SEO (search engine optimization) is system of organizing and categorizing, coding and presenting your “data” (website, links, metadata, and more) in order to rank higher in search engine results. Good SEO can help visitors find you more quickly and easily, boost your credibility, and put you ahead of the competition. For example, even if two websites appear nearly identical, the SEO optimization that lies underneath can make a huge difference in where they rank.
Although it seems like it should be straight forward – after all it’s a system – SEO is a bit of a moving target. The complex algorithms on which Google bases its results on are not static or even fully divulged. So you’ll want to follow the suggestions and guidelines, and you’ll want to keep up on changes to those suggestions and guidelines.
“Do I really need to bother with all that? You know, the learning and then more learning?” you may ask. Well, considering that nearly 60% of all traffic on the web starts with a Google search, yes. Yes, you do. The internet is only growing, more every minute. That means more data is out there to be sifted through (or “crawled” as Google calls it). If your data isn’t easy to crawl, and doesn’t adhere to the Almighty Google’s “suggestions,” you can pretty much say goodbye to Page One.
And you want to be on Page One, not just because no one goes any further than that, but for a number of other reasons. Being front and center on Google’s ranking means credibility, increased visibility and branding, and more traffic of a higher quality. Solid SEO means those who make their way to your site are there on purpose.
And while SEO continues to change shape slightly and make modifications, there is absolutely no evidence that it is going anywhere anytime soon. So invest in it. If you’re not on Page One, do what it takes to get there. If you already have the SEO chops that put you on Page One, make sure you’re keeping current with SEO. It’s here to stay.