also be used for “lead generation” (finding contacts in local areas via phone or email) or general web design.
Do you want your company’s front door to appear on Google Image search? SEO companies can help you do that. Do you want to ship out well-written copy for your group? SEO companies can do that too.
There are no uses that SEO Houston TX can’t be found. Whatever you need to design or write, you can find it if you search hard enough. These services may not seem like they’re linked to a specific location, but they really are.
Search Engine Optimization is a vital process to many websites nowadays. Reaching your online goals and gaining enough traffic to reach the front page is almost impossible without it. You need to optimize your website if you want to be successful, so get on it and do your best. If you’re skilled, your quality content will be enough to keep people interested after.