Starting with SEO

What’s in this Freight Paper?

  1. The definition of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  2. SEO practices, history, and trends
  3. Who needs SEO and why

If you’re not waist-deep in the marketing industry, or at least one tangentially related to it, you probably don’t know what SEO stands for. You might not care. But marketing plays a significant role in not only how you stretch your consumer muscles, but also what you’re buying now, and what you’ll be buying tomorrow, next week, and possibly years down the road. This doesn’t mean that it’s advertising, or that there’s some inherent cynicism involved. On the contrary. With an aim at better, more consumer-oriented content, marketers and SEOers are changing the way that we all interact with each other and the products around us. So let’s dig into SEO and how it affects what you read on the Internet, and what you spend your money and time on.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In a nutshell, it is the practice of optimizing websites so that they are more accessible to search engines like Google and Yahoo. This is incredibly important, as the higher on the list a website sits, the more likely it is to be found by Internet searchers.

A brief history

The pursuit of ranking in search engines has been around since the early days of the Internet. In the beginning, links had the power. The search engines’ theory was that the more links a website had, the more important it was, therefore the more likely it was to be ranked on the first page of search results. This led to what was called “blackhat” linking, where marketers loaded weak or arbitrary links to falsely empower websites for better rankings. Sure, the websites were ranking high, but they weren’t connected to the actual search being conducted. Luckily, as the years passed, companies like Google and Yahoo became experts at creating better algorithms and punishing weak links to change the SEO game. As they say now, content is king, and better content will eventually lead to better page rankings and stronger websites.

Content is King

Over the past few years as the idea of SEO has grown and become a heavyweight in the tech industry, Google has led the way in developing technology that leads to better search results. Nobody really knows exactly what Google does (they keep that a secret for obvious reasons), but they develop algorithms that are constantly being tweaked, updated, and altered. These changes, in theory, are supposed to reward genuine content rather than falsely empowered, useless links. This is all good news for the consumer. As content becomes more important to the ranking process, marketers will be forced to rely on good old-fashioned writing, videos, and helpful blogs to create a more genuine website content experience.

Moving Forward

The times they are a changing. As millennials move into their primary role as consumers and purveyors of culture, more practices and information moves into the Internet age. Sales, meetings, conversions, banking, checks, cable, music, movies, social media, marketing, journalism – as we turn digital, the website becomes more important than ever before. SEO, though a relatively new industry, has been and will continue to be very important to many businesses. Though there is still a lot of mystery about how search engines prioritize and determine rankings, SEOers will continue to find ways to optimize company websites and find an audience for great content.

Who needs SEO?

The question is: Who needs to invest in search engine optimization? The answer is pretty simple. If you have a website, you should be doing SEO. That doesn’t mean that you have to spend thousands of dollars hiring a marketing firm, but it does mean that you need to learn the basics of making sure your website is as easy for Google web crawlers to find as possible. This means formatting web pages correctly, including links and original content. Start a blog. Make videos. These pieces of original content make it easier for the search engines to identify your website, and give you a greater chance of rising in the search engine rankings. A rise in the search engine rankings means greater user interaction for your website, which leads to…better rankings. Call it the snowball effect. There are hundreds of sites dedicated primarily to SEO, I’d start over at Moz. Remember, a few simple alterations to your website’s makeup might make all the difference. For more information on Search Engine Optimization don’t miss our three part SEO Blog series. Download our Free Freight Papers, and get a Freight Quote over at our website.

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Starting with SEO: Search Engine Optimization in the Google Age
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