Understanding Search Engines for SEO
Creating a successful SEO campaign requires at least a basic understanding of how modern search engines operate. You don’t need a master’s degree in data science, but you should understand the basics of how search engines work and how that affects your SEO strategy.
Today, we’ll offer a crash course on search engine operations before talking about how you can use that knowledge to shape your search engine optimization plans. Getting started with SEO is so much easier when you understand why some things work and others are more likely to hurt your rankings. Let’s dive in.
Search Engine 101
Search engines exist for one primary function: to deliver content that meets the needs behind any given search. Of course, there are other layers to the search engine, but that captures their most basic task. They also exist to make money with PPC advertising – but that depends delivering on their primary function to hold their share of the market.
As SEOs, we take steps to help the search engines effectively accomplish their goals through optimized websites. To help understand this process better, we will look at the four major functions that a search engine performs: crawling, indexing, ranking, and delivering.
Crawling and Indexing
Search engines are constantly combing through the roughly two billion websites that exist worldwide to find new pages to add to their ever-growing list. These processes are known as crawling and indexing, and they are the driving force behind all search engines.
As the search engines send out their crawling bots (sometimes called spiders), they examine the content on each page and follow any links they find. This allows the search engines to continually find new content through the billions of links that connect the internet.
Once they have examined a website, the pages are indexed according to their content. You don’t need to understand the intricacies of how the index works – just that your website needs to be on the index if you want to appear in search results.
Ranking and Delivering
Just getting on the index is only the beginning of the process. In order to find success with Google or another search engine, you’ll need to rank high enough to get found when they deliver your page in search results.
When we talk about ranking, understand that there is no standing ranking of every website. Instead, the rankings are created dynamically for each search query. The search engines use your indexed content to deliver pages that best answer the searcher’s question. While crawling and indexing are important, the ultimate goal of SEO is to rank for targeted searches and get delivered in front of potential customers.
Putting Knowledge to Use
Understanding how search engines work is just the beginning. The next step is to put that knowledge to use in your own search engine optimization efforts. We’ll look at a few ways to use this information to build your brand’s digital presence.
The first step in your SEO process should be to get your website crawled by the search engines.
- Submit Site Map – It takes a bit of technical knowledge, but you should submit a sitemap in Google Search Console. This will help your entire page get crawled in the early days of its life.
- Get Links – We’ll talk more about links later, but you should get a few early links to help the search engine bots find and crawl your site. This can include social media (especially Google My Business) or directory links.
- Crawl Friendly Navigation – Once a bot lands on your site, you want to make sure they can crawl your entire page. This means you should have an internal linking structure that is easy to follow for a non-human user.
- Don’t Black Hat – Once a search engine finds your site, you’ll appear in the index. But there are ways to get your site removed from that list. If you hire a shady SEO provider or pursue some black hat tactics (like link buying or keyword stuffing), then you run the risk of getting removed.
- Relevance & Quality – Getting found and indexed is just a matter of checking the right boxes. But ranking depends on your quality. Invest in content that is relevant to your industry and the highest quality you can get.
- Links – Building your link profile will boost your authority, and authority will move your site up the rankings. There is no easy way to quickly build your link profile – you’ll have to put in the hard work of building linkable content.
- Searcher Intent – Appearing in search results takes an understanding of how potential customers are searching. Not just the specific keywords they are using, but the intent behind their searches. Align your content with searcher intent to ensure you are being delivered when it matters most.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is one of the most lasting things you can do to grow your digital presence. But finding success with SEO takes an understanding of how search engines crawl, categorize, and serve up websites. If taking a dive into the intricacies of search engine sounds horrible to you, then an SEO agency might be the perfect fit for you.
Our SEO services come in a variety of packages that are perfect for businesses of any size. Whether you need just a little boost or enterprise level optimization, Fusion Group USA can help grow your business through search engine optimization. Contact us today to get started.