How Does SEO Actually Work?

SEO can be easily misunderstood.

SEO can be confusing.

Do you want more visitors on your website? Of course, we all do. Obviously, a better question is, “How do I get more traffic to my website?” Search Engine Optimization, more commonly referred to as SEO, is the best place to start when you want to increase your website traffic in a meaningful way.

In order to start working on your site’s SEO, you have to first understand how it works. SEO is based on keywords, or search terms. If you’re thinking, “I know about keywords,” just hang in there with me for a moment.

SEO is keyword-driven.

Keywords are actually the string of words that people type into Google (for instance, something like “seo Roanoke va”), which is essentially treated as one phrase in Google’s search results. These are referred to as “long tail keywords” in marketing jargon. Good SEO creatively incorporates these long tail keywords into website content that is useful to the reader AND serves to make the site more visible to Google.

Have you ever noticed how quickly your search results pop up once you enter your search terms into Google? They usually pop up in a fraction of a second. Google isn’t searching and analyzing the entire internet in real time…even they haven’t figured out how to do that yet. Any time you enter a search on Google, you are seeing a snapshot of the last time Google crawled a site…a living archive of sorts. Google sends out search engine crawlers (software designed specifically for this purpose) to read your site, decide what it feels your site is communicating to readers, and assign your site’s importance against other similar sites. The more you update your site, the more often Google goes back to check on your site. This keeps your search results up-to-date and maximizes the exposure of new changes to your site.

So how does Google determine who has the “best” content for a given keyword?

Google’s algorithm considers 200+ factors including social signals, user-interaction, and trust. So which one of those 200+ factors should you address first? Where do you start?

Here’s what we suggest: Update the content on your website regularly, and do so with intention and precision. We’re not suggesting that you re-write your core website pages just for the sake of the exercise (unless the content is ineffective). Instead, we suggest you begin a blog (I understand if you sighed when you read that) where you discuss topics of true interest to your readers.

Make sure the topics relate to your business or organization. Share your articles on social media and ask your friends and fans to do the same. Writing these articles will naturally add new keyword-rich content to your site, attract site visitors, and show Google that you offer real value to your website visitors about your chosen topic. But here’s a word of warning…write naturally, and don’t jam every possible keyword into your writing. If Google thinks you are gaming the system, they’ll actually move you down the rankings. Ouch.

Partner up.

Consider contacting local businesses or organizations to offer them the opportunity to write a blog on your website. Let them write the article, place a link back to their site from your own website, and promote it as if it was your own article. Even in the digital age, nothing has replaced the importance of real-life, face-to-face relationships. Building community and goodwill has great benefits across the board. Ask your friend if they would allow you to do the same on their site…and just like that…you are starting to create some solid backlinks for your site.

When the time comes, and you’ve done your part, a marketing agency can take everything to the next level. An experienced marketing pro can coordinate and scale your content strategy, see to the technical and coding details that really make SEO skyrocket, and ensure that your website is converting that website traffic into revenue-producing leads.

Agile Marketing Collective offers robust SEO services, and we’d love to help you out when the time comes…whether that is now or a few years down the road. We’ve helped small and massive businesses accomplish some pretty amazing things online, and we’re proud of that.

Nice to meet you.

We are excited you are here, and we’d like to hear more about your project. And don’t worry, we don’t pressure anyone. But if you aren’t ready to reach out quite yet, then please take a minute to learn a bit about Agile!

See our work.

Check out our portfolio. Our work is simply a reflection of our incredible clients. Their stories, passion, and accomplishments are the star of the show, and they get the credit.

Schedule a call.

Sometimes a quick call can clear up your questions, point you in the right direction, and give you a clear path to move forward. We’d like to hear about your project, and we’re never, ever pushy.

We have nice clients.

Here are a few nice things people have said about us. We try to live up to them every single day.

“Mike is a true visionary. Beyond developing and designing our website, he helped us see the potential of our online business. Given that we have an in-house marketing department, Mike worked alongside our team to guide and strategize, while building a site that we could manage day-to-day, maximizing our efficiency with minimal recurring cost.”

Lindsey Sinozich

Marketing Director, Fink's Jewelers

“Mike was willing to express his seasoned and professional opinion without being dismissive of things that felt particularly important to us as the client. When Mike needed to, he made sure we realized any trade-offs in a decision by providing clear reasoning and significant experience to back it up.  This created a level of confidence in Mike, and in any final decisions we made.”

Peter Baur

Head of School, Faith Christian School

“Finding Agile was a lucky day for us. From the moment we met Mike, it was clear we would work very well together. Mike is a great and patient listener, wise advisor, and super talented marketer. The vision and creativity that Mike has proposed far exceeded our expectations! We have gone with every idea he’s had and couldn’t be happier.”

Clay Skelton

President, ORIGOSafeDriver

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