Search engine optimization, or SEO, has become a staple for any website looking to get increased exposure. Often we get the question does SEO work? If done correctly, Yes, SEO can be used to improve your listing on search engine results pages, but due to the nature of SEO it isn’t a one-shot cure-all and will only work for you if you maintain it regularly. But to do so correctly, you first need to learn a little bit about how and why SEO works.
How SEO works
Search engines run on algorithms that operate through the analysis of keywords and phrases. Once a set of matches to the initial search query is discovered, the listings are ranked and filed in the results pages by the strength of their SEO scorecard, and the goal of anyone trying to get some decent exposure is to get as close to the top of the search results as possible.
SEO, as the name indicates, is a method that optimizes your placement within a search engine, and this is accomplished by, among other things, placing links and keywords in strategically significant areas of your web pages. By purposely putting these keywords and links in places where the search engine algorithms are programmed to look, you optimize your SEO scorecard and are bumped up the search results page, meaning more user traffic to you and less for the competitors on page three.
Does SEO Work? Only if you Keep Up
SEO has been proven again and again to get the job done, and those using it are often much better off than those who aren’t. However, it isn’t enough to slap a few keywords in the third paragraph and a hyperlink under the headline to get to the top page – you’ve got to adapt. Search engines are constantly developing, the proof of which is the recent release of Google’s Hummingbird, and SEO naturally changes along with it. The best SEO practices are determined by the rules of the most current search engine processes, and so the practices you used a year ago might not be up to snuff anymore, which is why you’ve fallen to page four.
But it isn’t enough to just apply these techniques to new content — you must apply all new SEO techniques retroactively, which takes a long time when the information on your site starts to pile up. Luckily, you just need to focus on the information that you want to be searched for, so it’s okay to let an article or two fade into obscurity for the sake of caring for more pertinent information.
SEO isn’t an instant fix and it’ll require some regular maintenance on your part to keep running at top gear. By going through information on your site and refreshing any outdated SEO practices that were used during the original drafting, you can increase your sites overall search engine placement. This will take time, but the rewards gained from a higher placement in the results page cannot be overstated.
Think about your own search engine practices and try to remember the last time you clicked on a link past halfway through page two. You don’t want your site to be one of those forgotten pages, and smart SEO practices can keep that from happening.