SEO, Search Engine Optimization, means the process of improving your website to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business on search engines like Google, Bing, and others. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to attract attention and draw potential and existing customers to your business.

How does SEO work?

Search engines like Google and Bing use bots to crawl web pages, move from site to site, gather information about these pages, and index them. Think of the index as a massive library where a librarian can open a book (or a web page) to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Then, algorithms analyze the indexed pages by considering hundreds of ranking factors or signals to determine which pages should appear in search results for a specific query. In our library analogy, the librarian has read every book in the library and can tell you exactly which one will answer your questions.

Our Periodic SEO Factors Table organizes factors into six main categories and weights each one according to its overall importance for SEO. For example, content quality and keyword research are foundational factors for content optimization, and crawlability and speed are significant site architecture factors.

The newly updated SEO Periodic Table also includes a list of Toxins that deviate from SEO’s best practices. These are shortcuts or tricks that may have been sufficient to guarantee a high rank when search engine methods were much less complex. And they may still work for a short time – at least until you get caught.

Additionally, we have a brand-new Niches section that delves deep into the SEO success factors behind three core niches: Local SEO, News/Publishing, and E-commerce SEO. While our general SEO Periodic Table assists you with best practices, knowing the SEO nuances for each of these niches can help you succeed in search results for your small business, recipe blog, and/or online store.

Search algorithms are designed to uncover relevant, authoritative pages and provide users with an efficient search experience. Optimizing your site and content with these factors in mind can help your pages rank higher in search results.

Why is SEO important for marketing?

SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing because people typically conduct trillions of searches each year for commercial purposes to find information about products and services. Search is often the primary digital traffic source for brands and complements other marketing channels. Having more visibility and ranking higher than your competitors in search results can have a significant impact on your bottom line.

However, search results have evolved over the past few years to provide users with more direct answers and information that are more likely to keep them on the results page rather than directing them to other websites.

Also, remember that features like rich results and Knowledge Panels in search results can increase visibility and provide users with more information about your company directly in the results.

In summary, SEO is the foundation of a holistic marketing ecosystem. Once you understand what your website users want, you can apply that knowledge to your campaigns (paid and organic), your website, your social media properties, and more.

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