What is SEO?

Theo Luciano
3 min readMay 6, 2020
Photo by Webaroo on Unsplash

When you Google something, why do you get the results that you get?

It’s not magic, or even random. The results you see are through the careful utilization of SEO, which stands for search engine optimization.

Here’s an example:

Top result for “when should I prune my apple trees” search

This is Google’s top result for the search query “when should I prune my apple trees”. This is how it got there.

The most important place to start is the basics. To rank highly in searches, a website should be secure and well built. Search engine bots should be able to easily understand the purpose and value of your site, as they crawl across the data behind the scenes. Google is not quick to promote sites that have invalid security certificates, so that’s the place to start.

One of the most important factors of SEO is how fast your site loads, including on a mobile device. A page can get penalized for loading too slowly, and this will hurt your rank in a big way.

Here are a few more specific ways to boost SEO.

Keywords

Keywords are the building block to any high ranking search result. To rank highly for this particular query, this website (diynetwork.com) researched relevant keywords that would pertain to apple tree pruning and their particular audience. Probably keywords like ‘apple trees’, ‘when should I prune’, ‘orchard care’, ‘tree care’ and on.

They did their best to choose words that are being searched for regularly and in high volume. By using a tool like Google Trends, one can track the popularity of a particular keyword or series of keywords over time, along with other stats.

Here is a part of the Google Trends results for the keyword ‘tree pruning’:

As you can see, the interest in this keyword is actually at a relatively high point right now, so this would probably be a valuable keyword to pursue.

By lacing their content, pages, and posts with these popular keywords, Google or another search engine can suggest this piece as being valuable for those particular queries.

Backlinks

Another way to up your ranking on the Google Machine is to get your site backlinks. This means getting other sites to link to yours. In our example, maybe this pruning post would get linked in another site's post about getting ready for fall, or a post about how to take care of a new tree. If a search engine sees a lot of backlinks, it sees value in that, and your page is more likely to rank highly in searches.

Also, the more reputable the site that links back to you, the better. A backlink from CNN is going to do a whole lot more for perceived value than a backlink from a local greenhouse. That’s because most search engines view CNN as a highly reputable source (even if the rest of us don’t ).

In Addition

Some other very important factors that contribute to how highly your page ranks would be your domain age and authority, real business information, and user experience.

Boost your SEO in these different areas and you’ll be ranking highly in no time!

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Theo Luciano

Design @ RoleModel Software and a myriad of other things // John 14:6