In the age of the Internet, the most efficient way to find anything is to do a search. Because of this, a single search returns millions and millions of web pages within seconds. The most relevant and helpful links are usually on the first page of search results and many people never look past the first page. However, how does content really make the first page? There is a very specific algorithm that scans a web page and decides how important the content is. Content that appears on the first page of search results has been optimized, or improved, in order to appear higher in a search.
Search engine optimization is when content is changed in order to make sure that it ranks higher in a search engine result page. It is one of the most challenging and important processes in digital marketing. Many people believe there is a secret formula that you can follow in order to have your content be the most visible, but that’s not entirely true. Consistency is key. Search engine optimization does not happen overnight and there is no shortcut to making it happen. Good things come to those who wait, and consistently having content about specific topics is the best way for a search engine to rank your links higher. Having a consistent stream of content over weeks and months tells a search engine that your content is a reliable source.
Search engine like Google, Bing and Yahoo! Have complicated algorithms that scan content as soon as it is submitted to the Internet, to determine the best words someone can type in a search to bring up that content. The best way to be visible in search results is to use keywords based on whatever your content is about. As important as having good content is, your page should also include photos and links to sources or related content to improve your search ranking. Photos and links are two of the items that search engine algorithms look for when scanning content, and both of these improve your chances or landing on the first page.
Search engine optimization can be both free and cost money. It is free when the search engine just brings up the content in a search. However, users can also pay to have their content show up in advertisements on the first page of a search engine. For Google, the advertisements are placed before the first search results at the top of the page, and on the sides. Most people rely on free or “organic” search results as they bring more consistent viewers over a long period of time.