What to Know About SEO

By Mike Turner | July 9, 2020

We asked our expert, Arlene, to share some of her knowledge.
She offered clear observations about a complex topic.

Q: We have heard a lot about the importance of user intent. Can you explain?
A: The term refers to a more nuanced use of keywords. It contrasts with the simplistic notion that merely including a keyword in your copy will automatically boost your site’s ranking in organic search results. Imagine a group of 100 people, all of whom are interested in “cars.” A certain percentage wants to know about repairing cars. Another segment wants to buy a luxury car, and another wants to learn about the history of cars, and so on. That’s a very simple example, but the idea is to write copy with user intent in mind. Surround your keyword with content that places it in context. Google’s algorithms do way more than just note the presence of a keyword. They discern context, so that they can deliver ranked pages with the user intent in mind.

Q: We talk a lot about words, but there are other factors that contribute to SEO, correct?
A: Yes—there are so many variables. It’s easy to focus on words because everybody understands them, and there is a temptation to think “If we just get the words right, our site will appear at the top of the results page.” But good results depend on a wide range of factors that contribute to a rewarding experience for site visitors.

Q: Can you give examples?
A: Optimized images, for one. If the graphics are poorly prepared, without optimization in mind, that leads to sluggish page loads, which nobody likes, and rankings reflect that. There is also HTML code. Good developers know how to write SEO-friendly code. For the average person, all that code looks the same. To Google bots, there is a huge difference. There’s more. The page structure of a site is a factor, too.

Q: You are Red Letter’s designated SEO expert—but it’s clear that good SEO is a team effort.
A: Absolutely. All of us work together to improve search results for our clients’ sites. That’s the only way to make it happen.

Q: Let’s say we’ve done everything right and the site is fully optimized. Now what?
A: This is no time to stop optimizing. In fact, SEO must be an ongoing process. For one thing, the context in which a site exists—the internet—is constantly changing. So the site itself must continually adapt to its evolving environment. In addition, Google takes note of stasis. When sites grow stale, rankings decline. Any organization with a website is competing for attention—and that means keeping content fresh, modifying structure in accordance with evolving best practices—on and on.

Q: Would it be correct to say we have just scratched the surface of this topic?
A: Yes.

We’ll be back with Part 2. Thanks for your interest.