Every year, companies spend millions of dollars attempting to secure a spot on Google’s front page.  One fairly straightforward way they do this is buy paying for Google ads, grabbing them them an immediate spot at the top.  However, this method can get costly quickly and is not, for this reason, a feasible strategy for webmasters on a budget.  A more lucrative method, although one requiring patience and persistence, is search engine optimization.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a method in which webmasters can gain what are, in essence, free listings in Google’s search results.  These are gained via the creation of visitor friendly, informative and engaging websites.  Google’s claim to fame is their excellence in outputting highly targeted results from users’ searches. SEO plays into this dynamic; if a site owner ascertains that Google profits by supplying quality and relevant search results, they will simply meet this demand by creating quality, relevant web content.

A robust SEO strategy is the target of “long-tail” keywords.  By catering keywords to specific scenarios, like ” Nike women’s running shoes,” as opposed to broad ones, like “shoes,” site owners increase their chances of success by supplying content to niche markets.  The competition can be stiff for broad terms and may, in certain markets, be insurmountable; for this reason, niche targeting assists webmasters by allowing them to set realistic and attainable goals.  

Content readability can make or break a site.  If SEO specialists are not creating their content with the reader in mind, they should not expect success in this space.  Search engine optimization can really be watered down to this very simple yet important concept.  Google wants to return quality results to their users.  If webmasters follow this mentality, they can simply create their sites to be an informative and enjoyable read to visitors.  This is an era in which search engines have technology to ascertain “bounce rates,” which are the rates in which users are finding a page and then quickly “bouncing” away.  The higher the bounce, the lower the results – quality content is key.

Another important strategy is the creation of a “responsive” web site.  A responsive site is one that is mobile-friendly.  By being coded to be responsive, the site will be in optimal format for display on smartphones and tablets.  In this era, mobile traffic constitutes the majority of traffic on the internet at large; as such, the better a site looks on mobile, the better chance of visitor engagement from this important traffic type.  Google recognizes this behavior and gives credibility to sites that are able to dynamically adjust.

SEO is not difficult, but it is a waiting game.  Webmasters can prepare for the future by thinking like Google in the now.

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