Here at Skylarq Digital, we are often heard preaching the importance of search engine optimization to our clients. We get all riled up talking about content, keywords, NAP standardization, and link-back strategy. Sometimes the more hyped up we get, the more lost our clients tend to look. More than once we’ve been interrupted by an honestly confused client asking “Wait - what the hell are you talking about?”

So in addition to working on toning down our “geek-speak”, we wanted to take a moment to answer, in the simplest of terms, what Search Engine Optimization is.

Well, what is it?

In its truest form, SEO is the ongoing practice of optimizing specific aspects of your website so that your potential customers can find you through organic searches (instead of paid advertising). Who doesn’t love customers being able to find their businesses?  Nobody, that’s who. 

Why is it important now?

Holy crap the competition. In today’s world, people find anything and everything online. And man do they have choices galore. Your business must come up on the first page (or maybe the second) to have a solid chance of getting found. And to come up on the first or second page, you have to create compelling and valued content, as well as structure your site in a way that the search engines like. The catch is that the search engines can, and regularly do, change what they like. So, either you need to stay on top of the factors that go into maintaining high search result visibility (and be prepared to make the necessary adjustments), or you need to get involved with a company that will.

What are the basic components of SEO?

SEO can be broken up into four different buckets:

  1. Architecture: The architecture of your website indicates how efficiently it will perform on different devices, specifically, mobile and tablet devices. Google penalizes websites that are not mobile-friendly, and today’s reality is that if Google says you gotta do it, you gotta do it.
  2. Front End Content: Front end content is the stuff that your visitors see and read - text, images and videos. This information needs to be regularly updated, original, clear, compelling, and indicative of exactly what your business does.
  3. Back End Content: Back end content is the behind-the-scenes stuff - data that the search engines look for in the webpage code. This data needs to be written in a way that search engines can easily consume.
  4. Off-Page Info: The off-site stuff is mostly comprised of how your businesses Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) show up in directory listings and how many reputable sites link back to your site.

In a nutshell, SEO doesn’t have to be technical jargon or a marketing buzzword. This is a real need for today’s websites. If you don’t fully understand it, that’s okay. Lord knows I don’t understand fully how my car engine works. Just make sure you, as a small business, value the IMPORTANCE of it. 

Skylarq Media is an digital experience agency focusing on digital strategy, web design, development, and online marketing.