SEO for 2017: How Search Engines Work, How People Use Them, and Why SEO Matters

This blog post is part of “The Ultimate Guide to Lead Generation” and “The Ultimate Guide to SEO” blog series. You can also check our premium B2B SEO services to accelerate your traffic, leads, and sales.

When approaching SEO it is  import to understand how search engines work, and what they are looking for, and how people use them. This is what SEO is really all about.  According to the SEO experts at MOZ, “Search engines have two major functions: crawling and building an index, and providing search users with a ranked list of the websites they’ve determined are the most relevant.”

On the technical side, search engines scan all of the web pages on the internet–that’s the crawling part. Indexing means they read specific parts of web pages to determine what each page is about so that they can deliver the right results when people search online.

The goal of search engines is to give people exactly what they are looking for as quickly as possible. Why? Because if people get the help they are looking for faster than through other channels, they’ll come back, and they’ll see more ads, and search engines will make more money.

They use algorithms–complex analysis and computation, to understand what you’re looking for. “Our algorithms are constantly changing. These changes begin as ideas in the minds of our engineers. They take these ideas and run experiments, analyze the results, tweak them, and run them again and again.

How People Use Search Engines

People use search engines to find this–answers to questions, solutions to personal and business problems, product information, people, directions and a myriad of other times of information. Search engines evaluate searches based on the words used, the location of the user, the device being used and scour his billions of indexed pages in an attempt to deliver the most relevant and popular results.

Understanding how people use search engines is critical to understanding how to get found. It is critical to understand the language people use to look for a company’s product or service in the form of a keyword. Keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner can tell you how many times per month a specific search term is used, and rate the competitiveness of getting ranked for that term, and will even give you some recommendations for additional keywords. You can also look at what currently ranks for the terms you think are important. Here’s a screenshot of Google Keyword Planner results for the keyword Search Engine Optimization.

The results also show how much it would cost to buy a pay-for-click ad based on a particular keyword.

seoWhy SEO is Critical

SEO, or search marketing, is what businesses use to position themselves to get found by searchers looking for the kinds of products and services they offer. Some 90 percent of shoppers now research online before contacting a company.

Online research isn’t limited to consumer shoppers. Google reports that 92 percent of B2B buyers research online, and many make multiple searches and inquiries before deciding what supplier to contacting a company.

seoEngaging people as they look for solutions to their problems is part art and part science. It is important to understand as much as possible what search engines actually read, how they interpret what they read, and what other factors they consider in delivering search engine results.

For a complete guide to SEO and how to help your business’ pages rank higher, download the Alaniz Guide to SEO for 2017.

This blog post is part of “The Ultimate Guide to Lead Generation” blog series.

Bill Peatman

About Bill Peatman

Bill is the Senior Writer and Content Developer here at Alaniz. He has more than 20 years of marketing experience and has worked for successful startups and well-known brands such as Cisco and Brown and Caldwell. Bill is a graduate of Stanford University, and has an MA from Santa Clara University.

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