Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, remains one of the most misinterpreted and misunderstood concepts in the internet and marketing world. In simple terms, SEO is the process of structuring a web page so that it is found, read, and indexed by search engines in the most effective manner possible. While search engines change their algorithms for how they evaluate pages somewhat regularly, the purpose of that is to help sift through strategies and techniques and just find sites that are what they say they are, and to rank those sites according to the value those sites offer to web searchers.
We work with our clients to optimize their websites above and beyond a standard WordPress development in an effort to help web crawlers know what the most important elements of a the site are, and to help our clients know what other content may be valuable to add to the site. Both quantity and quality are important. Ultimately, where your site turns up in search results is a function of the volume of traffic that visits your site and the duration of time visitors spend there.
That said, Google recently announced that another factor that its web crawlers would include in ranking criteria is the security of a site. Read what Google has to say about SSL here. While not entirely specific, this announcement from a company who owns 68% of the search engine market share, strongly encourages website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS. Ultimately, purchasing and installing certificates is not overly costly, and it does add an additional layer of protection for all the data being transmitted through the web.
Other strategies to improve your rankings
While optimizing site content, adding metadata, and now installing a security certificate are all part of a strong foundation for offering your site to the world, additional content marketing strategies are becoming increasingly important. Producing new content that engages readers serves a critical purpose of helping people know who you are; sending that content out to people who will read it keeps them coming back; and driving those additional users to the site tells the web crawlers that people do want to come to your site and thus you should be higher in search so others can find you too.
There are numerous other strategies that can be implemented, and frankly, those outlined above can be refined and enhanced routinely. Ultimately, you need to ask yourself the same thing we constantly ask ourselves: How can we deliver even more value to those that would want to hear from us in the first place?