Where’s Waldo? A Look At Search Engine Optimization Part I

This is the first of a two part series about SEO, how it works and how you can benefit.

What Is SEO?
Do you remember the Where’s Waldo books from your childhood? Finding the red and white striped Waldo amongst a background of similarly colored objects was always quite a task. Well, the other day I had an epiphany: the internet is just like my childhood game. Think about it, you’re searching for what you need amongst a plethora of similarly disguised websites. This is where SEO can help.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process through which a website is optimized such that it becomes visible to search engines. Thus, when someone searches for a particular phrase through any of the search engines (Yahoo!, Google, Bing, etc.), the best matched websites come up at the top of the search engine results. For example, instead of searching for Waldo, it’s as if Waldo is yelling “Here I am, over here!” How much easier would the game have been?

How Does SEO Work?
So, how does SEO work? Almost all business owners want to get a website up and running. Congratulations, that’s the first step. But what about making your website found by consumers? I’ve heard it put like this “let’s just say that a website without SEO is like a party without attendees.” By doing SEO, you get a chance to attract a larger number of visitors to your website compared to your competitors.

For you to achieve the best results when it comes to optimizing your website for search engine visibility, it is important that you understand how search engines work. The first thing that you need to know is that search engines strive to provide the most relevant information to web users. In doing this, the search engine will employ some kind of formula which it uses to assess the information that you will provide and compare it to what the web user is searching for. This logic is what is referred to as a search engine’s algorithm. The algorithm determines whether the information on your website is relevant or not; the more relevant it is, the higher its rank will be.

On-Page and Off-Page SEO Factors
There are two basic types of factors that affect a website’s online visibility: on-page and off-page factors. On-page SEO factors refer to those factors that can only be found on your website. These issues include things like the content, title and Meta descriptions, and the URL title. However, I must point out that despite the fact that many of these factors will work with all search engines, different search engines will place different values on different elements. For example, what may carry a lot of weight with Google may have little value with Yahoo.

On the other hand, the off-page factors are those factors that affect the visibility of your website, but which cannot be found on your website. To determine how important or how relevant your website is based on off-page factors, a search engine will assess what other websites “think” of your website. This will be based on the quality and quantity of links that you will receive from other websites.

As you can see, I’ve only touched on a few elements of SEO. There are no set rules when it comes to optimizing your website for SEO and marketers work hard every day at the science of SEO. Semple Marketing is here to help. To get your custom SEO plan, contact us today. And, don’t forget to check back for Part II of our Where’s Waldo blog where we will discuss the benefits of SEO and how to go about it.

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I am the owner and creative force behind Semple Marketing and all the companies underneath the Semple Brands structure in Dallas, Texas.

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