Last week, I completed a course in SEO Copywriting.
In case you don't know, SEO stands for search engine optimization.
Not everyone knows this, I've discovered.
And shortly after I had proudly posted on social media that I'd finished the course, somebody asked that question.
Before replying, I debated how to answer. Should I play it safe and say what the letters stood for, or should I define what search engine optimization is?
I chose the former because SEO can be tricky to explain, especially to those unfamiliar (and I didn't want to get trapped down that "SEO explanation" rabbit hole again.)
But yesterday, as I whiled away time on Facebook, I accidentally stumbled upon maybe the easiest way to define SEO.
A friend posted she'd used a new veterinary clinic to treat her horse. I'd never heard of this clinic before, so curious horse owner that I am, I clicked on her shared link, which brought me to the clinic's Facebook page.
The page was quite new, having only a handful of posts. And it included a link to the clinic's website, which I also clicked.
The website was, in a word, sparse.
It consisted of three pages total, that's it.
One of the pages had a photo of three smiling women who I assumed worked at the clinic.
But, exactly, who was who? I had no idea. And the page offered no clues.
Wanting to identify the mystery trio, I revisited the other pages.
My search yielded a generic email address, phone number, clinic services, and the answer to one FAQ.
Throughout the entire site, the three NAMES were nowhere to be found.
I sat at my desk, perplexed and wondering.
How could they forget to include their names? Such a vital detail for a veterinarian's website.
And then, it struck me.
I bet this is how Google reacts when it crawls a web page that hasn't been optimized!
Yes, search engines crawl web pages looking for keywords and phrases in page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, and throughout the content.
Because they provide critical information about a website's purpose, relevant keywords and phrases, and outstanding, informative content help search engines drive web traffic.
And if keywords match a searcher's query and your content is deemed quality, voila.
In that case, your web page earns a desirable ranking.
If you fail to optimize your web pages, Google will be puzzled and surprised that such essential information is unavailable. That is precisely how I felt about the missing names.
At the most basic level, SEO gives your website an identity.
Without it, your website faces anonymity to search engines and, worse, to potential clients!
Suzanne Quigley is a content writer/consultant and former veterinary assistant specializing in animal health and veterinary markets.
Need help with content creation, copywriting, or SEO? Email or call 508-277-4929!
Suzanne Quigley - Copywriter