The Importance of SEO

The purpose of having a website is so people can find and read your work. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process where your site is analyzed and then modified to increase its rank on search engines like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. Your website’s ranking on a keyword search is essential to directing it. Proper SEO ensures that your website will be professionally indexed by search engines.

In a keyword search, search engines in particular send out what are called web crawlers, also known as spiders, or robots (bots). “Web crawlers are mainly used to create a copy of all the visited pages for later processing by a search engine that will index the downloaded pages to provide fast searches. Crawlers can also be used for automating maintenance tasks on a Web site, such as checking links or validating HTML code.”

Companies can invest tens of thousands of dollars on a website, but if it has not been properly optimized for the search engines, then it will not be indexed or found. And if your website is not indexed, then most of your web development investment will be spent in vain because web crawlers will simply bypass your site in most pertinent keyword searches. If you are not investing in good search engine optimization for your company’s website, not only will you lose exposure via web traffic, you will also lose money. SEO ensures accessibility to search engines.

In order to have success operating on the Web, hiring professionals to optimize the experience is vital for businesses and nonprofits alike. Not only will proper optimization improve your ranking on the search engines, your company will also benefit from the practically free advertising value from the extra “eyeballs” that a higher-ranking website attracts.

You should be just as competitive when optimizing your company’s website as you are in your day-to-day business activities. Statistics show that internet users rarely, if at all, go beyond the third page when doing a keyword search. Your site rank is essential to directing traffic inward and making it a “sticky” experience for consumers because your competitors are literally just a click away.

Understanding the importance of search engine optimization, Google has created a set of guidelines to consider.

Design and content guidelines:

  • Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
  • Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site map is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break the site map into separate pages.
  • Create a useful, information-rich site and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
  • Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
  • Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn’t recognize text contained in images.
  • Make sure that your TITLE and ALT tags are descriptive and accurate.
  • Check for broken links and correct HTML.
  • If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a “?” character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few.
  • Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100).

The authors of this text co-own and operate a consultancy called and an SaaS (software as a service) software company called Yield Software that are renowned leaders in search engine optimization.

Next Section >