There’s a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about the purpose and inner workings of search engines. Often, web designers and marketers focus on trying to figure out the algorithms that Google uses or trying to get high rankings for high-value keywords. But, I think both of these are the wrong approach, and they’ve contributed to giving the whole field of search engine optimization a bad name.
Search Engine Optimization is really all about good research, writing, and customer service.
Any search engine’s primary task is to show links to relevant websites in response to user searches. To do this, they look at the content of millions of web pages, along with other factors such as what the user experience is like on each site (for example, “how fast or slow is it?” and “is it mobile optimized?”). The goal is to show a person exactly the thing they want in the first page of results. If a search engine does that, the user will be happy and will return to that search engine.
If you have a website, then, the most important thing for you to do is to figure out why someone would visit your website and what they’d search for to find it. After that, you need to make their experience on your site as smooth as possible.
I’ve seen too many website owners start on a search engine optimization project before they have a clear idea why someone would visit their website. But, without this knowledge, you’re not going to make much progress with search engine optimization.
Once you do understand why and how people find your website and you’re able to give them exactly what they need, search engine optimization will have dramatic effects on your site’s traffic and will help you reach your goals (whether those are increased sales, more followers, or more readers). Any product or service that you pay for to increase your website’s traffic is just a waste of time and money until you do this first step.